T Nation

What I'm Up To


Hello.! To those of you who know me around here, here's how I've been training lately. I'm still teaching Krav, but I had to stop for the time I'm at the academy. This is a little essay I wrote on my blog about a recent experience. It's kind of long for this forum.

On Abject Terror
I usually edit these posts to within an inch of their lives, but I'm so pressed for time I'm just jamming this out, so good luck to me...

I've joined the 64th cadet class of corrections officers at the Travis County Sheriff's Dept. It's been a wild ride so far & I'm completely overwhelmed.

But what I want to tell you about is an experience I had at the end of class today. We do some sort of PT (physical training) every day. This might be running, calisthenics, etc. Today we did the big obstacle course. Not the one I qualified on. The big one.

The big one that seems to confront every physical weakness and phobia I have. And I don't have many, so it was particularly diabolical. First we had to weave ourselves over and under a bunch of large horizontal pipes that were high enough off the ground for me to need to step on something to get on it. Exhausting and very scary. So scary that I was shaking by the end of it, because the damn pipes just kept getting higher. My teammates helped by literally pushing me sometimes.

We did other scary stuff that all required excellent grip strength and upper body strength. I don't have that stuff. So then I was REALLY shaking. Next we had to jump over some walls. Now I'm not good at that, but my friend Matt taught me how to do it, so I thought I'd be fine. NO. With so much adrenaline coursing through me I tripped at the top & slammed face first into the ground. Shaking harder now...the little intermediate wall, I don't know what the hell it's doing there, it's only 2 feet tall (seriously) but my body was shutting down so - you guessed it - I tripped & fell on my face again. I wish you could have seen the look of disbelief on my instructor's face. Strangely, the 3rd wall was not problem.

Then we crossed other hideous obstacles. If they were high off the ground I shook uncontrollably & did it slowly or with assistance or both. If they were not high off the ground I was totally fine.

Then I faced my arch-enemy. The rope wall. Just climb this little 20-ish foot wall, clamber over the log at the top & clamber down. I have never ascended 3 feet up a rope wall, and it's not for lack of trying (net wall? I don't know, it's a net made of rope).

The instructor said we didn't have to do it if we didn't want to (we were already well past time to go home & I think he thought I might be having a stroke), but that just made me more determined. Because I am stupid. So I climbed up, got to the top and froze. I mean I froze in terror. Not like "no one is going to ask me to the prom" terror, but "if I fuck this up I'm going die or spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair" terror. My instructor was up there, too, trying to talk me while I just clutched the log like a baby monkey murmuring "ohGod-ohGod-ohGod".

So he asked me, "do you feel confident?" My hands were occupied so I couldn't choke him.

"No, I do not feel confident!" He told me to go back down the way I came. This did not compute. No way.

The other instructor grinned at me from the ground & said, "hey there, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

I thought of something my friend told me once. I won't say here who it is, because it was a private conversation & he said not everyone appreciates hearing it. He told me this: nothing matters. Sounds sad, right? He said in 100 years we'll all be dead & nothing but a distant memory to a very few people. In 300 years no one will ever know we, as individuals, existed. So do what is meaningful to you right now and don't worry about what people think, don't worry about failing. Because it doesn't matter. I find this incredibly liberating.

So when the instructor said that, I heard my friend saying, "It doesn't matter." And I unfroze & let the instructor up there with me talk me through the rest of the exercise. He is a very patient man.

So, I faced my terror. While we stood at attention for the lowering of the flags I was still shaking so hard my teeth were chattering. I have a massive swollen green shin from where I fell at the beginning of the course. I don't don't care, because I faced my terror.

It may not matter, but it matters to me.

Btw, all the other cadets were incredibly supportive & cheered me on. I overheard one guy say to another as I finished my descent, "I think I hear Eye of the Tiger playing in the background". :slight_smile: I like these people.


Congratulations Miss Parker!

If you set your mind to the thing, it can be done. Seriously. I am a big believer in visualizing these things. Picture yourself doing it. By the time it happens you have already done it 10,000 times. You have already been through challenges, you know how to succeed.

Buzz Kill:
You may want to consider sterilizing any BLOG posts or posts in this forum to make it a bit harder to trace you. Facebook/Blogs/forums are great, but PERSEC can be a real concern. If you are going to work corrections you are going to be antagonizing some less than moral people. The reason you will be antagonizing them are that they made their bones being less than moral to PEOPLE.

Thing that excites me:
If you get a job in corrections can I start referring to you as a BOSS, Hack, or Screw?


Robert A


Great Job, Miss Parker, way to see it through. Travis county? I did some drug work in the area. You have some nasty boys down there. Be careful, watch their hands. In the Law Enforcement / Corrections world, you are either predator or prey. Train Hard. Good Luck with your new career.


Thanks, guys. I wasn't sure about putting the name of the agency, so I showed the entry to my instructor & it's going up the chain of command for approval. I offered to take the post down if they wish. The blog has been around for a few years & I've always said what city I'm in & at which studio I teach (because I want people to come train), so I figured I'd take a chance. They're cool with it so far, but I won't do it again, for the reasons that Robert A & Idaho said. I suppose I do really need to start looking at these things differently.

Robert A, down here they call you Miss. But I do love it when men call me BOSS. :slight_smile:

And I will start visualizing, you're absolutely right about that. I've been so shell-shocked this week that it didn't occur to me.


Awesome Miss P! Congratulations. I second what Robert A said about visualization but I know you already have a handle on it.

All the best and Be Safe.


Good job. Way to face the fears and come out on top. I was the oldest in my academy class and some of those O courses can take a real toll. Your course sounds like a real bear. I do not post often but I would like to 2nd what Robert A said about being careful with what you post. The bad guys always seem to find a way to figure out where we live or stay. Good luck in detentions and stay safe.


Thanks, guys!


Ms. P.,

You're not alone. I hate hights. The obstacle course in basic was judgement day for me. Congratulations and well done.