Oct. 6, 2021

Why You Need Tactical Wellness & Legal Training- Bridget Truxillo


In this podcast episode with Bridget Truxillo, we talked about her program called Protective Wellness which offers tactical training wellness and legal advices from attorneys. This effective program is strengthen by her experience as Deputy Sheriff and as attorney. Bridget also emphasized the three pillars of physical, mental and spiritual health - Stimulation, Nutrition and Rest. 

 

Are you interested in Protective Wellness Program? They offer founder's discount for a limited time only! Head over to:

https://www.myprotectivewellness.com/

Transcript

Everyday Heroes Podcast Network
This podcast is part of the Everyday Heroes Podcast Network, the network for first responders in those who support them.

Intro 
Welcome. The trials of first responders and their families aren't easy. Enduring the Badge Podcast is building a community to help them out. Introducing your host, back by 30 years of experience as a first responder, Jerry Dean Lund. 

Jerry Lund
Hey everyone. Before we jump into this next episode, I want to thank my sponsor Patriot Supreme, they make the highest quality CBD products that I know of a veteran owned company with products made right here in the United States. I've used them in their personal life, because they work I've tried other products that they have not worked. And these do, I like the CBD oil, the CBD gummies they have melatonin gummies with CBD in them, they have a deep freeze roll-on that works for those joints that are a little bit sore or muscle pain. I love them all. You should check them out at patriotsupreme.caom and don't forget to use the code and Enduringthebadge. If you're a first responder that'll get your 50% off. And please go check them out on their Instagram and Facebook page at Patriot Supreme. Let's jump right into this next episode with my amazing guests. I have a very special guest today Bridget Truxillo. How you doing Bridget?

Bridget Truxillo
I'm doing great. Jerry, how are you?

Jerry Lund
I'm doing well. We just had this conversation had a rough couple nights on shift and cut a little nap this morning. But you know, I'll catch up later today.

Bridget Truxillo
I say I hope you take a long-short nap. 

Jerry Lund
Yeah, yeah. Can you tell the audience a little bit about yourself?

Bridget Truxillo  
Yeah, I'm Bridget Truxillo. I am an attorney have been started my attorney journey I guess you could say about over 16 years ago but before that I was a deputy sheriff in Gainesville Alachua County. I work for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office which is in Gainesville, Florida, which I started that right after like the week after I graduated from the University of Florida, which is Go Gators! might have to do that. Yeah. I like college football. And so I went to the University of Florida and I'm from Louisiana, obviously from all over the South. I lived in many states in the south but I was born in Louisiana High School in Louisiana and then hated High School and most of the people in it that hate and then hate the people I'm like that word I tell my kids I have three kids that tell them like don't see hate. I had it I did not enjoy high school so I decided to go to a college where I knew no one which was the University of Florida so you know go big or go home about 50,000 students which is awesome. I love Florida. But I currently live in Houston, Texas with my husband and my three wonderful, smart and beautiful kids. Me and I have a business we'll talk about that and then I have a business called even though I'm an attorney and I did the law firm world for a while after I left the sheriff's office but I knew I was always wanted to be able to work with law enforcement again and so I have a business called my protect all called Protective Wellness the bet the website is myprotectivewellness and it provides wellness training and legal support for law enforcement and first responders. I always say law enforcement that's the world that I came from but I believe that my program works and it's just beneficial for all first responders because I think so much of the struggles are the same.

Jerry Lund
Yeah I totally agree with you that so many of the struggles are the same so you move move all around the south and ended up in Florida the sheriff's department but you had some moments early on in your when you're about 16 that kind of was a pivotal moment in your life, can we talk about that?

Bridget Truxillo
Yes, you know I'm not afraid to say I'm 46 years old and I feel like you know they like an onion like life peeled away layers at a time that you don't see until later in life and this is one of those where I feel like as the older I get the more I realize how foundational some things can be when you're young and when you're young you think that's whatever that's stupid I'm just me.

Jerry Lund
 It's so true.

Bridget Truxillo
And you know young and dumb and then the older you get you realize how much you like more you know the less you know but yeah my we grew up a lot I was born in Louisiana like i said i moved in second grade, third grade, fourth grade, seventh grade and then all of that was because with my mom's husband at the time her second husband and and then unfortunately was when she was divorced from her second husband that did a lot of damage to her financially and in some somewhat like you know an attorney so today I use the word fraudulent some fraudulent ways like he tricked her into like putting her retirement money, other places and then he defaulted on in such a long story. My mom probably doesn't like me sharing her stories, but I think they all matter. And and I think the more personal story, you tell people, the more people realize they're not alone in this world. And so yeah, I was about 16 years old, and I was just, you know, frustrated at seeing my mom going through this. And that's it before that time, but around that time, you start to realize that your parents aren't perfect, and that there's no like parent playbook that tells them exactly how to do this job, you know, and, and so, you know, 16 years old and just really like, realizing everything my mom was going through because of a man. And I was I just remember telling myself, no matter what, I will never, ever be in a position where a man can ruin me financially, or any other way. I mean, I certainly had a lot of I've always had a lot of gumption in me. Certainly my dad could tell lots of stories were like, you know, my older sister, he'd say, you know, do you don't do that? She'd say, Okay, then he'd say Bridget, don't do that. And I would just kind of sneak out at him. And you know, go do that stick my finger in the socket. Anyway, so I've always had a little bit of that in me. And I'm glad but definitely at 16 years old is what I think started me on the path to do will take you know, go head down a path or take a journey that was probably not as typical. You know, like, leaving everybody I know and going to a college where I didn't know anybody or, you know, later finishing my degree in environmental horticulture. Yep. I studied plants and and then the week after I graduated, went to the police academy, nobody in my family has ever been in law enforcement. And so that was definitely an uncharted. It was an unchartered territory. My dad thought I was nuts but I didn't care.

