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When people ask me what I remember most about my years as a police officer, they probably expect to hear stories of action and danger. But some of my more vivid memories are of situations which were not especially dramatic, but have stuck with me nonetheless. This is one of those…

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Math and Milestones

Way back in the Army and then later on as a cop, I never thought about my age much. I only thought about what it felt like to have all the time in the world. Because, back then, I was young. Meaning that I was a long way away from being old. And if you would have asked me back then, “How old is old?”, I would have told you that old was 55 years of age. Because 55 was the age that almost everyone retired at. And the younger version of me understood why that was. There are physical requirements that come with those jobs. It’s hard to imagine a typical 55-year-old on the march into battle or taking a violent suspect into custody. So sure, it made sense that there would be an age when one would have to leave those kinds of vocations. And that age was 55. Therefore, 55 was, officiallyold.

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Men, Myths and Meetings

Like most men, I’ve had my share of mentors. Men who spoke directly into my life and helped shape the person I’ve become. And in addition to mentors, I’ve had some ‘myths’ in my life as well. I define ‘myth’ as someone who may or may not be ‘real’, but their story or persona represents something that you wish to emulate.

When I was young, I had a list of mythical men who embodied various characteristics I valued. Some were historical figures and a couple of them were movie stars. In 1981, after a couple of self-destructive years, I went through some significant changes in terms of how I wanted to live my life. Chief among them was deciding that I actually wanted to live my life. And it was shortly after that particular realization when I was introduced to two film stars; Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone.

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Currency

Every now and again I am reminded of a particular truth. And you may have noticed that I used the word ‘truth’. That was intentional. I wrote truth instead of a more general term like observation, notion or idea.

My reason for doing this is that what I’m about to say is something that most people, deep down, find unbelievable. So, I wrote ‘truth’ in hopes of leading you towards the acceptance of a premise. A premise which most people are resistant to. Now here comes that truth I told you about: “Money does not buy happiness.” That’s it. And yes, I know that you’ve heard this before. Many times, right? In fact, you’ve probably heard it so many times that you might be thinking, “Yeah Mike, everybody knows that.” But here’s the thing. Although we’ve all heard that expression, almost nobody believes it. Not really.

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Brace For Impact

NOTE: The following article describes dangerous stunts and dangerous training practices.  It should not be misconstrued as either encouraging these practices or as instruction on how to perform them. 

People train for all kinds of reasons. Health, functionality or vanity are usually at the top of the list. My own training goals are a bit different. I perform strength stunts. I use this term as an umbrella under which such things as steel-bending, brick and board breaking and a myriad of other feats which can involve electricity, fire, broken glass or other variables. My training is the primary vehicle through which I prepare my body to be able to consistently do the things I ask of it. And I ask a lot. [click to continue…]

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