Ironman Countdown

Sunday, July 5, 2015

10 Day Dedication -- My Law Enforcement Family (July 5 - 14, 2015)

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about work and my cases while I run.  (With biking, I can't think very clearly/concisely as I have to be paying attention to my surroundings a bit more)  If there's a situation that is bothering me, or I have not been able to find the words for an opening/closing, running usually gives me the answer.  It also provides release from the stress of the day, allows me to let go of any hard stuff that occurred, and get back to neutral so I can switch over to Mommy-mode.  Prosecuting and running/triathlon are inextricably linked in my endorphins! 

Due to recent events in the Baltimore area, and certainly other places, the roles of law enforcement officers, i.e. police and prosecutors, have been discussed ad nauseam... this mostly done by the un-informed public and very biased (one way or the other) media.  This post is not going to be about my opinions on these matters (I have several), but so much of who I am is shaped by the work that I do.   And I guess it is all these recent events that make me even more grateful for my work community.

And so, for this 10 day block of training, I will make my dedication to:
My Law Enforcement Family in Howard County

I have had the privilege to serve as a prosecutor for close to 15 years.

I work with an amazing police department whose officers put their lives on the line day in and day out.  So many of these officers, in particular the detectives I work with on a routine basis, have become my friends.  I have watched them handle the most egregious crimes:  holding the hands of children who have been victimized, speaking with victims and their families, smiling through tears in court when justice is finally granted, keeping their cool under pressure, and dealing with some of the worst examples of humans you can imagine.  I know about their kids, their spouses, their best days and their worst days.  I have watched them lose one of their own in the line of duty.  I have seen them come together when one lost his sweet little boy, or another lost his spouse to cancer.  And I know that in their hearts they are trying to do what is right each and every time they go to work.   They make me proud to do my job.  These men and women are heroes.  Everyday.  They are also humans, like the rest of us.

we even meet up at races:  Law & Order running team
In my own office, I serve along side many talented prosecutors and dedicated staff members who have become a family to me.   We spend so much time at our jobs, so it is such a blessing that I am spending it with people that I like and respect.  We deal with a lot of pressure, and we find ways to make each other laugh.  We tick each other off and drive one another crazy.  We hug and cry together.  We help each other.  I know their children and grandchildren, and they know mine.  We've been to each other's weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, and the funerals of loved ones.  We've lost one of our own.

a baby shower, with our Vickie (in stripes)
It is a high stress job.  But it is a good job.  As a judge once said, the prosecutor is the only one in the courtroom whose job it is to seek justice.  Think about that:  the defense attorney is looking out for his/her client; the judge calls "balls and strikes," but the prosecutor decides what to charge, when to charge, what to dismiss, when to go forward, and on and on.  I take that responsibility very seriously, and so do my colleagues.  Most days are fairly ordinary or unremarkable.  But we have days when we are yelled out, threatened, or called upon to make tough decisions.  And we take those days as they come, because there are also days, rare as they are, where we see the difference that we have made.  We savor those times.

I have a boss, Dario, who allows us to put our families first.   The difference this makes in my life is huge.  I know I can be a mother and take care of sick children, or leave early to make the school play, and it is not held against me.  My boss knows that I, that we, have sat in the courthouse late at night waiting for verdicts, or that we come back to the office in the evening or on weekends to get things done.  He treats us like adults, and he gets the best from us because of that.
all class

The "boys" in the office are a hoot.  It is like when I was growing up with three brothers around.  And they crack me up routinely, and also provide sound advice.  While I do love each of my co-workers, attorneys and staff members alike, I am particularly lucky for "my girls."  I have met some of my best friends working here.  I don't know what I would do without them.   Thank you, my friends, for supporting me in this whole Ironman thing.  Thank you for being there during the tough cases when my heart gets broken, for reminding me everyday why this job is a privilege, and for making me laugh.
collapsed on my desk, holding my phone, as a defense attorney yells at me (photo credit: Det. TS)

some days we pretend we're in the Old West and drink

Special Victims Unit


"gang" members forever

not everyday one of your best friends becomes a judge

Over this next training block I have:
3 miles of swimming;
100 miles of biking
26 miles of running

These next ten days are dedicated to you, my law enforcement family.  I will be thankful for the work that you do.  I will be mindful of your dedication and commitment, and I will remember your toughness when things get difficult. 

And now, just some pictures of my work family.
Hills of Milltown 5K (2014)

we have alumni and honorary members

Police Pace 5K:  Team Vickie

Torch Run 10K for Special Olympics (2012)

Torch Run 10K for Special Olympics (2014)

Team Victory (2014) at Celtic 5 Miler

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