One of the most powerful tools a law enforcement officer can use to maintain their fitness is the power of connection. Before I elaborate let’s make some distinctions.
First what does the concept of fitness mean to you? To us at the Law Enforcement Survival Institute fitness means your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fitness for duty and overall wellness for life’s challenges and joys.
Secondly, connection in this case means to us your ability to maintain connections to family, people, support networks, resources, some higher power and other areas that can strengthen and support you in your life and your work in law enforcement.
So what does the concept of connection have to do with your fitness in police work?
If you look at our over-riding definition of fitness listed above you will recognize that our concept of fitness impacts your whole being or “self” and that in order to strengthen and maintain your peak levels of fitness you must be conditioning your “self” in four areas: physically, mentally, emotionally as well as spiritually. Many police officers and other law enforcement professionals only train themselves physically to survive the rigors of this profession. If that’s all you do, then we are concerned about the threats to you from what we call the hidden dangers of law enforcement like police officer suicide, heart disease, cumulative stress, PTSD, various forms of cancer and other things that will take your life. If you take your personal threat assessment further to the things that don’t kill you but can make your life miserable then we include threats like fatigue, divorce, financial ruin, alcoholism…, drug abuse, and other addictions like gambling, sex, eating and spending etc.
You will see in Scott’s article this week that he values connection and that his connections even strengthen and support him just as he does them.
How are your connections?
This week Scott tells us:
You just never know.
A few weeks back I received an e-mail from my academic mentor and friend, Dr. John Kiefer. He was my master of public administration program’s thesis advisor while I attended the University of New Orleans. We connected immediately, and I admired his career as a professor and his calling as a United States Marine.
Satisfied with my graduation from UNO and no intention of continuing my education, Doc encouraged me to pursue a PhD with just a three sen
tence conversation. No, I cannot share those “motivational” words he spoke, but what I am sharing is that he, singularly inspir
ed me to push further than I ever imagined I could.
In his e-mail last month, it said that he had been following this series “I’m Shaping Up” and it inspired him to regain his USMC fighting form. Or at the least get back to fitness!!
Who knew? You just never know.
Here’s to holding each other accountable when the couch looks inviting and the snacks endless.
– Don’t know.
– 8 cycling sessions!!! I biked 2-a-days earlier in the week and it was awesome.
– 1 day of running (these cool mornings are great for adding a few extra miles)
– 1 lawn cut. Yes, I’m convinced that this is an athletic event as long as there is no zero-radius mower involved. ALL Push mower!!
– Extra cycling has caused a craving for extra eating, but not the bad stuff. Well, still scoring my night-time ice cream. Kiddo’s fault.
UNO Ring & BP
– BP is still good and resting HR is low 50’s. It’s been great being able to push my HR into the mid 160’s to 170’s for sustained periods of cycling, then dropping it quickly into a recovery range.
– The UNO ring slips on and off without hanging up on swollen knuckles or fat fingers.
Monday – Sunday Goals:
– 5 days of cycling.
– 1 yoga session (I’ve really blown this one).
– 3 morning run sessions
– bring lunches to work or prepared meal at home.
– Continue with hydration.
How are your efforts going? Don’t just read this and dismiss it. Make a commitment today. You have peer support, CopsAlive.com expertise, and a champion fitness advisor all ready to help.
Our CopsAlive Fitness recommendation is for you to identify and strengthen the connections that support and encourage you, sever the ones that don’t, and keep enhancing your balance and resilience with powerful connections in your life.
What’s a connection? A relationship, a membership, a commitment, a duty, an allegiance, an investment, a vow or a bond. What connections do you have in your life or career?
How Do You Build Strong Connections:
1. Identify the connections in your life that give you strength, support, encouragement, balance and sustenance.
2. Sever any connections in your life that drain, stress, strain or diminish you.
3. Always be seeking new and stronger connections to the things that matter most to you in your life or career like joy, happiness, family, satisfaction, relaxation, accomplishment, commitment, duty, integrity, honor, courage, loyalty, God, patriotism, etc.
4. Remember connections are a commitment and a responsibility. You owe as much to them or more than you intend to receive. Dedicate yourself to strengthening and sustaining your connections and they will strengthen and sustain you.
5. Don’t be too “Macho” or “Independent” to ask for help when you need it. Thats how connections help build your fitness and how they can make you more balanced and stronger physically, mentally, emotionally as well as spiritually. Your connections and support networks won’t do you any good if you don’t use them. Part of your commitment to them is to ask for what you need! We are all part of a much larger team and we are only as strong as our weakest link. If today that link is you, ask for help! If tomorrow someone asks you for help, be there for them. We are all stronger together!
Tell us who or what inspires you to improve your level of fitness, and leave us your comments in the boxes below.
As we have mentioned, in addition to Scott and Kim, we are also following Rae Timme and the CNN Fit Nation promotion. Rae is a 57 year-old mother of three and a 25 year corrections officer who now serves as the warden of a medium custody men’s prison for the Colorado Department of Corrections. Every year CNN selects iReporters to race in a triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and the Fit Nation team. This year we’re giving six lucky readers a road bike (with all the necessary accessories), a wet suit and a gym membership to help them prepare for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on September 8.
Rae said on the CNN site that she has read all the scary statistics about the mortality rates of people who work in corrections and found that they have the second highest mortality rate of any job; on average, a corrections officer’s 58th birthday will be their last. That motivated her to apply for the CNN Fit Nation team.
Rae celebrated a birthday and wrote an article about it on entitled: “Good health – The best birthday present” on CNN.com. Her fitness tip for all of us: “The key to fitness? Schedule it in“. Thanks Rae! You can follow Rae’s progress on her Twitter feed at @TriHardRae.
“Connection” by jazbeck as Creative Commons on Flickr.com
USMC Seal as Public Domain from WikiMedia Commons
Courtesy of Scott Silverii
EDITORS NOTE: Our Fitness Monday articles are an ongoing feature as CopsAlive.com follows Police Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D. on his quest to lose weight and get into better shape, and Lt. Kim Lane as she prepares for the NPC Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh, PA. We are also keeping track of Warden Rae Timme with the Colorado Department of Corrections, a member of the CNN Fit Nation Team, as she prepares for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on September 8. We all know that fitness is critical in law enforcement, but we don’t always do what we know is right. Over the next couple of months you can follow Scott, a Police Chief; Kim a Patrol Shift Commander; and Rae a Department of Corrections Warden, as they open up their lives to you. We invite you to also participate in any way that you choose to improve, your fitness and, your ability to survive a career in law enforcement. We also encourage you to support Scott and Rae with your comments, emails, Tweets and Facebook entries.
Follow Rae on Twitter at: @TriHardRae
Follow Scott on Twitter at: @ThibodauxChief
Please encourage them and let us know about your efforts at improving your fitness in the comment boxes below
CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival. We invite you to share your opinions, ask questions and suggest topics for us in the Comment Box that is at the bottom of this article.
At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) we train law enforcement officers to cope with stress and manage all the toxic effects and hidden dangers of a career in law enforcement.
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