FIT@50 / week 76

FIT@50 / week 76
Not There:

I’m prompting Max to prep for bed. While it takes a little longer, he eventually gets there. I finally warned him with a stern wag of my finger to wrap up the tub time. I came back in his bathroom after sorting his school clothes and he had a head of hair slathered with Old Spice body wash.

I grunted, “No. Not there.”

He proudly continued to rub it over his head. It never registered with him that what he was using was body wash and not shampoo.

“See.” He proudly held a bright yellow hand towel up and ran it through his hair to rinse it. “I wash.”

I dropped to my knees next to the tub in half prayer / half guilt for over reacting to the infamous Old Spice mix up. The thing was, it wasn’t a mix up, and it wasn’t a big deal. It was Max doing his best on his own to scrub up for another day at school. He was not only proud of his accomplishment, but also boasted a savory scent of grandfatherly masculinity.

After he was tucked in and off to sleep, I joined Liliana Hart in the living room to catch up on writing. I began to think about what I said to him, “Not there.” With my one year anniversary of my retirement as Chief of Police, I mused over that comment.

What if I’d listened to that same comment at times in my life? Admittedly, there were occasions that I should’ve known and heeded the warning, but we’ll save those for another less-public forum. I’m talking about people in your path, that for the sake of conformity or custom, tried to divert your direction in life.

What if I listened to the “voice of reason” when I wanted to enroll in graduate school in my forties after having been away from college for twenty years. What if I listened to the “friends” who thought I should’ve stayed in my position before becoming Chief of Police because it was safe and protected. What if I listened to a room full of “detractors” laughing at my first attempt to publish a book, and not because of the content, but that I’d dedicated it to my best friend who had always encouraged me during graduate school although he’d dropped out in eighth grade.

Finally, what if I listened to myself when God said it was time to retire. He didn’t mince words. It was clear, but I rationalized by looking at retirement and saying,
‘Not there,” for almost a year. What if He’d listened to me and said, “Okay, you’re on your own.”

While there are wonderful people offering wise counsel, do yourself a favor and weigh what they have to offer by what is right, what is important and what is yours. Even if the person you should ignore is you.

Being FIT@50 means I get to sit here in peace without the world’s problems being my problems, and Max gets to go to class with magnificent smelling hair.

Do Good,
Scott
Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

FIT@50 / week 75

FIT@50 / week 75

Just Look Up:

I was back in the pool this week. It was incredible, and although the skills had diminished over a few years, I was still able to comfortably crank out laps. Except for when I crashed into Liliana Hart because she decided to stop and fix her hair in the middle of a lane. Though I think it was on purpose for both of us. I’m going to do a short-course triathlon later this year with our 14 year old daughter, and needed to get back to my own training to teach her.

If Michael Phelps and USA Swimming inspired me to do anything recently, it was to enjoy the training and fun of swimming, and to never be ignorant enough to make up a story about being robbed by cops.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I was always weary of water. No, not drinking water or bath water, but big bodies of open water. Sure the movie Jaws contributed to it too, but other than the dog paddle or treading water, I swam like a block of led.

Therein lied the dilemma. For many years, I thought about completing a triathlon, but since swimming was like the first one-third of the event, there weren’t many ways of getting around it. And unlike the one person who actually walked on it, I wasn’t getting away without swimming through it.

Something about having nothing to touch just below both feet while my body tentatively bobbed atop shifting currents bothered the bejesus out of me. I wasn’t going to be limited by this fear. So, I did what any motivated person would do. I YouTube it, and then I bought a book on swimming.

I began swimming before and after grad school classes and work in nice four foot deep lap lanes. I was able to breaststroke over one mile without stopping, so I entered my first triathlon. Guess what? Whitecaps, other swimmers and a pool-only breaststroke resulted in near open water disaster. But I lived to bike and run and was hooked.

I had great friends teach me but the freestyle swim stroke still eluded me. I dedicated one year to swimming four to six days a week. One night in a YMCA pool, I grew agitated and slapped the water in defeat.

My training partner asked what was bothering me. I confessed that while I could do the technique, I still couldn’t rotate to catch a breath. I’d panic, or swim with my face buried until lifting my head for air while both legs sunk and stopped my forward motion. I’d read the books, watched the videos and practiced, but I still had that gnawing fear reminding me that if I stopped, or grew tired or sucked in water instead of air, that I’d find myself where the deep, dark waters waited.

All I ever focused on was what was below. My friend asked what did it matter how deep the water was? We’re up here on the surface. Then he pointed to a pipe running across the ceiling’s peak. He said when you need to rotate for air, just look up.

That night I swam two miles without a single break. I did it freestyle the entire time, and had a blast skimming across the surface while rhythmically doing what I should’ve been doing all along – Looking Up.

Being FIT@50 has taught me that even the things we may want most can have the potential for adversely focusing our attention on the deep, dark negatives of obtaining the goal. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly reminder to Look Up.

Do Good,

Scott

Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

FIT@50 / week 74

FIT@50 / week 74

Let Your Word Be Your Bond

Liliana Hart posted something this week that really hit home. I like to share lessons learned from boyhood. My dad wasn’t a talkative man, but when he did, his words were considered carefully and held the weight with which delivered.

