October 6, 2022
Welcome to Episode #35 of the Guns and Yoga Podcast my name is Wendy Hummell. In today’s episode you will hear my conversation with Amanda Dozanti, a former Deputy Sheriff turned first responder wellness coach and specialist. Amanda actively works towards giving first responders a way to manage chronic stress and mitigate the effects of working in a trauma-rich environment.
Amanda shares her personal story of burnout and PTS which ultimately lead her to leave the job the same year she was named Officer of the Year. She is a certified yoga instructor and wellness coach helping individuals and agencies beat burnout. So much of what Amanda discussed really hit home for me. Until recently, I hadn’t really talked much about the end of my career because it was too hard. Over these past few years I have done some deep work, and I have found the more I discuss it, the more I accept it, and the more I speak with others willing to be brave and share their stories, the easier it has become to share mine.
In fact, when Amanda was describing her exit from law enforcement and she said “It was either me or the job and I chose me” I felt a flash of déjà vu. I was also named Officer of the Year in 2018, the same year I decided to end my career.
This realization reinforced the importance of sharing our stories. Amanda and I have very different stories, we live in different states, come from 2 different generations…but the common thread of our emotions, experiences, and feelings are the same.
Lately, a lot of my personal work has to do more with the end of my career and how the grief of retirement impacted me; I became interested in first responder wellness years prior to my retirement, but the organizational betrayal, moral injury, and lack of agency I had over my situation, is what led to what I call my demise, but what has subsequently inspired my path to wellbeing and wanting to support others in the retirement stage; whether that be years prior, during or after pulling the plug.
I am in the process of creating program for the soon to be or retired responder. I have seen firsthand the power of healing in a group setting in my year long Radical Resilience coaching program, and I am excited to announce my next offering soon. I will put a link in the show notes for our Missouri First Responder listeners. I am working with the team at Pause First to put on FREE overnight retirement seminar in Branson Missouri this December. It will open up at the end of October to other states for those interested . What is unique about this event is that it is also open to significant others.
One of the intentions of this show is to share resources and programs for support, and first responder wellness coaching has been surfacing in recent years, but what do we really know about it. Just like everything else I do, prior to becoming a first responder coach myself, I became curious. What does a coach do? What’s the difference between a coach and a therapist? Do first responders really hire coaches?
Amanda and I cover this topic at length, and what you will learn is that each coach, just like choosing a therapist or a personal trainer has their own unique set of backgrounds, qualifications, and life experiences, and its on you to make sure who you hire is a good fit for you. This is why I like to speak with, promote, and collaborate with other first responder coaches like Amanda who are doing amazing work and are truly in to help first responders.
Amanda integrates her knowledge of neuroscience, yoga, trauma, and more into her framework. She offers affirmations, daily micro-challenges, a workbook, and meditation as resources to her clients. Amanda does frequent videos on TIK TOK that I find both impressive and entertaining. She balances important content with humor and knows how to attract her tribe.
Amanda is an agency trainer, coach, yoga instructor, mom, and wife. She is dedicated to supporting first responders through her one on one coaching program, her app, agency trainings, and soon she will be launching a new app.
I hope you enjoy the show and check out the show notes for ways to find Amanda and the resources mentioned in this podcast.
Books mentioned on this podcast:
Yamas and the Niyamas: https://www.amazon.com/Yamas-Niyamas-Exploring-Ethical-Practice/dp/0974470643
Atomic Habits: https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-Habits-Proven-Build-Break/dp/0735211299
FREE RETIREMENT SEMINAR: First Responder Retirement Workshop