FIT@50 \ week 9
Signs and wonders:
As I’ve matured, leaning on faith has become something on which I focus. Wishing I could say it came easy wouldn’t be the truth. I think it’s a by-product of occupational conditioning. Cops assume everything someone says is naturally not the truth until proven otherwise.
Skepticism requires a difficult deprogramming process, but is necessary for learning to trust others. The bible talks about reliance upon signs and wonders versus leaning on faith.
As I’ve learned in my FIT@50, some signs are good, even amazing. I had my post thought out earlier this week until I received a sign (actually it was an e-mail.) It changed everything. The simple words have given me joy all day.
I replied to the sender and said her e-mail was possibly one of the all-time favorite messages I’ve ever received. Why? Because it was a simple, selfless message sent out of sincere gratitude over a minimal gesture.
Sometimes signs are good.
FIT@50 \ week 5
Talking with a newly promoted commander I encouraged him to consider how he wanted to be remembered. “Think about building your legacy today,” I said, “not on your deathbed.”
He leapt to his feet and shared a movie scene he felt applied. Warring kings agreed to have their respective champions fight in their place. King A calls a giant, menacing soldier. King B calls a guy—who’d decided to sleep in that morning.
An apprentice was dispatched to retrieve him. The frightened boy told of King A’s mighty champion and confessed he’d be afraid to fight the giant.
King B’s warrior looked at the naïve and said, “That’s why no one will ever remember your name.”
Achilles entered the arena to slay King A’s giant. While today we associate the name with a tendon, in fact Achilles is remembered as the greatest warrior of Homer’s Iliad.
Looking at this picture from earlier in the month, I see warriors in various stages of battle. All have faced giants and insurmountable opponents regardless the years served. Each will be remembered for taking a stand on the side of human justice. And that’s an honorable legacy.
FIT@50 \ week 4:
1 hour –
I was feeling a bit omniscient this week as my 25th year in law enforcement roared around. Sharing a few old stories with the guys helped me reflect on how incredibly different my life had turned out.
Our historical journey migrated to a generational generalization. You know the one about, “kids now a days…” Seems the moment 8 hours of accrued leave is earned, some employees miraculously become ill for precisely 8 hours.
Just then a commander interrupted. He shared the story of an officer who asked permission for 1 hour off to attend a doctor’s appointment. This senior officer’s eyes turned glassy, red and he dropped his face.
“This guy’s fighting for his life, and he asks permission to take 1 hour for the doctor.” I understood his emotion. Officer Paul Thibodeaux who suffers with Cystic Fibrosis has blessed us all. He needs a double lung transplant to survive.
His passion to live his dream of being a police officer is so incredibly intense, that he humbly asks permission for 1 hour away from that commitment to serve. Being fit at any age includes seeing the “amazing” in others – This young man inspires me.
1 Hour – Just imagine if we all shared that commitment.
It’s My Anniversary:
This has been a banner year for me. Within weeks of celebrating my 50th birthday, I’m now blessed with my 25th Anniversary.
This is the date I answered the call, and the lifelong desire to serve became reality. It’s the day I became part of another, much bigger family that didn’t always share with my first one. It was the year I first gained new brothers and sisters, and became part of something mystical called the Blue.
My Anniversary also means more than seniority or experience. The significance of loss through line of duty deaths emblazons the significance of being blessed with surviving yet another year on the Job. The experiences (amazing and horrific) over 25 years are almost unimaginable, but the sacrifices are noble when offered with a sincere heart.
Would I do it again? Yes—it’s an honor to serve you.
FIT@50 \ week 3
Empathy: It’s okay to care.
No matter how “fit” I’ve become, minding my own business has always been my business. During the many years in special operations my job was to know other’s secrets. I was good at my job.
Knowing the darkest moments in another person’s life is a cross of confidentiality I understood I’d carry to my grave. Over the years it might have even caused me to construct a wall around my empathetic understanding.
During a church service I looked around and saw people. I mean really saw people. I began to sense their hurt, their grief and their concerns. My immediate reaction was to mind my own business.
The difference was God placed them on my heart. They’d become my business. Without knowing their names or their “secrets,” I sensed connections with them. I began to pray for people I knew only by God placing their situations on my heart.
I didn’t have to get in their business and for certain sake, didn’t spread their business. I simply asked God to handle their business—Empathy.
FIT@50 \ week 2
Finding this picture earlier I thought about how much better shape I was then than now. Behind my computer the adrenaline returned to re-experience the rush. I still sensed the empty state of exhaustion after having completed an open water swim and a long bike, to only prepare for a long run.
Then I took a deep breath, hit “save” on this document and looked at the picture of me. In that chaotic ocean of nylon, Velcro and carbon fiber—it was just me—alone.
It was okay. I’d been alone (single) about 20 years. I never stressed or caved to the naysayers who delighted in prophesying, “You’ll be old and alone one day, you better settle.”
After nearly two decades, I finally did something I was fearful to even whisper, “God, please bring me a mate.”
Funny thing is, when you have peace you don’t feel alone or when the time comes you’re no longer alone you don’t receive notification emails. You just aren’t anymore.
This week’s FIT@50 isn’t about finding love—it’s more important. It’s about having peace with yourself. Don’t settle – for anything.
Who am I kidding, this Friday series has helped me journal a path from what I thought was important to what I know is important. I’ve enjoyed it and not ready for it to end. Although the name is changing appropriately enough from FITx50 to FIT@50.
I’ll share that when I began the Friday posts my goal was to exercise like a teenager leading up to his prom night. On the big birthday I’d rip open my shirt to expose a 6-pack of carb-free abs (kinda).
What ripped open instead was my heart, and the reality that being fit meant so much more than physical prowess. I’ve been blessed with family, friends and a maturity to embrace the life God’s graced.
This is me out back on my birthday. No big trips, cross-country bike rides, parachuting or bull-fighting. Just a great afternoon before an amazing evening reflecting over the joys and sorrows of 50 years – LIFE.
I’d appreciate you sticking with me, and would love to reach out to you who have wonderful lessons to share for the good of the order. Who knows, maybe once Liliana Hart makes me eat healthy at home I will don a rocking set of rib muscles!