Monday, September 7, 2009

The W of Becoming an Action Hero

Mission #1 - Pass a Police Fitness Qualification test

By Beaze

7:35 am - This morning all I can smell is victory. With no training I'm going to see where I stand as far as a standard Police fitness test. Yea it's Labor Day. All that means is that it's the perfect day to go put in work son!

It should be no sweat at all frankly...well I live in CA so there is going to be a little sweat. But, I mean, I work out 3 times a week regularly even though I pretty much work a 12 hour day and come home to tired-and-in-need-of-a-well-deserved-break wife, a 9 year old step-son dying to beat me up in video games, a 5 month old teething son and a dog that needs walking so he doesn't color all over our carpet. So, no disrespect to police officers (Some of my closest friends are cops*wink*), but I'm pretty confident I can pass this test flying blind.

Online I found a pretty standard police test to judge myself on.

300 meter run: 59 seconds (though is high school we'd hardly call that time a sprint)
Push-ups: 29 in a minute (the time limits a little intimidating, but I know I can do 30)
Sit-ups: 41 in a minute (I think I use to get 38 in gym class, but I was on honey buns back then)
1.5 mile run: 13:05

Now the run is the tricky part. At the gym I grunt out a 7 minute mile on a treadmill which would leave me 6 minutes to run the other half, no problem. It's put up or shut up time!

10:47 am - My. Body. Hurts.

But lets start from the beginning. So I go to my neighborhood high school track and have to practically climb the fence to get in before I find a gate. Why are these places locked down anyway? Never in the history of mankind have I heard of someone stealing a field. Try to explain why that's in your trunk. You'd have a better chance explaining a body.

I start things off easy. Just a warm up lap. Man...I felt the burn from the f---in' warm up lap! I'm not winded or anything stupid like that, but all I can say is a real lap around the track is equal to 5 minutes on a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical, whatever...easy.

I hit a warm up 300 meters time of 1:26 and the entire lap at 1:51. I'm feeling good. I know I can do that five more times and finish under 12 minutes for the 1.5 mile run and I know I could actually run and hit the 300 meters in less than a minute. This is already a cake walk.

You should see the grin on my face as I stretch. It's like an imaginary crown is on my head. KING FITNESS! I didn't feel like spending $5 on a stop watch, so I just use my cell phone. No it's not an iphone. See, other phones do have uses too. I just think of it like carrying the baton. BANG! The gun goes off...well really there is no gun. Just in my head. But I'm off anyway.

Immediately I realize this is not high school anymore. I haven't done this in 10 years. What the hell was I thinking? Around the first turn I'm already sucking wind so hard I should charge it. But it's the home stretch. My brain keeps saying "Go! Go! Go!" but legs are giving him the finger. So after what seems like an hour I cross the finish and hit the stop watch.

Unfortunately, hitting the stop watch turned it on.

It didn't turn on the first time. I did all that for NOTHING! Instantly I just dropped to my knees and put my head down. Are you f---in' kidding me? Lesson learned: When timing yourself, you should probably make sure the clock starts before you go.

I'm not doing that s--- again right now. F--- it. On to the push-up portion of the test. Online it says that I should wait 15 minutes before moving on. I wait 5. The sun is starting to peak out at 8 something in the morning and I damn sure don't want to be out here in the blazing valley heat.

This time I start the clock and wait for the 10 second mark to begin. Fast learner ain't I? Now I should warn you that push-ups are a regular part of my routine, which probably aiding in my cockiness as I crushed the time by completing 30 push-ups in 35 seconds. Take that police test! However, my cockiness also made me rest on my knees before realizing I should be doing more. In real life that means test over, so test is over.

I still burnt out 5 more for good measure before I started to lose form and time ran out.

So at this point I'm technically 1 for 1 and feeling oh-so good about myself. So good in fact I say, "bring on the 300!" like I'm a Persian King. Sparta's going down! I use to run the 400 meters in 52, seconds. This race is cut 100 meters and padded with 7 more seconds. Game over.

Clocks ready. I'm ready. 10 second and I'm off! Right out the gate I can feel that this is going to be way harder the second time around. The dirt feels like quicksand under my feet, but the only thing actually sinking was my bravado. Just like that, I'm around to the home stretch. This is where I turn it on to finish strong. Turn it on. Turn it on. TURN IT ON!

Sorry captain, we appear to be having engine trouble.

This must be a joke. The stop watch/cell phone reads a humiliating 1:12. I have to look around just to make sure no grandmothers were on the track. I also seriously question my Men's Health subscription at this point. What the hell kinda work outs have I been doing? I'm not gonna lie, a part of me wondered if I'd even post this.

