The Guns & Yoga Podcast
Wise Warrior Wednesday - Microcast 23

Wise Warrior Wednesday - Microcast 23

August 11, 2022

 

This week: How We Manage Our Energy

 

Episode #33: Relentless Courage with Michael Sugrue

Episode #33: Relentless Courage with Michael Sugrue

August 2, 2022

Michael Sugrue is an Air Force Veteran and medically retired Sergeant from the Walnut Creek PD in California.  He recently released a book, Relentless Courage – Winning the Battle Against Frontline Trauma, with whom he co-authored with Dr. Shauna Springer.  At the time of our conversation, His book has been on the #1 bestseller list since its release five weeks in a row.  Michael discusses how he had no desire to write a book, but a phone call from his co-author, led to the release of a story that absolutely needed to be told.

I have read countless books on the topic of front line trauma, but this one is unique.  Without giving too much away, the book alternates between Michael’s voice and Doc Springer’s analysis as she unpacks what was going on in Michael’s mind.  Her explanations are easy to understand and help to normalize Michael’s behaviors, emotions, and actions.  The big take away… first responders need safe places where they can address their trauma so healing can happen.

Michael is an advocate for awareness, prevention, education, and training on PTSI and First Responder Suicide Prevention.  He is a peer volunteer at the WCPR and an Ambassador for the Save a Warrior program and discusses both of these programs in our conversation. 

Michael talks about a fatal shooting he was involved in shortly after promoting to Sergeant.  He discussed the duality of the instant change in his personality and the more gradual onset of symptoms.  Michael discusses feeling detached and emotionally number immediately following the shooting, and how he slowly became less sympathetic and empathic towards others.

Michael discusses how he suffered in silence for four years…divorce, health issues, a federal lawsuit, grieving his father’s death, and his friends suicide attempt, which he credits to saving his life and what propelled his path to healing.

Some of the highlights of our discussion include:

  • Michaels healing path.  West Coast Post Trauma Retreat (WCPR), Save a Warrior, therapy, prescription medication, support group meetings, and a medical procedure called Stellate Ganglion Block or SGB.
  • Agency betrayal and Moral Injury.  This is a big piece of his book and Michael says that often times this is what puts people over the edge, and in his case, he attributes moral injury and the treatment by his agency to his change in personality.  In the book Michael recounts the countless ways in which his fatal shooting, while his defining incident, was compounded by media accounts, court proceedings, lack of a structure in which OIS were handled internally, and isolation. 
  • Stigma.  Michael suggests the only way to overcome stigma is continuing to talk about it and we need to have the courage and strength to have these vulnerable conversations. 
  • Try new things.  Michael says, be willing to try new things.  EMDR didn’t work for him, but he knows its worked wonders for others. 
  • Retirement.  Michael says it is possible to retire health from a full first responder career and discussing the human side of what we go through our career is a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Michael reminds us that healing is a life long journey; this is a reality, and not intended to discourage.  We all fall back; we can all get triggered, but when we do, there is support.

LINKS:

Save a Warrior Program:  https://saveawarrior.org/

West Coast Post Trauma Retreat:  https://www.frsn.org/west-coast-post-trauma-retreat.html

60 Minutes Rewind SGB:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC2fBe6U7lg

Relentless Courage Book Link:

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https://www.amazon.com/RELENTLESS-COURAGE-Winning-Against-Frontline/dp/1736824414

 

....and thanks to everyone for your continued support as we recently surpassed 10,000 downloads!!! Obviously, we couldn't have done it without all of you!!

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Episode #32: No Price for Peace – Christopher Davis

Episode #32: No Price for Peace – Christopher Davis

July 19, 2022

Christopher Davis is a retired Assistant Chief from the Fayetteville NC PD and served as an Officer in the Army.  He served in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield.  He is an adjunct professor and a trained yoga instructor who through his business, YOGA911, teaches the tools of yoga and mindfulness to first responders

I had the opportunity to meet Chris earlier this year at the National FOP Wellness Conference and we instantly clicked.  He is the prime example of why the the tools of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are a perfect fit for the manliest of cops. Chris openly discusses how yoga played a part during one of the lowest parts of his life where he contemplated suicide. 

