For many people, there are obvious benefits to being stronger and having more endurance when it comes to performing and accomplishing their jobs…at the very least, with greater ease.
For James, staying in great shape is pretty much a necessity that comes with a life and career as a law enforcement officer.
Still, just about everyone can benefit from the stress relief, health benefits and confidence that is gained from being physically fit. James sums this up almost poetically with his final statement of this Q&A.
How does working out affect your career as a police officer?
There is a lot of continuing training that is done to ensure we are ready for anything we encounter out on the streets. Working out is not different than the official training we receive (in the academy). Being in shape affects every aspect of the job, from the confidence that will keep you out of a fight, to actually helping you win in the event that a fight is unavoidable.
Over the course of your career, which type of workouts have you found most effective?
I do a lot of weight lifting at a quick pace. I superset almost everything I do. I like to keep my heart rate up even if I’m just lifting. Cardio is probably the most important aspect of being prepared for a job in law enforcement…I just hate running!
Can you tell us how the style of workouts that you mentioned help you ‘on the job,’ so to speak?
I think it’s fairly obvious, even if you only watch cops on TV, that cardio is paramount in my job. It’s all good to be muscular and strong, but if you chase someone—and can’t breathe after you catch them—you’re gonna’ have a bad time, and things are not going to work out to your advantage.
On the other hand, you need to be able to run to be effective. However, you also don’t want to run after the bad guy, catch him, and then get beat up because you’re too weak. You really need to be well rounded in this job.
Have you ever had to chase someone?
I haven’t really had any long foot pursuits in my career. I have had several short foot pursuits. I like to think my appearance of being in shape has discouraged some people from running away from me…but who really knows.
Your job comes with an understandably high amount of stress and intense situations, does working out help you cope with the stress?
Absolutely! Working out is an incredible stress reliever. If I didn’t work out I don’t know how I’d cope. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse is a common method of coping with stress in law enforcement. Working out is a much healthier way to cope.
How does working out or not working out affect your confidence?
Working out has given me a tremendous amount of confidence. I can honestly say I would not be in the career I have today, if I had not made working out a priority in my life. You should always prepare for the life you want, even if you can’t yet see the finish line. But when the time comes, you better be ready to walk through that door.
You mentioned that working out has always been a part of your lifestyle, why is it important?
I really have never encountered any scenario in my life where I thought to myself, “Boy, I wish I wasn’t in such good shape.” It just doesn’t happen. It’s always better, in almost every scenario in life, to be physically fit.
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