But wait!

I forgot! The 10 second delay! My real time was 1:02...which is actually much worse. 3 second. I failed by 3 seconds. 3 measly seconds. If I was humiliated before, I am pissed off now. Look, in track - especially a sprint - 3 seconds is a lot. But I know I could've ran 3 seconds faster. Another one of the disadvantages to doing this by yourself. And of course that made me wonder what my first time was, when I got off to a better start. Why. That's all I can ask. Why?

Again I take 5 minutes to recover. And I do get better physically, but not mentally. I figure a great spot for the sit-ups is a nearby bleacher step so I can lock my feet underneath them. Now I just have to get 41 in a minute. I do like 80 crunches at a time no sweat at the gym. 200 a workout. However crunches are different then sits ups, and at the gym I'm more worried about form than time.

It's go time! I'm breezing through so fast that I slow down to do them right. Oh, I did the 41 sits ups in perfect form. All the way down, all the way up. The problem is to took me 1:04 minutes. And yes, that's after the 10 second delay. 4 seconds. I failed by 4 seconds. Apparently I didn't learn anything from the sprint after all.

So now I'm 1 for 3. And I still have the 1.5 mile run to go. And let me tell you...right now that is the last thing I want to do. My body is already locking up faster than an athlete at a strip club. I figure at this point it's a good idea to take the full 15 minute rest for more stretching.

It's about 9:15am and the sun is already out and bakin' the s--- outta me. I just don't care right now. I'm gonna sweat this out. Right about now my stomach starts to churn. I'm going to throw up. I have NEVER thrown up during a race or practice. I mean never. I have just never run that hard. Today is going to be that day. My goal is to make myself throw up. That's how hard I need to work.

At the starting line I realize that the stretches didn't take. What the hell is wrong with me? I lift weights 3 days a week. What the f---? Anyway, six laps. Ride or die.

Lap one takes a lousy 2:23. Already I'm 40 seconds off my pace. A smart person would pick up the pace. But then again, I'm pretty sure when your brain loses oxygen like mine has, your not a smart person anymore.

Lap two: 4:57


Still jogging. Lap three: 7:21

If nothing else I'm consistent though. Long story short I finish at 15:07, a full 2 minutes off my mark.

So to wrap it up, I went 1 for 4 today, but I'm not totally defeated. I mean like I said, I was flying blind. No training, no expectations, just go out and do it. Yes it's unbelievably humbling, but I can't say I didn't deserve it (if you understand double negatives). I take my hats off to all the police officers and athletes and anyone else who can pass this test even though they are 5-10 years older than I am. However, at the end of the day I know that I can do this test with a little help.

But just for the record, lets see just how many police tests I failed.

the SANTA MONICA POLICE: 282 is a passing grade.

Pulls-up: 8 (16 points) - This is from a month ago after a vigorous workout.
Sit ups: 41 (41 points) - Though to be far they don't have a time limit, and I could've kept on going.
Push-ups: 35 (35 points) - Again, I counted the ones afterwards because they have no time limit...and I still think I could've done more.
1.5 mile run: 15:07 (33 points) - no comment.

Total: 125...not even half the requirements. Granted if this were my test I'd have done things a lot differently, but it's a fail none-the-less. No excuses. The INGLEWOOD POLICE TEST is the same. Double fail.

The NEW JERSEY POLICE TEST: You cannot receive a 0 is any category.

Push ups: 35 (6 out of 7) - two minute time limit.
Sit ups: 41 (6 out of 7) - I'm rocking this test.
1.5 mile run: 15:07 (14:27 or more is a 0) - big fat fail.
75 yard sprint: I didn't do that, but a 19.5 passes. Could I really have slowed down that much?

Okay, is there any test out there that I would've passed?

ARKANSAS (I really don't understand why it's not pronounced R-Can-us):

Push-ups: 17

Sit ups: 24
Vertical jump: 14 inches - What the f---? Why do they test this? They looking for ringers on the community basketball team?
300 meter run: 78 seconds
They don't even test the 1.5 mile run, but if they did I'm sure you'd just half to finish before the cows came home.

UTAH (to be fair this is for men and women of all ages)

run a mile and a half in 16 minutes
achieve 30 sit-ups
achieve 15 push-ups in two minutes

So there.

Next Sunday I will try to pass my test again. And since I talked to my Philadelphia Police Officer homie, I'm adding in a bench press just for good measure. I'm gonna lift 92% of my body-weight. Everything else is almost the same.

I'm gonna pass this damn thing. Just watch me.

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