It’s an embedded core value. I had a practice with every command position I held, including Chief of Police. I made two promises to everyone I supervised. First, I’d never curse them. Second, I’d never lie to them.

You’d think that would be a given in life, but unfortunately, it isn’t always true. Too often people feel a need to placate others, even at the expense of the truth. Maybe it’s not technically a lie in their eyes, but the slanted reality never serves anything other than an escape hatch away from responsibility.

As a young officer, my zeal to enforce the law caused a lapse in protocol. The Sheriff came into my office, which usually signaled trouble—big trouble. I saw the seething just below his surface, and with good reason. I think we’d stuffed thirty something drug dealers into three small holding cells while we continued an arrest operation.

“I’m sorry. It’s my fault,” were the most sincere words I’d spoken up to that point in my career. I watched the red drain back below his collar until a natural pallor returned. When I said I messed up, I honestly meant it. When I said I was sorry, it was soul deep – I promised to do better and I meant that too. He knew my words were my bond. We shook hands as he walked out. It defined my career.

Integrity extends beyond law enforcement. It should be a cornerstone in the way you treat others. Whether it’s a customer, a criminal or your kid. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Let your word be your bond.

I’ve had to ask and sometimes teeter on begging people, “If you don’t know the answer, just say so.” Giving empty words to spare yourself the blackeye or grazed ego seems to have become a standard social practice.

When and why have some people in business and public service become so fragile in their foundations, that a lie is preferred to earning someone’s trust for truth telling. I thought it was simple, but even giving truthful bad news is better than offering a pretty false picture.

If my dad said we were going to get the belt, you could bank on it that we’d get our little butts spanked. Maybe if customers learned to “spank” unethical practices with their discontinued spending, that false prophets of capitalism would either cease to exist or change their deceptive practices.

Uh, oh – is that the crisp crack of a belt I hear?

Do Good,
Scott

FIT@50 / week 73

FIT@50 / week 73

Kinda Weird:

We came back to Louisiana for a few days while the kids were tucked away at summer camp. There were things left to do right before school resumed. Had it been notebooks and rulers, we would’ve knocked out quick. It was more involved – it’s always more involved.

Thanks to an unscrupulous builder (much more on that later) we’ve no base camp with Max heading back to the grind next week. With the helpfulness of our community, finding digs was no problem.

For now, Liliana Hart and I are checked into a hotel. It’s nice, but it’s a local hotel. One night we decided to walk across the parking lot to the Sonic for a snack. A big cup of ice cream type of snack.

It was super humid with the stale scent of impending rain wafting through a windy night. I walked to the big order screen and mashed that iconic red button. Soon we were recipients of late-night goodies.

As I looked around the parking lot, it fell over me like a moist sheep’s skin just out of the microwave – Reality.

“You know, it’s kinda weird.” I mused.

“What’s that?” Liliana replied with the expectation of never knowing what I’m about to say.

“It wasn’t long ago that I was the Chief of Police here. Now, I’m living in a hotel room and walking across a vacant parking lot for ice cream.”

She huffed, “True. I bet people would think, man, the Chief fell on hard times.”

Walking back while wishing I’d worn a tugged down baseball cap, I thought about how different my life is versus the way it recently was. Then I thought about why it mattered if people saw me walking back to a hotel room in my own home town. I was with my wife after all.

About half way through the rain puddled parking lot, and just as I fished out the last pieces of Snickers topping my ice cream, the realization returned.

I really didn’t care.

I was in a city I love, with the woman I love, eating the snack I love. Matter of fact, even the late summer’s humidity was nice to soak in once again as we kicked through warm rain water.

Come to think of it, it really doesn’t matter who you were or what you did or where you did it. What really matters is that you did your best while doing it, and now you get to enjoy life because of the effort once given. Even if it means walking from your hotel room to push the red Sonic button.

Do Good,

Scott

Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

NOTE: If you like my posts, please make sure to Like, Comment or Share them.

Sergeant Joe Boxer Wants You

FAST Beta Cover

Sergeant Joe Boxer Wants You:
 
Are you a thriller fan? Willing to give honest opinions to help make this novel a great read? Sign up for your Free beta ebook. Only obligations are filling out a short survey, AND keeping the work confidential.
The TEAM:
I’ve got an amazing pre-published team of readers. I’m opening the Team for a few more Beta Readers. You get a first read at my in progress novel – FAST: A Joe Boxer Thriller.
Special Access:
Also, as a member of the team, you have first access to each book in the series – just click and BAM, you’re covering down over Sergeant Joe Boxer’s 6 as he defends America.
JUST THE FACTS:
Former United States Army Green Beret, Joe Boxer, is part of a little known specialized tactical unit in the DEA. This American hero not only lost his leg in Middle Eastern combat, but also his partner at the hands of a corrupt puppet regime placed in power by soiled American interests. Boxer is now forced to lead the fight against domestic terrorism in a war he never imagined he’d fight on US soil.
This blue-collar American veteran wants vindication for his friend’s murder. Joe Boxer struggles with an amputee’s challenge, but doesn’t succumb to it as he battles his way onto DEA’s elite FAST Team 5 in hopes of returning to the Middle East for exacting revenge. Boxer is challenged to overcome PTSD’s horror of combat, the addiction of pain management medications post-op, and learning that he’s still very much the man he was prior to the roadside bomb that claimed his leg.

