Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Morning Reflections After TWAW Ohio Training Weekend

From everything I hear from others, it is common to feel "left down" after an event.

It makes sense. We invest time and energy into an event and when its over, regardless of how it went, there is a coming down time. As the weekend with my TWAW sisters came to a close, I started to feel that and by the time I got home, all I really wanted to do was crash and swear that I'll never do it again.. This morning, after a good night's sleep (as much as Cooper would allow) I want to look at some amazing things that happened this weekend.

Our Leader's meeting went really well, at least from my perspective. Have you noticed how hard it is to realistically look at something you are in charge of? For me, the highlight was that one of our leaders shared about a personal experience of workplace violence where she had to draw her gun and take action. It was difficult for her to share because it was the first time she had shared about it publically. It was good. Good for us and good for her. So much for all of us to learn from her experience - mostly about how it would have ended very differently if she had not done some training.

Jessamy also led us in some team building exercises where we got to know each other better, hare our biggest successes and our biggest failures. I love that because it truly bonds us together better. We truly are a team and we really want to support each other.

The Training: Day 1 was all Handgun. None of the ladies who participated were beginners. All of them had done training before, some with 88 and most with someone else. I watched as these ladies were both uncomfortable and wowed at the same time. They were asked to perform what is really a basic skill that would prevent a friendly fire accident and yet it was so out of their comfort zone because, to my knowledge, no one but 88 does this - at least not anywhere reasonably close. Things began to "click" with them as they realized they were just practicing the 4 safety rules in a realistic environment. They were not just standing on a line throwing lead downrange. Nothing wrong with that at all but there is so much more. So many comments of "this just makes sense". And THAT is why I want as many of our TWAW ladies to experience this type of training as possible. Yes, its uncomfortable but it is SO very important to be skilled in how to move and engage a threat around people you do not want to endanger. One thing that is always a concern for me is that people think I do this so I can make money.

Day 2 was Carbine. That is where many of them were even more uncomfortable. Most were fairly unfamiliar of the AR platform. They spent about 3 hours in the classroom going over the basics of operation and doing dry practice. On the range they practiced weapons flow and use of cover. One lady in particular was stressed. I was so very proud of her. She is new to firearms and especially to the AR and it was all a bit overwhelming with so many things to think about BUT she didn't give up when a lot of other people would have. I can't tell you how much I admire her courage. There are an awful lot of people out there who would never put themselves into that situation for fear of looking bad. I can only imagine that she feels just as afraid as they would but she puts ego aside and she plows through ... and she does learn. That is the kind of lady I"m proud to have on my team.

And I can't leave this without mentioning Phil. He is unique. He is pure gold when it comes to an instructor. He also drives me up the wall (I might have mentioned that once or twice). Few know that after training us all day he drove to a city a couple of hours away to get set up for SWAT this week, then drove back, got a few hours of sleep and then trained us all day Sunday, then drove back up and is in fact, this morning and all week, training SWAT officers. I was tired but hated to say so because I knew he was more so. I so appreciate him giving of his time and talent to work with our ladies this weekend. He pretty much did it on his own and it was classic Phil Chaney excellence, We are so very blessed to have him here in Ohio.