Today’s Motivational Post comes from Bryan. He is a long time member at Mission CrossFit and last year received his CrossFit level 1 coaching certificate. Bryan is also a Police Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Last Sunday I was standing in the sun on Orange Ave. south of Hollywood Blvd. I was leaning against my black and white police vehicle watching the runners in the LA Marathon going by. To my surprise several runners went out of their way to approach my partner and I to say, “Thank you for your service.” I was very appreciative of the runners that took the time to go out of the way to thank us—It’s not something we hear very often. It wasn’t easy for them, as we were just before mile marker 12, and most of these people were definitely feeling the stress of the long run they were in the middle of.
While working the LA Marathon is a relatively easy day compared to my normal work week, it was a particularly long week for us. While driving into work the Friday before, I received a text message. My old partner told me that Officer Nick Lee was in a traffic accident and passed away at the scene.
I worked with Nick at the LAPD Hollywood Division. While I didn’t know him very well, I spoke to him several times over the years and responded to several radio calls with him. I soon learned that they were responding to a radio call code 3 (lights and sirens) going uphill when a big rig’s brakes gave out while it was driving downhill. Upon seeing the big rig Nick turned his car to the right before the big rig literally ran over the police car. By turning the car to the right Nick saved his partner’s life.
Every police officer remembers their first time placing handcuffs on a suspect, their first time flying through traffic code 3, and their first time chasing a suspect down. I still remember the first time driving downtown by myself in a black and white, and how it felt like I was in a movie. It’s amazing to see how everyone’s tone changes when we walk into a room or how much traffic slows down when we get onto the freeway. It’s only natural to go to work and to feel invincible when we put on our uniform. Then reality hits.
Every once in a while we lose one of our own in the line of duty. Even if you don’t know that officer very well it still bothers you. You start to think about how that could be your wife and kids crying next to the casket at the funeral. It’s a humbling experience; it feels like your entire life could be turned upside down at anytime. The hardest part is wearing the uniform when you feel emotionally distressed. While we are wearing it we are the leaders, the ones people look at to solve their problems, and we cannot let our emotions affect our jobs. In the public’s point of view we are robots that have to do everything perfect without any mistakes. We aren’t allowed to have days that we are not at our best.
The reality is we are normal people like you. We have families and children, and go to the same malls and grocery stores, protecting you even when we are off duty. Most of us get into this line of work because we ultimately wanted to help the community, normally by locking up the ones that terrorize it. When we get that radio call where someone is calling 911 for help we never know what is going to be on the other side. Nick in his last moments was responding to a 911 call in order to help someone. Unfortunately for him he never made it there, but he died trying to ultimately help someone in need.
I asked Justin to do a Hero WOD “Randy” today. “Randy” was for another fallen LAPD officer named Randy Simmons. He was a SWAT Officer that was shot in the line of duty in 2008. He was the last LAPD officer to fall in the line of duty.
We do this Hero WOD to honor the fallen that have sacrificed their lives so that we may live ours in peace.”
Thank You Bryan for sharing your thoughts and feelings with your Mission CrossFit Family. While Police Officers know the risk of their jobs it always rocks us to our very core when we lose one in the Line of Duty. I went to Officer Randy Simmons funeral in 2008 and it changed my life. Officer Simmons was a committed Officer but even more committed to his family and his community.
Get More Awesome: Tabata Flutter Kicks (You guys seem to enjoy this so much last week)