We discuss how the an invite to a yoga challenge by a co-worker sparked his love for the practice.  There is no “right way” to healing and wellness.  Chris shares how he navigated this difficult time through  yoga, EMDR, peer support, rx, and intentional positive stressors.

Chris tells us about his first experience with EMDR therapy and how the incident that was most bothersome to him had nothing to do with a recent shooting he had been involved with, but organizational stress.  This is a topic I covered previously in an episode with Dr. Stephanie Conn.

The last few minutes of our episode had some technical difficulties, so it is unable to be aired.  CHirs and I wrap up our conversation with him sharing all the ways you can reach him which are included in the show notes.

You can find Chris at:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-davis-2837942b/

https://guidingwellness.com/yoga-911-training/

Episode #31: Bridging the Gap – Sheila Schmid teaches first responders and others the tools of yoga.

Episode #31: Bridging the Gap – Sheila Schmid teaches first responders and others the tools of yoga.

July 19, 2022

Welcome to the Guns and Yoga Podcast, my name is Wendy Hummell.  It has been a little while since I released an episode, so to make up for lost time, today I am releasing two.  Full disclosure, my schedule these past few months has been eventful, and as much as I love the podcast, it had to take a back burner temporarily.  This podcast is a passion of mine.  It is important to me to provide value through conversations with interesting people in the field of first responder wellness, and I take pride in the quality of what I share.  I have a process when I put out a show.  I always listen back to the interview then create an intro that blends highlights from the episode with what is on my heart, sometimes integrating resources from yoga or stoic philosophy, behavioral science, or what I feel could be most useful.  As I navigate balancing my perfectionist tendencies with “good enough” I still strive to figure it all out.

Today’s episodes are with fellow yogis; one a mental health professional and the other a retired cop, but both are committed to bringing the tools of yoga and mindfulness to first responders.

Sheila Schmid has been teaching and practicing yoga for 30 years in corporate settings, private lessons, and in a studio setting.  Not only is Shelia an experienced yoga teacher, she has over 15 years of professional counseling experience working in mental health centers, jails, schools, and private practice. 

Sheila works with first responder agencies to implement the tools of yoga and mindfulness and owns 2 busniesses, Tactical Yoga Training and Inside Job Yoga.

During our conversation, Sheila brings up how some she knows from the yoga community who are not first responders question her affiliation with first responders and disapprove of the fact she learned to shoot a gun.  Sheila is further bridging the gap as she educates this community about the work she does and the application of yoga into learning to shoot.  This is more important than ever as we are living in a time where our nation is divided on so many issues.  We need more people willing to educate and inform in hopes of less dissension and more harmony.

I really enjoyed talking to Sheila because although the tools of mindfulness, yoga, and meditation are becoming more mainstream and are seen more in the first responder arena, as I was recently reminded by a colleague, we are still the unicorns.   There are more of us now and the abundance of research, science, and evidence to support these ancient practices definitely helps. 

LINKS:

https://insidejobyoga.com/sheila

Episode #30: Managing Anger by Helping Keep Good People Good with Jack Harris

Episode #30: Managing Anger by Helping Keep Good People Good with Jack Harris

May 31, 2022

Welcome to the Guns and Yoga Podcast My name is Wendy Hummell.  Today you will hear a conversation I had with Jack Harris, retired LEO, licensed counselor, trained mediator, and professional trainer.  Jack retired from the Tuscon Police Dept. in 1994 at the rank of Captain.  I first met Jack at the COPS conference in Oklahoma City last fall.  I attended one of his sessions on retirement,  but was unable to sit in on his class on Anger.  Several of my co-workers attended and said it was a great class, so I reached out to Jack and invited him on the show.  Jack is a subject matter expert and teaches a class Helping Keep Good People Good. 

LINKS:

You can learn more at https://jackharris.org/

And, as always, if you find value in this episode, make sure to share it, give us a review, and if you’d like to be notified of future episodes you can subscribe on our Podbean website or email us at wendy@bluelineyoga.com.

