Monday, June 4, 2012

Running and Burning

Running:  One of my coaches recommended a new training technique to me, so I thought I'd give it a go & see if I liked it.  It was horrible.  You should totally do it.

There's a 1.5 mile track near my house, so I took my dog Raleigh, The Raleigh Lama, with me and did this:  run about 200 yards fast.  The sad reality is that I'm slow as Christmas, but I was pushing it to move fast.  Stop & do 10 squats.  Run 200 more yards.  10 pushups (burpees, lunges, whatever).  Run 200 yards, etc.  Keep it up for a mile and a half.  I was dying about a mile in, audibly sucking wind.  That far in, the exercises actually started to feel like a break.  

As we rounded the track & ended back up near the start Raleigh started dragging me back toward the car, so I went along & grabbed him a bowl of water.  After he lapped it up I said, "Ok boy, let's do another!" intending to just jog the next lap, as I was clinging to some shred of sanity.  He moped back along, and I could tell he didn't really want to do it again...oh, jeez, do I really have to drive this dog home and come back for the second lap?  The thing is, Raleigh is about 12 years old, smart enough to do your taxes and he's never steered me wrong.  So yeah, I drove him home and came back to run (jog) the next lap.  I was pooped.  POOPED!  But happy.  

I trust this dog's judgement.

The last couple of years I've focused so much on learning to be a good instructor & studying the psychology of violence that I forgot to be a lean mean fighting machine.  Being at the academy has forced me to get back out there & use my body, and it feels really good.   So, yes, I do recommend trying this workout, it's difficult but I think there will be a nice payoff if I keep doing it.

Burning:  I'm not supposed to talk about specific law enforcement or corrections training that I experience or witness, but I don't think it's any big secret that those who serve, if they might carry pepper spray, have to get sprayed.  I got sprayed a few days ago.  I'm here to tell you that stuff is it's own special Hell.  

For about the first 20 seconds I thought, wow, this is really horrible, but I can handle it, I can keep my eyes open just a teensy bit.  Maybe 5 seconds later the 2nd wave hit me and quite frankly I don't know how to describe it.  My eyes slammed shut.  I have been told repeatedly that would happen, but somehow I still thought I would be able to open them.  You know, because I'm special.  


I tried prying them open with my fingers, but my face was drenched and slippery because they had to spray me twice, since my eyes closed when they did it the first time.

Not realizing I had actually finished the task I was to complete while my face was on fire, I felt someone grab me and say, "stop, it's over, it's over!" and pull me outside, where someone else dragged me away to get hosed down with water.  That's when I panicked.

I almost drowned once in a scuba accident in the Florida Keys when I was about 12 years old, and when the water hit my face it all came rushing back.  I was determined not to cry or scream, but was fighting the urge to do both.  Because I still couldn't see and now couldn't breathe and was panicking, I was afraid I'd faint and slam my head on the ground. I dropped to my knees just in case and rocked myself furiously while I tried to wash my face and eyes and  not to have a total meltdown.  Later, helping out, it was obvious that most people panic when the water hits them.  In the moment you can't even believe how overwhelming the feeling of pain and panic is, and you know it isn't going to be over any time soon.  The next day I saw some friends who've been sprayed in the past & they poked me and said, "Ha ha!  Your face is still all puffy!"  I felt like I had a raging fever for about the next 18 hours, which was really interesting, since I knew it was just the ground up hot peppers someone had flung all over my face and eyes.


I suspect it's just as painful but not as overwhelming the second time.  I hope I never find out.