Friday, October 22, 2010
Life is like a bottle of paregoric
I met with a high school classmate yesterday for lunch at Slyman’s. He’s been reading the blog religiously from Florida since I began my trek last February and was particularly interested in the place I claim has the best corned beef sandwiches…in the world. We hadn’t seen each other in around 38 years and had a lot of catching up to do, as well. He wanted to do a workout later in the evening so he could see some of the places he’d been reading about.
We pushed our way through the take-out crowd and were quickly seated. We placed our order and I checked my watch. “They’ll be here in less than 5 minutes,” I assured him and wasn’t surprised when they appeared in a hair over 4. His eyes widened in amazement and drool formed on the corner of his mouth.
“Damn…these things look good,” he said. I turned to the guys sitting at our table and asked them to snap a picture of us with the sandwiches for the blog. I didn’t feel completely secure with them handling the camera since they had only ordered one sandwich and were splitting it. I don’t trust guys that only order half a corned beef sandwich...it’s un-American.
I couldn’t remember how Randy and I had met and asked him if he knew. “Not for sure…but I remember something you said to me in the library and I found it to be the most profound statement I’d heard before…or since. I said life was a bowl of cherries and you said ‘no…it’s a bottle of paregoric’.”
Though I don’t remember making such a profound statement…I do know why I made it. Though I was 17 at the time, I still had strong memories of having to drink that horrid stuff to combat diarrhea and then how my dad tried to get me to quit sucking my thumb by dunking my thumb in it before I went to bed. I was a smart, little kid and quickly figured out that I could go into the bathroom and wash it off. I don’t think my dad had thought I’d pull such a stunt since I didn’t seem to voluntarily wash my hands at any other point in my young life. Anyway, I did a little research on the stuff and discovered that it was laced with opium and could lead to dependency. No where was it indicated that it should be used to stop thumb-sucking…or on three-year olds. Life is like that...people try to get you to do what they want you to do, but when you're clever, you'll figure a way to do what you want without them knowing. Something like that.
Randy picked up the tab…I was reaching for my money, but my arms were too short and my pockets were too deep. He’s retired…having made his fortune in shady real estate deals around Orlando, Florida, so it was okay. We agreed to meet after work when I would introduce him to the Back to Basics Survival workout.
There was a light drizzle falling as we jogged through the Metropark to the Survival workout location. I had him do about two thirds of the drills over the next 30 minutes, which he did easily since he works out regularly. We finished, dropped the TRX workout bands in the car and I was preparing to say our ‘goodbye’s’ when he surprised me again.
“We’re done? Aren’t we going to do some more running?” We’d already run 10 minutes and gone to my Chagrin River overlook in addition to the Survival workout, but he wanted more. I never disappoint.
“How about we run a portion of the Clear Creek trail,” I offered. He agreed readily and we started off down the trail. We were already in the valley, so we climbed out. It was getting pretty dark and we moved slowly to avoid tripping and breaking an ankle on hidden roots. We ended up doing another 4 miles or so and it felt pretty easy. It’s too bad he’s headed back to Florida, because I think he’d make a great training partner for my triathlon next summer. He wants to do a triathlon, as well and I left him with an offer to write up the program.
“Thanks for the workout and introducing me to Slyman’s, John. By the way…your blog is the best I’ve ever read. It’s the only one I’ve ever read…but I really enjoy it. Keep it up.”
I got that going for me.
Run duration: 40 minutes. Survival workout: 30 minutes.
Training Heart Rate: 140 bpm.
Calories burned during workout: Probably 800.