Also, be sure to check out WendyHummell.com to learn more about me, my Radical Resilience Program and my free webinars & yoga videos.

Thanks!

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....and thanks to everyone for your continued support as we recently passed the 50 episode mark (regular episodes & microcasts)!!!

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Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 22

Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 22

May 10, 2022

Tactical Tip Tuesday is a weekly microcast where we will share a tip, tool, or dose of inspiration for the week ahead.

 

This week: Box Breathing, Airplanes & Tornados

 

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  wendyhummell.com

Episode #29: A Conversation with Sherri Martin, National FOP Director of Wellness

Episode #29: A Conversation with Sherri Martin, National FOP Director of Wellness

April 16, 2022

Welcome to Episode #29 of the Guns and Yoga Podcast.  Today I am speaking with Sherri Martin, National FOP Wellness Coordinator.  

I was fortunate enough to meet Sherri in 2020 after our agency was matched with her, and two other Subject Matter Experts, from the Nashville Police Dept. as we launched our peer support and wellness program after applying to the CRITAC program through the COPS office.  CRITAC stands for:  Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center.  Sherri’s background as a law enforcement veteran and clinician were extremely valuable as we moved forward with our program.  She shared insight, guidance, and some of the initiative the FOP and COPS offices were working on such as the Vetting Guide, which helped tremendously. We will talk more about this during the show.

The day I spoke with Sherri, March 8 of this year, was coincidentally International Women's Days; a day that celebrates women’s achievements and a reminder that progress still needs to be made.  Sherri and I cover a lot of territory, we start with her LE career in Charleson SC and Enfield Ct and how she ultimately landed in her current position as Director of Wellness Services with the FOP.

Besides our shared passion for law enforcement wellness, Sherri and I have a few other things in common; we talk about falling in love, relocating cross county, starting over in our careers, and what its like to work in a male dominated profession.  The percentage of women in LE isn’t much different then it was 25 years ago, only 12-14% of LEO's are women.  This is why it’s so important for women to support other women.

We discuss the National FOP’s third wellness conference that was held this past January in Nashville that I was fortunate enough to attend along with several others from my agency.  We cover highlights from Nashville, and what’s on the horizon for the FOP.  Sherri is a trailblazer in her field and I am so grateful to have met her.  I had a lot of fun talking to her, it was like chatting with an old friend. 

LINKS: FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE - Officer Wellness

And, as always, if you find value in this episode, make sure to share it, give us a review, and if you’d like to be notified of future episodes you can subscribe on our Podbean website or email us at wendy@bluelineyoga.com.

Also, be sure to check out WendyHummell.com to learn more about me, my Radical Resilience Program and my free webinars & yoga videos.

Thanks!

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Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 21

Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 21

March 15, 2022

Tactical Tip Tuesday is a weekly microcast where we will share a tip, tool, or dose of inspiration for the week ahead.

 

This week: My Mentor 

 

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  wendyhummell.com

Episode #28: The Next Chapter - with retired States Attorney and Yogi, Patricia Froehlich.

Episode #28: The Next Chapter - with retired States Attorney and Yogi, Patricia Froehlich.

March 2, 2022

Welcome to Episode #28 of the Guns and Yoga Podcast.  Today I am speaking with retired States Attorney Trish Froehlich.   

I met Trish and her husband this summer at a yoga training in Wichita.  We instantly connected and I knew I wanted to have her on the show.  First Responder wellness must include our colleagues in the Prosecutors Office; and not just the prosecutors but court clerks, evidence clerks, and those who work with the victims and witnesses.  Trish talks about her career as a prosecutor, her exposure to secondary trauma, and what retirement has been like.

Trish has been practicing yoga since 2008 and discusses how it helped her regulate her nervous system throughout her career.  She became a certified yoga teacher after she retired and shares with us how her husband, a retired cop, decided to join her during her teacher training.   

Not only are they living their best life in retirement, practicing and teaching yoga, but they get to share it with each other. 

We discuss how nervous system activation impacts health, weight, and mental well-being.  She originally started practicing yoga as a means to control her asthma symptoms, and is now committed to teaching others of its life changing benefits. 

