December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve - 8:00 so what am I doing? Watching the Chick-Fil-A Bowl of course! Had a chance to catch-up with Justin Reeder '07 backstroker and captain who is in the police academy in Nevada. Apparently it is nothing like the movies make it out to be. Part of the training is sure to make Andy Steenrod envious - getting tased. Here's Reeder's update:
Looks like the season is starting out great. How are the guys doing in practice? Are Freshman adapting well to the hard work ethic in practice? Things out here in Vegas are going great, the weather is perfect. The academy however is the hardest thing I've ever done. Average age is 28. I'm the baby of the group but I'm one of the leaders. I am a platoon seargent leading nine other grown adults. If you were to tell me last year, that most of the lessons from that leadership class was to resurface again later in life I'd say yeah right! It's all about leading with class and getting everyone to rely on each other. I'm glad I had the experience of leading prior to this because it definitely makes life a lot easier.

I pretty much relate this whole academy experience to being an athlete back in college but with a lot harsher coaches. The staff place a huge amount of stress on us everyday for the fact that they want us to be able to think on our feet and not react to the stressors in front of us. There are nights that I get only a few hours of sleep due to writing "positive reinforcement" reports or studying for the next day's activities. Our physical training everyday is some of the hardest exercise I've experienced. We do some things that place so much pain in my muscles that
the only thing that gets me through it is knowing I have left far more blood and sweat in that pool in Kenosha than I will ever leave here on the PT Field. I've gained 7.5 lbs since the academy started, due to the large amount of push ups done every week. You want the guys to stay in shape for the off season just tell them to do a boot camp for the summer.

This past Friday was pepper spray day. It sucked, I'm convinced that pepper spray is actually the devil's spit. My eyes did not feel better until a day later. After I got sprayed it didn't set in until I was half way through beating a pad with my baton. We had to go through an obstacle course which comprised of staff coming at us with pads and we were SUPPOSED to fight them off, as well as do some thinking stations where we answered various law questions. But of course the feeling that your eyes are melting makes it a lot harder than it sounds. I did well minus the whole burn thing, I actually unknowingly did some martial arts that I have not thought about in since dryland about six years ago. Its amazing what happens when put in a "fecal matter on a rotating fan" situation. Your body just goes into auto pilot and you think about what you do and say later.

Well its time to get back to the books. Tell the guys to keep working hard and swimming fast. I'll be cheering for them out here in the desert.

Take care,

To quote freshman Bob Pellican "Child's Play". (Bob said that after just about every set on training trip.

Happy New Year. Hopefully I'll be watching the Huskers around this time next year.



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