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  • Writer's pictureDella Pierson

WONDERLAND: noun: a land or place full of wonderful things including, but not limited to, trees, twinkling lights, a warm fire, drinkies, reindeer friends, elves, boxing reindeer, soldiers, mermaid reindeer, doggos, and most of all... smiles, laughter and warm fuzzy feelings. Please enjoy the 12 days of Wonderland, as it contains all of the above criteria!

On the 1st day of Wonderland: held on the front porch in candlelight, it was magic to behold and at 30 degrees, the wine remained cold! Hineys too!

On the 2nd day of Wonderland: no wind, no snow, but a hilarious Coach Sarah-Santa hat-fashion show. She rocked them all!

On the 3rd day of Wonderland: I impulse bought a fire pit, never thinking it would be such a big hit!!!

On the 4th day of Wonderland: there was magic to behold, Clark W Griswold and I created an exterior illumination show.

On the 5th day of Wonderland: Tiiiiiishie showed up! (I hope you all sang it like 5 goooolden rings!)

On the 6th day of Wonderland: the reindeer arrived! On Dasher, on Runner, on Boxer and Blitzen. On Mermaid, on Swimmer, on Barker and Vixen!

On the 7th day of Wonderland: SANTA!!! I KNOW HIM! And his lovely wife (the real brains of the operation!)

On the 8th day of Wonderland: there were elves, and no, not from shelves! They were of the fun, rosy cheeked variety, nary a care about the cold because they had boozy hot chocolate to hold.

On the 9th day of Wonderland: a magical birthday was celebrated. Double nickels and doubled up on the blankets cause Baby, it’s cold outside!

On the 10th day of Wonderland: the weather wasn’t NASTY, but the company was!

On the 11th day of Wonderland: the military showed up to keep a rowdy family of elves in order.

On the 12th and last day of Wonderland: someone learned their dang lesson. If you don't dress festive, you won't get away with it. You will be punished with the baby pink Santa hat!!

To everyone who came to Wonderland, whether it was the infant front porch version, or the current back deck version, I thank you. It meant the world to me that you would come and freeze your tushies off to share some Christmas cheer.


2020 OUT!

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I wake up, it’s hard to breathe. It’s July and hot so that’s probably why. But why am I crying? And whose hand am I holding? It’s Jenn’s hand. This dream is getting weirder and weirder! My feet are wet. People are yelling and taking pictures and I'm trying to

smile but my goggles are filling with tears. Wait! Goggles? Hey, this is no dream. I’m at Delta Lake waiting to be counted into the water for my first triathlon. I can’t breathe because of terror induced panic, my feet are wet because I’m on the edge of the beach, 3 more pairs before it’s our turn to get in the water. Well, we’ve been counted in, we sure as hell better make it out! Now we are standing in the water waiting for the start. I honestly don’t remember the start. Was there a horn or a siren or just a guy yelling, “GO”? I have no idea!

THE KOOL-AID I’m not quite sure how the Kool-Aid went down and I ended up registering for a triathlon. There was some sort of sale on Black Friday and a lot of pressure was applied by Jackie, the queen of Kool-Aid. All of my protests were diminished by her smooth talking and logic.

Jackie: Do you have a bike? Me: Umm, yes, but... Jackie: Good, can you swim? Me: I swam 30 years ago. Jackie: Good enough, it’ll come back to you, like riding a bike! Me: Yes, ummm, can we get back to the bike part... Jackie: And you’re already a runner...

See what I mean by smooth talkin' and logic?! Needless to say, I signed up and announced to Dan that I was going to do a triathlon. Insert eye roll here!


First things first. I signed up for the Fleet Feet winter triathlon program. This consisted of a group swim at the Lemoyne pool once a week, and a group indoor bike ride on Saturday mornings. Yup, I said swimming, which meant acquiring a swimsuit which I had not worn in 30 years. Ugh. Dan and I head to Dick's Sporting Goods. I choose a couple in the size I would normally wear and proceed to the changing room. Now, I’m 55 years old and have been in plenty of changing rooms in my life. My first thought was that the lighting was straight out of a science fiction movie. I squeeze into the first suit and check myself out in the mirror. Holy shit, I thought the lighting was bad, the mirrors are even worse. Only, it’s not the mirrors, it’s me looking like one of those white State Fair wieners on the grill, all pale and lumpy! I feel the tears starting to well up. “Knock, knock. You ok baby? You’ve been in there a while”. “Can you please get me a suit in the next size up?” 15 minutes later... “You ok in there?” "No, I'm not ok! Now go get me the biggest fucking bathing suit out there!” I emerge 45 minutes later, tear stained and feeling like the victim of an alien autopsy wiggling in and out of those horrid suits. Dan says, “I’m sure you look great!” Insert death stare here! First night in the pool, I’m nervous beyond belief. I’m wearing my giant swimsuit and I don’t know a soul. I’m assigned to lane 6, the beginner lane and meet my amazing coach, Sarah. We bond and I know it’s going to be ok.

