Fitness for purpose…

Reasons to be fit…

The culture of the LAPD back then was “quasi-military,” recalled Poole, who liked it that way. Every day began with a three-mile run that ended with alternating sets of pull-ups and push-ups, followed by wind sprints. “I went into the Academy at a pretty solid 185 pounds and finished at a little over 165,” he recalled. “But you learned pretty fast that physical ability wasn’t the point, character was. They wanted to see whether you would drop out or keep trying. Would you quit if you got cramps while you were running, or would you grind it out, cry it out, gut it out. A lot of the women in the class impressed me in that way.”
    Only about a year after Poole graduated, though, a series of lawsuits forced the Academy to make failure all but obsolete. Poole recalled. “They’d get you counseling. They also started lowering the standards on written tests, in order to encourage diversity and avoid controversy.”
    Poole didn’t think the department was doing its new recruits any favors. “When you get out on the streets, nobody’s going to baby you there,” he explained. “You are going to be caught in situations where all you can do is survive.”
LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implication of Death Row Records’ Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal
By Randall Sullivan Atlantic Monthly Press


Physical fitness is another prerequisite for success. I freely admit that I was blessed with a sound physical constitution, but whenever possible, I took opportunity to improve my physical stamina. Because I was in such good physical shape, I easily survived Toccoa. While men washed out on a daily basis, the contingent from Easy Company that completed the training and earned their wings at Fort Benning where tough as nails. Not surprisingly, I felt that I was in the best physical shape in my life as Easy Company prepared for the invasion at Aldbourne. This did not happen by accident. Following a rigorous day of training, I would take a run every evening following tea with the Barneses. As they were on their way to bed, I would say, “Well, I’m going to take a walk.” I would go out and run for several miles even though blackout conditions were in effect. Then I’d come home and go to bed. Because I was in such good shape, my fatigue level never reached the point of physical exhaustion that contributes to mental exhaustion and, ultimately, to combat fatigue. We all experienced sleep deprivation at times – that is the nature of stress – but a physically exhausted leader routinely makes poor decisions in times of crisis.

Page 286-7
Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters
with Colonel Cole C. Kingseed

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