Weighty Matters

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Not Too Old

on October 14, 2013

Yesterday a friend and I volunteered to be role-players in the Sheriff’s Office’s active shooter simulation training sessions. Held at the high school, the scenarios were devised for law enforcement to respond to a call of shots fired. My friend and I portrayed teachers. The training captain instructed us to make things as difficult and stressful for the responding officers as possible. We needed to be scared, loud and yelling at them to help us and the wounded students. The training team arranged the room and, let me tell you, they did a great job. The wounds and blood on the “students” might have been fake but when you walked into the room and saw the people lying on the floor or propped against the wall, it looked like realistic carnage.

I embraced my instructions and threw myself into the performance. Friends, in the words of the deputy who was the first responder in the first drill, I was a world class pain in the ass. (And proud of it.) He said it with great admiration after the drill was over. πŸ™‚

On the second drill, the responders were all senior personnel and very old school. I was successful at stressing out the earlier deputy. These captains did not stress in the same way. When they got to the door of the room and I started screaming at them to help us, please help us, they tried to guide me out of the room and out of their way so they could continue in after the shooter. As earlier directed by the training captain, I resisted and screamed at them that I wouldn’t go because I had students who were injured and hiding.

Folks, two of those captains grabbed me, hauled me through the door and put me on the ground in no time flat. It was intense. The officers stepped over me and went after the shooter. I checked the scrape and bruise on my elbow and went back into the room to resume my performance.

In talking to one of the training team, who asked if I was okay, I joked that I might feel it a little more a little later. He assured me that I would, probably as soon as I came down off of the adrenalin high. Yes, my adrenalin was pumping right at the moment. Later that evening, I admit that my muscles were a little sore and an ice pack on my bad knee felt really good. The thought crossed my mind that some would question why the hell I volunteered for this activity at my age. I had this little epiphany when I thought that I hope to never again say in my life, “I’m too old for this.”

I had a blast running around and acting my part. It was exciting, fun, and I was part of an important service to the community. The Sheriff’s Office runs these drills because this isn’t something that the personnel can adequately train for in the classroom. Participating in the simulation puts them as close to real situations and events as they can get. Did I experience some aches and soreness? Yes, but my ability to bounce back has greatly improved. A few ibuprofen and a nice hot shower put me to rights. Clearly I wasn’t compromised since the dogs got walked twice today and I took a six mile bike ride.

I’ve decided that “too old for this” is more about attitude, at least at this time of my life. If I don’t think I am, then I’m not. I’m going to embrace the “can do” as much as possible moving forward and keep involving myself in whatever activities I think I’ll enjoy — with the emphasis on the “active” part of activity.

I’ve already volunteered for the next simulation training, whenever it might be.

3 responses to “Not Too Old

  1. Hope says:

    It sounds like the department veterans aren’t too old for it… they’ve only gotten better at it with time!

    I think I would be really good at any exercise that involves being a pain in the ass. πŸ˜‰

  2. Wow, Marykins! As usual.. I am proud of you.. I am in awe of you.. I am constantly inspired by you and so glad you are in my life! That was really cool. And important.

  3. Skye says:

    I think that is so great! It makes sense that they would need to do these simulations and I’m so proud that you volunteered to take part.

    I’m trying to restrict my saying “I’m too old for this” to fashion. As I said to my girlfriend as we took clothing to try on this weekend, “Do you remember when we thought we would shop in the juniors section forever?”

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