If you are interested in trying yoga, regardless of whether you are brand new or have been practicing for years, I invite you to my new YouTube channel where you can access and try my yoga videos for free. I also post these videos on my main website -  WendyHummell.com.  

Additionally, I am currently enrolling for my April 2022 cohort of Radical Resilience. Radical Resilience is a transformative lifestyle coaching program based on holistic habits, circadian science, and dynamic group support.  If you are looking to make a change in your life, shoot me an email to schedule a free strategy session where we can discuss whether this program might be a good fit for you. 

And, as always, if you find value in this episode, make sure to share it, give us a review, and if you’d like to be notified of future episodes you can subscribe on our Podbean website or email us at wendy@bluelineyoga.com.

Thanks!

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Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 20

Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 20

February 15, 2022

Tactical Tip Tuesday is a weekly microcast where we will share a tip, tool, or dose of inspiration for the week ahead.

 

This week: Self Sabotage 

 

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  wendyhummell.com

Episode #27: Matt Domyancic - The Tactical Chaplain

Episode #27: Matt Domyancic - The Tactical Chaplain

February 1, 2022

In today’s episode I speak with Matt Domyancic. Matt volunteers as a chaplain and peer support for police agencies in Los Angeles. He also is a volunteer for nonprofits that support police officers in crisis, as well as those that are injured and disabled. Matt believes all first responders can have careers that provide deeper meaning and add richness to their spiritual lives if approached in the right manner.

Matt is a medically retired police officer that worked patrol, Peer Support, SWAT, and as a full-time police academy instructor. Matt was the Wellness Coordinator for his agency integrating sports nutrition, strength, and conditioning, stress management, combatives-and-scenario training regarding officers as tactical athletes. He also was concurrently a collegiate strength coach at Yale and Georgetown Universities while a full-time police officer. Later he was a strength coach and mental skills trainer for NFL combine athletes. At Yale, he volunteered for Athletes in Action and at Georgetown, he created an ecumenical ministry Hoyas for Christ. Matt also has been a volunteer with Hockey Ministries International summer camps. 

Matt’s niche is spending time in the trenches with first responders and veterans establishing trust and rapport. He does weekly ride alongs and station visits, observes and participates in any training that he is invited to, and goes shooting with veterans transitioning out of the military. His approach is not the traditional reacting to crisis or responding to requests, rather he pro-activity spends time with those he cares about while they are on the job. Matt’s priority is encouraging better overall wellness, life balance, mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual self-care BEFORE officers or firefighters experience a breakdown or a crisis. However, Matt is also well versed in response to critical incidents as well as spending time with first responders at treatment facilities for PTSD and substance abuse issues.

LINK:

Tactical Chaplain

 

And please, if you find value in this episode, make sure to share it, give us a review, and if you’d like to be notified of future episodes you can subscribe on our Podbean website or email us at wendy@bluelineyoga.com.

Thanks!

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Also, for more about the Radical Resilience program please visit us at: wendyhummell.com

 

 

Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 19

Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 19

January 18, 2022

Tactical Tip Tuesday is a weekly microcast where we will share a tip, tool, or dose of inspiration for the week ahead.

 

This week: Be Curious, Not Judgmental

 

On this week's podcast, Wendy talks about a Walt Whitman quote from an episode of the TV show Ted Lasso - "Be curious, not judgmental". We could all probably use a little more of this mindset in our daily lives, and not just in how we view others, but also with how we view ourselves. You can check out her Blog and the video clip from Ted Lasso at www.wendyhummell.com

 

Episode #26: Morgan Farms Part 2 - with Jason & Shannon Klepac

Episode #26: Morgan Farms Part 2 - with Jason & Shannon Klepac

January 4, 2022

Happy New Year and welcome to Episode 26 of the Guns and Yoga podcast, my name is Wendy Hummell. 

Today you will hear a conversation I had with Jason Klepac and his wife, Shannon; part 2 of our on-location series at Morgan Farms. 

