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Under normal circumstances, Sutton would currently be in training camp with the Alouettes, the team he made his CFL debut with seven years ago. But these are hardly normal circumstances, and just like every one of us, he has had to adapt to a new reality.
Despite the precariousness of the situation, the 33-year-old veteran running back and new father is taking this as an opportunity to enjoy precious family time. For those who didn’t know, Sutton became father to a healthy baby boy, Tyson Éli Sutton, on April 6, 2020. « It’s a blessing in disguise. I get to enjoy time that I wouldn’t normally get to spend with them and just appreciate being there. Making a living to support your family is important, but time is precious. You can’t get that back. ».
Even though he’s enjoying spending quality time with his wife Emily and kids, Tyrell is looking forward to stepping foot on the field again. “I just can’t wait to put the pads on and get to work. I want to get into the football mindset. We would be in training camp right now, doing the necessary evils. It would be much different than trying to continuously prepare for the moment we get to go back to work, not knowing when that is.”
With sports facilities being closed and group gatherings forbidden, Sutton, as every other athlete, has had to get creative and switch up his training routine. “I’ve been going out for runs and I was given some exercises to do by my trainer. I’m lacking some weights, but I’m making it work.” It’s not always easy, but he has a pretty special support system. “My wife is the motivator in the house. And you know, we have two kids, so we can’t just sit around the house doing nothing all day. We have to get out and get moving because it’s a rambunctious bunch,” he says laughing. They have to spend their energy, and I’m involved in this spending of energy too. No man left behind.”
Between juggling a 7-week-old newborn, an exuberant 6-yeard old little girl and a wife full of energy, it’s no surprise that the days are just flying by. “Every morning, I get breakfast ready for Kiara (their 6-year old) and I, and feed Tyson while Émilie gets some rest. When she wakes up, she always has plans to go outside and do something.” The entire family enjoys spending time outdoors and has been taking full taking advantage of the nice weather that hit Montreal over the past few weeks.
“We’ve been running, we’ve been putting makeshift workouts in the alley and got a trampoline in the backyard. We go to lakeshore and just hang out in a field, then go and play soccer and run. We also installed a pull-up bar in the house that we all use. We’re all over the place.”
Being confined with two kids of a young age has definitely put his parenting skills to the test, but he’s passed with flying colors and has embraced every challenge. “Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized that I’m great at two things: parenting and football.” He dabbled in cooking and even arts and crafts, but that didn’t go as well. “I tried to make some food the other day and it ended up being the worst thing I ever made in my life. It set me back as far as wanting to cook.” Luckily, he says, his wife Émilie has put her foot down in the kitchen and making him eat some pretty tasty meals. His favorite? “My wife’s chili. It’s the best thing ever. I could eat six pounds of it.”
Although he enjoys his home-cooked meals, one thing he misses is being able to go out to his favorite restaurant with his teammates. “I’m in a group chat with the some of the guys, but I would much prefer being with them in person and get the camaraderie going.” And with the announcement made by the CFL a few weeks ago stating that no games will be taking place before September, he’ll have to wait a few more weeks before getting back to training in the nest for the first time since his release in 2018. “A lot of the faces have changed in a year and a half, but I’m excited to see Coach Bolduc again, and B.J. and Bowman of course!”
Remaining optimistic, Sutton isn’t allowing the COVID-19 pandemic to dampen his enthusiasm for the 2020 season. “We’re coming back to finish what we started. I know I am. I’m excited to be back in the bird’s nest and I’m looking forward to finishing what I started seven years ago.”