I am in a beautiful place. Palm trees and crisp winds from the San Jacinto Mountains surround me. Here in the desert, the landscape is lush with only the dry brittle patches of sand and brush to remind me where I am. My room is poolside. There is no TV, DVD, HBO or $300 a month Comcast bills. There is a big fluffy pillow-top bed, candles and saddlewood incense. Oh, and a spa kitty that has adopted me as easy game. And there is quiet.
The hotel is small and intimate with only 11 guest quarters which all surround the pool. By the end of Day One, I know practically everyone staying here. We are all in detox boot camp together which includes morning yoga on the lawn, powering down juice and herbal tea all day and evening meetings. Bonding is quick and becomes an unexpected bonus even though I came here solo. I guess it’s really a 12-Step program for people who are trying to conquer their supersize it life although the people who come here are already health-conscious. If detox was easy, as the cliche goes, everyone would do it.
I came here knowing I would most likely be one of the people in most need of “recovery.” I didn’t fool myself. I knew a concept this extreme — five days of supported juicing, mandatory morning yoga and no “technology” (only in the rooms) — was not your run of the mill boot camp. However, I have a history of challenging my myself and my body despite most people’s sense of good judgment. I am qualified to say that after a triathlon career that started at 43 and was supplemented by marathons, half-marathons, snow-shoe running and any other crazy thing I could find that was physically challenging. That was nearly 15 years ago. This is now. This body, the one that helped me survive breast cancer five years ago and the one that I pour Diet Cokes into as I work successive 17-hour days sitting at my laptop, survives for me. Coming here is a way to honor it and say “I’m going to try to give you some help.”