November 15, 2020
Good morning friends. I wish you all a happy and healthy day! Here we are, already mid-way through the month. The best part about life, is having the opportunity to make each day amazing. Whether your candidate won or lost, now is the time for us to re-unite as Americans. If you were rioting, looting or attempting to destroy our nation, it’s going to take much more than a reunion to bring you back. That’s just my opinion. I can only imagine what would have happened if President Trump would have won. We have so much to be thankful for and enjoy in this country. Freedom is an incredible right, but it doesn’t include criminal activity or anarchy.
Based on my knowledge and experience, I know that without adequate support from law enforcement, our society and nation will cease to exist. There are people (including some political leaders) demanding that we defund the police. This is both insane and ludicrous. We have continued to witness a sharp increase in violent crimes across our country since this madness began. This is due to the efforts by liberal or far left individuals enabling this reign of terror to continue. These people are pushing for an agenda that creates fear and division among all people. They speak about equality and freedom, while praising lawless demonstrations, looting and destruction of property. These are some of the same individuals that continue to lock down our cities and states, bringing more economic devastation to people and businesses. I pray our new administration recognizes the necessity for law enforcement as an essential entity in the preservation of our land. The president has an obligation to maintain law and order, as well as equality and freedom for all. It is our duty as Americans to hold him, and other elected leaders, accountable for their decisions. They represent and work for us, the American people. They were not elected to achieve their own gains or political plans.
This coming Tuesday holds a very special anniversary date for me (and 45 classmates). On November 17th we celebrate our 40th year of being sworn in as Los Angeles Police Officers. Protecting and serving with the amazing men and women of the LAPD was both an honor and privilege. My career in law enforcement spanned nearly 34 years. I had little idea what those many years of service would bring. It was my beginning into an unprecedented adventure. That process included much more than training and hard work. It took discipline, dedication, pain, sorrow, compassion and even sometimes heartbreak. A vast array of emotions, many more than you can imagine, were often felt and internalized. You really must live a life consumed in law enforcement to have a basis for what I am talking about. Some base their knowledge or experience about police from an interaction or what they’ve heard from others. People often refer to main stream media for their information, which is often distorted or bias. There are sad parts associated with this career; lack of understanding or misconceptions are integral pieces of this puzzle.
Some people think they know what we (police officers) experience, based on movies and television. Those Hollywood productions never seem to capture this life accurately. What you see on those big screens are mostly fabrications for your entertainment. With nearly one million law enforcement personnel in this nation, officer involved shootings are rare. Vehicle pursuits are more common place, but with much less theatrics than presented by “tinsel town.” What I witnessed, dealt with or endured on a daily basis seems to be difficult to replicate in movies or television shows. That may also be directly related to what Hollywood wants to portray. Action, violence and sex sell, not facts or true life. It really is one of those professions where you have to be there to fully understand it. Actors can only attempt to display the emotions, passions and stresses of the job. The strains of life and death decision making requirements of this job are real. The many complexities of law enforcement are rarely known or understood by outsiders. Explanations have been presented on numerous occasions, but questions still remain. I’ve shared a glimpse into a variety of professions, before becoming a police officer. There are so many careers that involve knowledge or experience to perform. Many skills I did not possess or wish to pursue. I may not be able to accurately comment regarding these jobs, but I do know other careers bring stress in various forms and intensity. Any job that involves life and death situations intensifies the stress in those decision making processes. Police work, as with other high pressure job, increases the stress and anxiety levels accordingly. How that stress and anxiety is processed and relieved is the challenge. Reducing stress is a key ingredient and important to live a happy life.
Now six years later, after retiring from the rigors of law enforcement, I find it easy to reflect on what works best in my life. Eliminating stress and anxiety from my life was (and remains) an integral part to attaining bliss. I know this sounds like a huge and impossible undertaking. It really is quite attainable when you consciously work toward that goal. The best way to begin this process is by making a commitment to yourself to reduce stress. Part of that is being responsible for your own happiness. In order to balance your daily activities, you must be willing to make the necessary adjustments to achieve what’s most important. One of the best methods I have found, especially over the years in law enforcement, of reducing stress is exercise. This still serves as the best way for me to calm my soul and relax my mind. Meditation works wonders as well, but for me nothing beats exercise. This past Wednesday I attended my first spin class since before the pandemic lock down occurred in March. Gyms and studios were closed, while we were imprisoned in our homes. I began working out at home as much as possible, but it often doesn’t replicate a great gym session. This particular spin class, not only kicked my butt, but it energized me beyond belief. It was fabulous being pushed by an awesome instructor, while in the company of a room full of other riders. Let me clarify, it was half capacity (every other bike) with the pandemic social distancing protocol in effect. I don’t want to get off topic, but this entire “distancing” protocol is ridiculous. Restaurants, gyms, studios and other important establishments are seriously being affected by the devastating economic impact. Then you have huge big box, home improvement, retail stores and markets overflowing with shoppers. The people setting the rules for these measures are just as idiotic as wearing a mask in your car alone. Being in a confined space with potentially sick individuals may change things. My faith (and protection) go far beyond a face covering.
The significant effects I experience from exercise are immediate and lasting. I feel the rush of energy as endorphins kick in and sweep through my body. It can be as simple as a walk or as drastic as a tough gym session or group fitness routine. You are your own boss on what to do and when. My suggestion is to begin small and work your way into it. If you are new to exercise, you may want to ensure you are in good health by getting your doctors okay before you begin. Having that assurance is a fantastic start. Then go out and work some magic. Going to a gym or taking organized classes are good, but nothing replicates being outside. The more time you can spend outdoors in nature the better. Twenty minutes in the sun provides your daily dose of vitamin D. Spending time in a forest or on the beach can bring fantastic results to lower stress levels.
As I age, the focus, intensity and motivation of my workouts continue to adjust and change. It’s no longer about building muscle and increasing strength. The primary purpose is more about maintaining endurance and longevity. Flexibility, range of motion and movement are the new simple keys to success. I work to keep what I have, while fighting the natural progression of time and the bodies decline. My goal is to achieve a more balanced and healthy me; mind, body and soul. I accomplish this with a balance of stretching, cardio, weights, yoga and meditation. For me, it’s a daily endeavor, but a beneficial and much enjoyed process. These activities provide a boost to my body and energize my mind. It brings hope of being here a little longer, so I can thrive each day. Just as we are responsible for our own happiness, we are in-charge of our energy. It is up to each of us to maintain and project positive power. Whenever you allow negative energy in, it has the ability to paralyze and defeat you. I will not succumb to this pointless behavior. Stay positive and happy my friends. Positivity creates determination, happiness and power. It’s an incredible sensation. Don’t sweat the small stuff or things you have no control over. Be thrilled to wake up with each new day. Take the time to recognize and enjoy the opportunities for amazing successes. Let’s unite to preserve our land, rights and freedom. Live your life in peace and kindness. Being a good person doesn’t equal weakness. It represents your inner strength and fortitude, that will manifest with incredible results. Be the inspiration that energizes others to action. It’s up to each of us to make it happen.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation. Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!