Lifting These Officers Up

13321003_1469799193-1648

Please Help Lift These Officers Up:

Writers – I’ve never hesitated or asked for anything in return for helping you out with questions or explanations about police work, or any topic you may have needed to make sure your novels are amazing. Now, I am asking you to help a dear friend and fellow officer as Courtney fights for her life.

Readers & Friends – In the same respect, I’ve only, always been completely open with you, and enjoy the connections. If you know anything about me, it’s that I keep very few friends very close to me. Courtney’s husband, Pre worked with me in SWAT for years and is one of the people I trust with everything in this life.

Liliana Hart and I have committed ourselves to them, and we ask for your help. While I know they’d both be embarrassed by this post, I don’t really care. I love them both dearly and I’ll do whatever it takes to bring them peace while they fight the courageous fight.

I borrowed their story to share with you. Please Help Out:

Courtney Curole Prevost is a mother, wife, a daughter, a law enforcement officer, a leukemia survivor, and a friend. Courtney was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia on Easter of 2015.

She fought. Not only to get through chemotherapy but to get back to her children, her husband and fellow law enforcement officer, Todd, and her passion, law enforcement. Courtney beat Leukemia once. And now she is doing it again.

She relapsed. The Leukemia is back. And she is beginning the fight all over again. She is away from her children for the foreseeable future as she now requires a bone marrow transplant after the completion of chemotherapy.

Courtney, Todd and their three children need us to lighten their burden. Todd, a veteran law enforcement officer, has already begun steps to start a second job for additional income to supplement the loss of Courtney’s. This is a hard working couple who love their children, love their community, and love each other. Neither have ever asked for handouts.

Any donations will cover expenses that would otherwise be uncovered due to the loss of Courtney’s income. But more importantly, any donation will ease Courtney’s fears of burdening her young family and will allow Todd to be present for his children as they enter the next year without their mother at home.
https://www.gofundme.com/2h4246vw

FIT@50 / week 72

FIT@50 / week 72
Release, Relief, Renew:

Talk about a week for the books. This has been one emotional roller coaster for Liliana Hart and I. Maybe more like that ride that spins and you’re in a tea cup until you vomit. No, that’s not the ride. I really don’t know much about rides because they scare me. The same way Liliana scares me the week of a new novel.

We survived the release of her 47th title on Tuesday. Barely.

We cut our European adventure short to head home for catching up on lots of work. Instead, we discovered why we travel so much. It really stinks not having the kids at home. Sure it’s quiet, and we can stay up or sleep as we wish. There are no house chores or responsibilities other than paying the yard guy with exact cash.

As fate would have it, we scored an early return of four kids, and meandered through a series of cancelled and delayed flights to round out the team with Max. Who would’ve imagined it last week, but the band was back together.

Within the context of our crew, we focus on doing things with one or two of the kids in one-on-one activities. I risked personal safety by asking the 14 year old if she wanted a driving lesson. Before I could finish asking, she’d thrown on both sneakers and was down stairs waiting by the door. I wish she moved like that for Sunday morning church.

I’ll admit, not having had a daughter, I’m kind of at a loss around the two girls. We really had a great time. She, because she was driving, and me because I was alive. I also kicked it with the little dudes almost every day this week by running errands and an orthodontist visit.

There’s something about making decisions when it’s not your mouth stretched open with metal extractors. But, I either approved more dental work, offered the staff tickets to a Rangers’ baseball game, or put the youngest on the market for adoption. I told them Liliana would call later to straighten things out. Three days later and a van keeps driving by the house playing nursery rhymes. She’d better call quick—I’ll miss that little dude.

Finally, tonight all four of us guys headed to Gateway Grand Prairie church for their Top Gun themed men’s night out. Zip lines, dessert trucks, volleyball and a worship session that began with guitars ripping on the movie’s soundtrack. Now that’s church. We high-fived and ate ice cream until it was time to drag it on home. Totally exhausted is the way to end a Top Gun night. Funny part was when I snarled, “Yeah, Top Gun” and they all shrugged while waiting for more ice cream. They’ll learn about Maverick one day.

Reflecting on this week, I cherish the moments that have made it so special, but I dread admitting the reality. Truth is, this is our last week of summer all together. Max goes back to school on the 8th and the others head off to a camp all week.

Liliana and I joke about how nice it is while they’re in school. We get so much more work done that way. What I’ve learned getting FIT@50 is that it isn’t about the work produced but the family moments created. I am thankful for a week that included a major book launch, early returns of the kids and surviving driving school. The landscape will look drastically different next week, but no worries. Faith says push forward, and push forward we shall do.

Until next week, “I feel the need. The need for speed.”

Do Good,
Scott Silverii

 In case you missed last week, here you go. Remember to please visit and like my Facebook page for updates