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Week 3: More Firsts

“Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’… Stop!”

Cadets practising cuffing

2005-07-10

Well it didn't take long for me to become ill. Week 3 had barely begun and already I was on Mod-B for a bad cold, which meant no cardio for five days. Unfortunately this meant that I could not get in my daily runs. I actually enjoy running; it's a wonderful stress reliever that generally does not require much brain activity. Other than that, I'm doing just fine. By the end of the week, I was already feeling better and I have no injuries to report (unlike so many others around here), unless of course you count the incident where my gun bit me! Note to self: action slide back, remove fingers and then release the slide!

In other news, I was subjected to my first driving evaluation. Prior to Patrol #1, I was under the impression that I had good driving skills. However, there are a few bad/slack driving habits that I have acquired over the years that need to be modified ever so slightly. For example: those red octagonal signs really require you to stop... completely! The encouraging part is that all of these shortcomings can be rectified with practise, lots and lots of practise.

Also on the optimistic side, I feel that I'm finally starting to get the hang of Drill. I guess it also helps that we now have our regular Drill Sergeant. For a while we had a different one show up for each class, each one scarier than the last. Other things that I am getting accustomed to include wearing the armour and duty belt. I feel less and less like an over-stuffed gorilla that propels itself forward by windmill-motioned arm swinging. But apparently I still need some more practise going around corners. The other day I clipped a corner with my ASP baton and boy did that make a racket! I guess I'm going to have to work on that if I want the element of surprise to work in my favour. Luckily this incident did not involve any type of pain or injury!

While on the subject of pain, we experienced our first Police Defensive Tactics (PDT) class. The expression “No pain, no gain” comes to mind, and speed-cuffing was the technique of the day. I have come to realize that this includes a long list of steps that need to be carried out in a particular sequence, with a certain element of grace and precision. While I find myself catching on fairly quickly, some of the others are about as graceful as a bunch of Clydesdales, and so as a result I am left with little to no feeling in my wrists!

I must admit, even with all the work, requirements and responsibilities, I still seem to enjoy myself, even with the unexpected wrenches that get thrown into the equation. I'll take an example from the middle of the week: everything was going well in regards to my list of things to do. It was all planned and mapped out, what I was going to complete and when, and that's when I got blind-sided. Near the end of the day, each working group was asked to prepare a 30-minute presentation on an assigned topic, and it was due at 08:00 the following morning! Once the feeling of panic and nausea subsided, I re-prioritized, the group got organized and we followed through. It's all part of the true test: commitment, synergy and teamwork. It's just a whirlwind of excitement around here!

On that same note, it's as though I got here yesterday while at the same time, as if I've been here forever. It's likely all part of the weird time paradox that comes with the territory here on planet Depot. I'm already in Week 3, yet the “firsts” for everything keep coming. It seems I should be approaching “seconds” and “thirds”, but it all still appears so foreign and new. I have come to realize that it's about the cumulative Depot experience: coping with the new, and perhaps the unusual.

And on that note, I must retire now, because I realized that I still need to iron my bed!