By Tim Sullivan
Last month, my buddy Mike and I were trying to meet up for a run one night only to be sideswiped by a sampler platter of daddy detail. Wives had work obligations, kids got sick, things needed baking for school events and general exhaustion clouded just about everything else. I’m sort of used to my severely reduced fitness regimen, but Mike is a relatively new dad and an avid exerciser, so he’s grappling with, you know, certain doom. I suggested he buy some bigger pants.
New Year’s resolutions of the “I’m going to get in shape!” variety have never been my thing, but I’d guess that roughly 62 percent of my caloric intake this past month was represented in holiday cookies and chocolate. I need a healthy kick start to 2014 so I can attempt to keep up with my Cabbagetown Run Club crew on the rare Thursday nights when family life allows for me to be there.
This past summer, Kristen and I tried one of those two-day detox juice cleanses. Kristen decided she would allow herself fruit. Stoically, I merely requested an exemption for coffee. Before work, I grabbed four gallons of what looked like watered down orange juice and ordered a couple of smoothies to take the edge off.
The clerk asked me when we planned to start the detox as I stole a sip from my smoothie. “Umm, tonight?” I lied. The truth is we were going to start the minute I got home, but I realized I was already cheating. She explained that it works best if we eat all raw fruits and vegetables for a day before and after drinking the juice. I said we would do that today. Another lie. I was haunted by a visual of uncooked cauliflower but this clerk just had such a healthy glow I couldn’t let on I was a JV detoxer!
The juice was more grapefruit-y than orange, really pulpy, and without a hint of the sweetness I generally associate with fruit. I wondered why it didn’t taste more like that smoothie? Work was a slog and I dutifully filled my glass a few more times. I stared at the gallon jug with a combative scowl like I did the bowel clearing, liquid plumber crap I had to drink before having a colonoscopy a few years back.
Kristen had a haircut appointment that night, so I was picking up both kids. It was about 140 degrees out and I was weak from not eating. Elliott and Margo resisted leaving the playground and it took all I had to not fall to my knees as I pleaded with them to get in the car. Apologies to the nice, bearded guy at the Frazer Center who tried to make small talk with me.
When we got home I was a shell of a father, sweating, ornery. A Cheez-it has never looked so tempting. So I made a decision while I prepared the kid’s dinner: To heck with it all, I’m eating this quinoa salad! Then I finished off the kids’ leftovers and joined them in having an ice cream sandwich for dessert and I was a better father for it.
So the juice thing didn’t work. No takers on Craigslist for the gallon and a half of leftover grapefruit pulp either. Now I need a New Year’s resolution plan and I want your suggestions. Just know that mornings are tough for me and evenings are impossible. My calves and lower back are completely unreliable. I have as little interest in the Paleo diet as I would have in eating all-Polly-O. I can’t handle the stress of a personal trainer, I’m not counting calories or points and I don’t think my life insurance policy covers hot yoga. Ok, now, go!