Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Smoke Session

Two posts in one day -what a bargain. I know my wife already wrote a post but I have to put today's events in writing while it's still fresh in my mind, quadriceps, and triceps.

The term 'smoke session' means the deliberate act of physically and mentally torturing a group of academy recruits in order to get everyone into line. After yesterday's regiment of sprinting ( 2 sets of the following with squats in between: 400 meters, 300 meters, 200 meters, 100 meters, 80 meters, and 50 meters) we were met with upper body treatment today. We all held aerobic weight bars (mine was 15 pounds) and did numerous squats, pushups, military presses, and various other exercises using the bar. At the point of complete exhaustion, we were given 10 minutes to run to the lockers to change into our dress uniforms. Most recruits didn't even have time to shower so we were standing at attention on during the flag raising with sweat pouring down our faces. We were soaked with sweat and must have looked like some kind of wet t-shirt contest gone bad.

Our sergeant addressed the class by screaming about all of the dress violations, innapropriate classroom behavior, and other protocol mistakes. We spent several minutes in various pushup postions while he expressed his disappointment. He then revoked our gun-belt privileges and gave us one minute to run back to our lockers to store the gun belts and return to formation.

We then spent several more minutes on our faces (pushup position) until the next order was given: "You have four minutes to change back into your excerise gear and assemble in the grass. " We met in the grass and proceeded to do countless sets of pushups and leg lifts while being drenched in the sprinklers. After suffering extensive tissue damage, dehydration and allergic reactions to wet bermuda grass, we were then ordered to change back into the dress clothes for final inspection.

Half way through dressing, the staff members came into the locker room screaming that time was up and to get outside for inspection. As we exited, we were screamed at for not being fully dressed and ordered back into the locker room. We were then ordered back outside since time was up. Try to picture the chaos of 35 men in various stages of dress running into and out of the building trying to finish dressing while being screamed at from both directions. We finally made it to the inspection line and subsequently all failed for having wrinkled shirts, crooked ties, and no belts (since we were not allowed to wear our gun belts). The failed inspection means writing a memo to the sergeant noting our deficiency which will result in a disciplinary essay of between 350 - 650 words (which must be hand written in perfect alignment using all capitals with no mistakes).

The rest of the day was spent fighting to stay awake through six hours of lecture on the laws of arrest.

I'm glad it's all behind me now but will forever remember the day my class got 'smoked.'


At October 07, 2005 3:40 PM, Anonymous gamma said...

Dear Bubba... How can you survive this??? Sorry, this is a mother's love talking. Curtis says YES HE CAN, and I know he's right. Love You lots...Mom & Curtis

At October 08, 2005 7:15 PM, Anonymous Steve Levitt said...

Hey Gary,
This is Steve Levitt up in Vancouver. I am totally impressed with your career change and wish you the best. Some of it sounds like fun but i'm sure it would be nice to be in your 20,s instead of , well, more "experienced" like yourself. Great job on the academics and keep showing those young guys that the...em...experienced guys can hang in there physically also! Again, best of luck and it is good to know the streets of PHX will be well covered! By the way, Curtis and Aggie had pics of Claire and Roxy and, not surprisingly, they keep getting cuter and cuter! Hello to Vicki and keep up the great work!
Steve and Gail

At October 10, 2005 2:07 PM, Anonymous Ronda said...

so, is it safe to sat it can't get any worse??? well, for your sake I hope it won't. How you do it, I will never know.
Keep up the great work.

Ronda, Doug, and Emmy

At October 10, 2005 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, It sounds very exhausting. I can not even image what you are going through. Keep it up you are almost there and this will all be behind you.
Kim, Fernando and Boys


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