Well, I have completed Week 2 (our first full week of classes) and have begun to acclimate to Academy life. I was able to travel home for our first weekend due to the Columbus Day holiday. I was able to work the Georgia game (Go Cocks!) and enjoyed some quality time with the family. I have now begun my longest stretch away, as I will not be able to return home again until November.
The FBINA is designed to challenge officers and provide training and development in a variety of areas in order to create well-rounded law enforcement leaders. There is certainly a large academic component, but one aspect that sets the NA apart from other leadership schools is the physical training. Every officer who attends the NA must take a mandatory physical fitness class. In addition, other opportunities are provided to tackle other physical challenges. Each session of the NA is broken down into sections (think of a homeroom in school). You go through much of orientation as a section, announcements are made through weekly session meetings, and you attend PT as a section. I am a member of Section 1 (of 6). I imagine that serious bonds will be forged through each of the sections since PT and the physical challenges will serve to bring everyone together.
A look back at your daddy's NA workout
The moment of truth
Some new friends and running buddies from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Prince George's County (MD) after our mile run
Another fitness component of the NA involves a weekly fitness challenge. Based on the Wizard of Oz, each challenge pays homage to a scene or character. Occurring on Wednesday of each week, the challenges become progressively more difficult. The first challenge run is known as "Not in Kansas Anymore" and is a 1.8 mile run. The entire section gathered, grouped by section for the run. In addition to our fitness instructors, several academic instructors and Academy staff members showed up dressed in PT gear to perform the challenge with us. As the challenge began, the pack began to separate into the fast, medium, and slower runners. The camaraderie that has been prevalent continued; as runners completed their run, they remained at the finish line to cheer on their classmates. As the last few runners came in, they were joined by dozens of other students who had already finished but ran back out to encourage and accompany the last few finishers.
Section 1 before our first challenge run
Dozens of runners go back out and bring in the last few finishers
Some post run stretching with my buddy Ed. (Alright Ed, I mentioned you in my blog)
I am actually looking forward to progressing through the challenges. Keeping in line with the Wizard of Oz theme, officers who complete all the challenges including the final challenge, known as the Yellow Brick Road, are awarded an actual yellow brick. These bricks can be found on book shelves and mantles of many NA graduates across the country.
Until next time...