Jason started the non-profit after retiring from law enforcement and serving in the military. I really enjoyed my time with Jason and Shannon. Talking to them was like hanging with a few old friends and shooting the shit, which is really what we did. We sat on their wrap around front porch overlooking their breathtaking 40 acre spread and talked about well, everything. What to expect if you visit Morgan Farms - which in a nutshell is an opportunity to slow down; the lessons we can learn from the animals about ourselves and how to interact with others, whether that be co-workers, friends, or family; communication, relationships and the impact a LE career has on families, success, failure, faith, growth, therapy, vulnerability, and compromise.

If you’d like to learn more about Morgan Farms or you’d like to contact Jason about a donation or a visit check out FB, Instagram, and Linkedin. 

LINKS:

Morgan Farms - Facebook

Morgan Farms - Instagram

 

And please, if you find value in this episode, make sure to share it, give us a review, and if you’d like to be notified of future episodes you can subscribe on our Podbean website or email us at wendy@bluelineyoga.com.

Thanks!

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Also visit us at: wendyhummell.com

 

Episode #25: Morgan Farms Mash-Up

Episode #25: Morgan Farms Mash-Up

December 28, 2021

Today we are doing something new- at the end of 2021, we got the opportunity to visit Morgan Farms, a newly formed non-profit located in Wellsville, KS.  My husband and I drove there on an unseasonably warm day in early December.  Jason Klepac, the founder, and owner, was hosting an open house and invited the Guns and Yoga Podcast for a tour and opportunity to speak with some of the first responders in attendance.  As our two-and-a-half-hour drive came to an end, and we got closer to Morgan Farms, I started to feel more at ease. Less cars, more space, less people more trees, less noise more quiet. 

When we arrived, the tour was just starting; about 20 area first responders came from different parts of Kansas to learn more.  Jason is a former first responder and military veteran.  He and his wife, Shannon, have opened their home and their hearts, in service of those who serve.  Jason and Shannon have created something unique; a working farm on 40 acres.

So, what is Morgan Farms?

It is an opportunity to experience the beauty, peace, and calm.  Jason has created something really special.  We will talk with him and his wife in next week’s episode, but for him, it’s all about the people; the first responders and taking care of them in a unique way.  Not doing anything per se, but providing them the space, the environment to just be.

Today, you will hear a mash up, or a series of short interviews with several first responders we did on location; Dawn Deterding, Jamie Davis, and Roxy VanGundy, who have a combined near 70 years of experience under the headset as dispatchers.  These ladies came from different parts of the state to visit Morgan Farms and speak with us today.  They all work for different agencies across the state, KC MO PD, Lee Summit Fire, and Lyon County.  They are committed to supporting their peers and work with agencies such as NENA National emergency number association and MARC the Mid America Regional Council to improve services and resources to dispatchers and other first responders.

You will hear from them how valuable they feel Morgan Farms will be as a resource for their people.

I also spoke with Lt. Dan Davis Belton PD and Matt Kelly, Captain Miami County Sheriff they are co-chairs for command level peer support with MARC.

In these conversations you will hear about critical incidents, the impact of secondary trauma and the role that peer support can play in supporting dispatchers, law enforcement and all first responders.

If you want increased feelings of calmness, need a change of scenery, want to increase endorphin levels, recharge, be less irritable, and possible reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone association with excessive nervous system activation, then you should check our Morgan Farms.

Next week when we hear from Jason and Shannon, we will discuss future plans for Morgan Farms, future programs, etc. The intuitive nature of horses and how they can help us understand more about ourselves and how we communicate with others.

LINKS:

Morgan Farms - Facebook

Morgan Farms - Instagram

National Emergency Number Association

Mid-America Regional Council

I hope you enjoy this episode, and please, if you find value in this episode, please share it, give us a review, and if you’d like to be notified of future episodes you can subscribe on our Podbean website or email us at: wendy@bluelineyoga.com.

 

Thanks!

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Also visit us at: wendyhummell.com

Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 18

Tactical Tip Tuesday - Microcast 18

December 14, 2021

Tactical Tip Tuesday is a weekly microcast where we will share a tip, tool, or dose of inspiration for the week ahead.

 

This week: Own Your Experience

On this week's podcast, Wendy talks about why she retired, the forces at play behind that decision, and the path to clarity, personal growth, and new opportunities.

 

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  wendyhummell.com

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