A few years prior to all this nonsense Dan bought me a really nice bike for my birthday. It was kind of an old lady bike but still pretty cute. I showed up at my first group bike ride this bike and immediately knew that although my bike was cute, the other bikes were beautiful. They were sleek and fast looking. They had skinny tires and serious looking handlebars. Dammit! Guess who’s going to the bike shop?! So, I gave my credit card a good workout and came home with a new bike with disc brakes (whatever those are) and shoes that clip to the pedals. The kid in the bike shop saw me coming a mile away! Let the training begin!

SPRING TRAINING The pool and riding on a trainer are totally different than swimming and riding out in the elements. A whole new set of anxieties. First of all, having your feet firmly attached to your bike on the open road is terrifying. We practiced clipping and unclipping and braking and sipping on our water bottles and all that. We went on group rides that I thought would kill me. I mean, 10 whole miles and a monster hill!

When it was warm enough, our team started swimming at Jamesville Beach. Of course this meant another new piece of gear, the wetsuit. I bought what a seasoned Ironman recommended. The day it arrived I was so excited and couldn’t wait to try it on. Dan was at work but I promised him a picture. The picture he received could have been taken in the dressing room at Dick's. I was sweaty, crying and looked like a sausage. I was told they were supposed to be tight and that it would feel different in the water. Fingers crossed on that promise. I went for a test swim with Jackie in Oneida Lake. That swim was a huge wake up call. I had a full blown panic attack and had to hang on to the kayak Dan was paddling with a pool noodle. The second time wasn’t much better AND I saw a huge dead fish. What the hell did I sign up for? But somehow, I made it through training and to race day.


I make it out of the water! It is probably one of the most thrilling moments of my life! We run up the beach through a gauntlet of screaming people. At the start, I told Sarah to get the money shot of me coming out of the water. The money shot? Yes, the shot where your wetsuit is half off and you look like (or think you do) a total badass. Boy, did she ever come through. This is still my favorite tri picture of me. I’m wrestling my wetsuit off at my bike right beside Jenn! Yay! We survived. There are a lot of moving parts in a triathlon that seem so overwhelming, especially to a newbie. Swim, Transition 1 (T1) from swim to bike, Bike, Transition 2 (T2) from bike to run and finally, the Run. Then there’s the screaming! That’s the best part! Your BFF shows up from Ontario, Canada and your Fleet Feet friends descend upon the venue with signs, pom poms and all the positivity you absolutely need!

I manage to mount and dismount my bike in the right place and don’t embarrass myself by falling off when unclipping. Now for the run. I feel comfortable. My feet are on terra firma and I’m breathing air and not water. It’s a 5k, I got this. Everyone is there! As I cross the finish line in disbelief I definitely feel relieved and grateful for the cheers. I get my medal and a glass of Trish Delish. Hugs, tears and photos (there really is a lot of crying in triathlon) and I’m officially a triathlete! Despite all the trauma, drama and tears, in my car on the way home, I scream out loud to myself, “Fuck yeah! I need to do that again!”

Thanks Jackie!

Swim, bike, run and done

DMP xoxo

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  • Writer's pictureDella Pierson

Well, we’ve seen the rise of the Centurions, now it’s time for the RIDE of the Centurions!


Ride 100 miles from Green Lakes to God knows where and back. Try not to cry or chafe. Hopefully there will be shenanigans, some laughter and mega bragging rights at the end!


● I’ve driven the course twice. 7 ½ hours of my life navigating country roads and roundabouts out in the middle of nowhere. What is the aversion to traffic lights or a dang 4 way stop? Why am I tripped up by them EVERY SINGLE TIME? I’m mapping out the route so I don’t have to rely on Tish to keep me on track and I want her to be proud of me for knowing where I’m going because that never happens!

● Everyone that knows me knows that I love a good prop. For the ride I painted my middle finger nails gold because our ride spirit color was Century gold. I knew that they would come in handy throughout the ride and I was soooo right!!

