Are You a Warrior, Protector or Liability?
Since I began my journey of becoming That Guy, I’ve taken notice of many LAPD cops and LASD deputies out on the street that fall into the overweight and even obese category. I know a lot of cops, ex-cops and retired cops, and military guys and gals out there who CCW daily and think of themselves as protectors. Many of us think if the SHTF in front of us we would be willing (and able) to swing into action as we did at 25, snatch up the bad guy and save the day!
But can we? As for my retired compadres, well, most know they are not the sheepdog they once were, but are more than willing to simply dismiss that fact and hang onto the unrealistic expectations in their head about how they may actually be able to perform in an emergency situation. It’s a long-known fact that, when the SHTF, we do not rise to our highest level of expectation, but we rise to our lowest level of training.
Many say or may think, “look, I’ve done my time, I paid my dues, I deserve the life I live now. I don’t plan to get involved in anything unless it involves a direct threat to me or my family.” But that is exactly the point; the people you love the most may need you in the most dangerous situation of their lives, to be able to perform under stress no matter your age, whether you’re armed or not, or whether you’re retired. Yet, in many of the social media cop groups, I see post after post about how retired guys don’t get the respect they believe they are due from the current batch of young officers (feeling left out of the Brotherhood) or bragging about how they would come to the aid of an officer they see fighting with a suspect on the street. Then you check their profile picture and see they would likely be more of a liability than an asset because they are overweight or obese. The interesting thing about men is, that no matter how old we are, we always “feel” like we’re twenty-five, even in old age! I remember my 80-something father in the car with me before he passed, and saw a driver make a crazy and unsafe lane change in front of us. My dad said, “look at that asshole.” My dad took a long pause as he contemplated what he thought he could do, then said, “I would kick his ass [for driving like an a-hole]!” I smiled thinking, c’mon Pop, at 80 something, umm, you’re not kicking anyone’s ass. He still felt (at 80 something) the way he did when as a young paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division in the 1950’s. Expecting to be recognized by current law enforcement officers after you leave the job (for whatever reason) is not realistic, especially if you’ve allowed yourself to become overweight and unhealthy. I remember walking into Pacific Station with a retired detective who was a legend in that division, working with me as a licensed private investigator. When no one in the station recognized him, and his fellow detectives still working didn’t seem interested in talking to him, I could see the sadness on his face. I’ve found what David Goggins, retired Navy SEAL, and endurance athlete, said about living in the past to be true in the law enforcement/military community. Goggins said most people become theorists, that is, they can only talk about what they once were or what they once did, but do not talk about what they are currently doing because they are mostly doing nothing to maintain their fitness level, firearms proficiency, or healthy lifestyle. Goggins said he wants to be a practitioner, currently working on himself, and not a theorist living in the past, telling stories. That is my new journey. As a state licensed investigator with CCW, I work daily in what is known as LAPD South Bureau area, from Watts to Compton, Montebello to Gardena, I work for a government contractor that provides low-income housing.
I mostly work alone, and since the George Floyd riots of 2020, I’ve seen increased crime and aggressive driving everywhere I go. Many folks in South L.A. are smoking marijuana as they walk through the community, or while they are speeding around the city, and many are talking or arguing on their cell phone as they drive not paying attention to the road. I’ve written previous blog posts about how I became fat, dumb, and lazy during the “pandemic,” however, in June 2022, I decided I didn’t want to be a liability to myself, or my family should the need arise. I want to be an asset, whether I’m armed or unarmed and the only way to be that is to change everything. And, while I don’t plan to become involved in police matters, I would step in to help an officer if it is safe to do so, and I not be mistaken for a suspect! When I began experimenting with intermittent fasting in 2019 and lost 30 pounds in four months, I mistakenly thought I could eat anything I want! Further, I also believed that since I practiced eating one meal a day (OMAD), I didn’t need to exercise or make any major adjustments to my food intake or eating patterns on weekends. Again, I was wrong. As I’ve noted in previous blog posts, I began my own fitness reboot in June 2022, weighing in at 192 pounds, at approx. 27% body fat. As of 9/14/2022, I weigh in at 174 pounds, and although I haven’t measured body fat yet, it is reduced as well. The weight loss was pretty fast and not that difficult, however, more importantly, my metabolic measurements are changing for the better!
My blood pressure which was hovering around 140/over 80 something with medication, has dropped to anywhere between 110/70 to 126/74. I fully expect to be taken off blood pressure medication (only 5 mgs) in the coming months. My morning blood glucose levels are low, and my body’s state of ketosis is excellent, meaning that not only is my body burning fat during my fasting period (1830 hrs–1700 hrs the next day-approx 22.5 hrs), but my body is also burning fat while I sleep, repairing cells damaged by years of poor diet, being overweight, inflammation, and high blood sugar levels from carbohydrates. I had a friend, and recently retired cop tell me, “Gil, most guys your age have given up,” referring to my new training evolution. The law enforcement community is near and dear to my heart, and if you are a current or retired protector, I encourage you to become a practitioner. Whatever we did or didn’t do in the past is gone, we now have this day to try to become the best versions of ourselves for our families, for ourselves, and for the profession. # # #