● 14 lbs of food for my bike and pockets, clothes laid out, alarm set.

● One last check of the weather, no rain.


Yours truly - AKA Goldfinger! I came prepared to flip off the day and the day did not disappoint!

Cindy Lou - The cruise director, providing great routes. Her philosophy is: if you can ride 35 miles, you can definitely ride 100. Dang! We fell hard for that line. Suckers!

Tish - Can’t say no to Goldfinger’s Kool-aid! May have laid in poop on the road, we’re not sure and really didn’t care. Famous for the Tishie kissy! Always a badass and quick with a joke. I adore her.

Liz - Leads the pack. Badass mechanic. Master F-bomber. Mark my words, she will someday become an Ironman (in a tutu)! You read it here first.

Mary - Looks fancy but don’t be fooled, she’s a badass athlete. Apparently likes to pour water on her head and started a flat tire trend. Dang! I fell for that one too!

Kelly - Cycling newbie no more! Did spring training on a mountain bike and kicked ass on her road bike. Smiles and nods yes to every riding opportunity. Sure doc, I’ll take it easy… at the front of the pack!


Short of being a 911 emergency response, these women are life savers!

Donna - Picked us up on the first half of the ride and stuck with us, making sure we were well supplied.

Jenn - Drove the backroads of wherever we were for an hour looking for us. It was great to see her smiling face and get a selfie with her.

Jackie - Treated us to her famous hospitality at Camp Snow. She was well stocked with snacks and beverages. Despite our later-than-expected arrival, she put her boating plans on hold and waited for us. What a great friend!

“You’re doing it fucker!” “Thanks Fucker!” A typical exchange between Eileen and I on the back 50. She saved us with her caffeine, ice, water and encouragement and was with us until the bitter end.

This ride would not have happened without the support of these amazing friends. Thank you so much!


Sunday September 27th 2020 - Forecast 86 degrees with 10 to 20 mph winds out of the South. Heat and wind, my faves! Bring on the hot flashes! Thank goodness I came prepared with Goldfingers!

We arrive at Green Lakes to a beautiful sunrise, and prepare ourselves. Tutus on and photos done. Well wishes from Fleet Feet friends and we’re off! First hill, out of the park, running or biking, it is always a wake up call and feels like a friggin' heart attack. Once on the road, I’m feeling a bit more relaxed and getting in the groove.

Mile 12 - Mary gets a flat on Northern Blvd. Ugh! And of course it’s her back tire! I take this time to go potty as I will be absolutely no help at all. I can't help but think, "Thank goodness it’s not me!” Also, GOLD FINGER emerges.

Mile 15 - OMFG! Now it’s my back tire! Karma is a total bitch and this ride is testing our resolve. Liz is a whiz and helps me. I’ve gone to the triathlon tire changing classes but I just don’t get flats, until now! 4 years riding and today is the day I get my very first one! Cue, the GOLD FINGER music and now my fabulous gold sparkly nails have chain grease on them!

Mile 25 - Our first stop at the Red Onion, quick and dirty and back on the road. Jenn finds us in the boonies wearing her “I’m the nicest asshole you’ll ever meet” t-shirt! She truly is! Quick selfie and we’re on our way to Jackie’s.

Mile 52 - Jackie’s house, a shot gunned can of high test Pepsi, salty chips shared with Sydney the dog, a GOLD FINGER selfie in Jackie’s bathroom and back on the road.


I wish there was more fun stuff to report but with headwinds most of the way, it really was a grind. Tish and I stick together. We agreed that Gee Road was the best! Must’ve been a freak tailwind! We saw the biggest ass crack in rural CNY, hung out with skeletons and kept on going. At 80 miles we needed to stop. Eileen was waiting in a parking lot about 5 miles from Canastota. Tish got off her bike and laid in the

grass. We drank Coke and Pepsi. I snuggled up to Tish and we made a Goldfinger video.

The fast kids were ahead of us and stopping in Canastota for ice cream before their final badass push to the end. Tish and I had our final stop laying in the grass delirious on the side of the road. Finally, time to roll. The rest did us good and we are hauling ass. Bolivar, Kinderhook, Poolsbrook, Kirkville and finally Rte. 290! Into the park and there is a beautiful crepe paper finish line and friends and our teammates and cheering and signs. We rode together all season and crossed that finish line together. Photos, medals, drinks and flip flops and just like that, it’s over!



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