Do you like just accidently it was just like defiant when you're younger just.. 

I mean, I was but I wasn't I never really wanted to get in trouble but I was also never afraid to just wasn't that afraid. Yes, yes. So who would say well you know don't stick your finger in the socket and I'm like, Well, I mean, why, instead of just saying oh, okay, you're telling me not to I won't Yeah, um, you know, there's definitely things in life I look back on where I was kind of like that where I wish I would have pushed and a lot of that was when I was at the sheriff's office where I wish I would have pushed back and you know, questioned in certain ways but but yeah, I was I was a little bit obstinate and then my dad is really happy that I have three kids now so that they can give it back Yeah, they do. And they do. Yeah, I mean, you know, yeah, yeah, have good kids. But kids No, kids.

Jerry Lund
Some of that you in you right? It comes out in in the ways that may be frustrates you as a parent the size of the baby.

Bridget Truxillo
Sometimes they'll do stuff and i'll i'll tell I will actually think to myself I'm definitely not going to tell my dad the story because he will think it's so funny like it's something that frustrates me so bad because my kids are doing something that you know, don't don't do this don't do it and they do it and not like stealing or hurting someone nothing awful, you know, just like yeah, you know, anyway, and I think that I'll say like, yeah, you never gonna believe what whatever kid did and he just burst out laughing It's just so happy that I'm getting a little bit of my own medicine. But suddenly I've worked.

Jerry Lund
Right, it really does. So after college you go to the police academy and what like, Why did you do that? Like what what prompted you to do something like that?

Bridget Truxillo
Also on the time when I was 16 is when I started I was on like cross country I didn't like PE so I did cross country and I didn't really like long distance running and I didn't really know why they're making us run a long way even though I was cross country anyway which is so again being young and dumb, but and then around that time I maybe was like a junior high school so I started running a little bit but you know, it just I like I've always done I've always wanted to be fit and strong, you know, hence going back to age 16 and not like deciding nobody could ever like I could take care of me and it also helps that I had a really really crappy boyfriend in high school that did ended up trying to just convince me that I wasn't any of that and so by the time I broke free of him, which is when I went to University of Florida, I was like even more so was like, "okay, screw you. I'm going to show you I can do this". And so I want I thought I joke around sometimes and say that I joke around a lot and say that I watched GI Jane and I thought it was really cool. So I decided I would shake my head and join the Navy Seals and I'm totally joking. Not disrespecting our at all. 

Jerry Lund
It's a great movie by the way.

Bridget Truxillo
 I did like I mean she didn't want to push up and that's for real. Yeah. But I was like, I love That I think is super cool like you know strong I just want to be strong I wanted a job that required me to be that and because I you know, I knew there was benefits to beyond just being fit and healthiest. I have a job requirement would be that would also give me longevity in life and higher quality of life and I knew that even then and so I decided it was like you know law enforcement and then I thought FBI DEA and started that process and reached out to them at the time I was okay little sidebar is that I was a little bit longer in college because I was actually in my fourth year of engineering and withdrew from school started working two jobs so that I could go to New Zealand so I traveled to New Zealand by myself. I was there for a month it felt like a lot longer at the time. But then my dad didn't talk to me and cut me off because I quit school but then I came back and had to work full time and so I finished year later after I came back but I sort of my journey to the last one I started the police academy I was 24 I turned 24 and the police academy, something like that. And they told me I was just a little bit young yet to go straight into one of the academies feel that the Federal Academies and that I didn't have like a special skill that they were looking for like DEA just needed experience or FBI they wanted somebody who spoke a different language or was already an accountant already an attorney. And so I decided to go there like well you're going to start working I even asked them, I said "Should I become a cop to get experience?" and I said doesn't matter you know just go get some experience call us back when you're like 27. So I joined, I did a ride along at the sheriff's office to figure out I knew nothing about law enforcement you know just completely oblivious of what that world was like and so when I went on I did two ride alongs and the second first one on one of them was a domestic violence situation and it was a black couple and the guy had scratch like white streaks on his face and I was like wow I should get those white street is thinking like isn't like a birthmark? But then I realized no that his wife or girlfriend had scratched the skin off of his face where it was white and I've never seen that before. And that to me I guess living off a sheltered life or I just know whatever I've never seen violence or the the consequences of violence and another that was that bad I'm going to solve much more later but that was like I think I almost cried seeing it because I was so upset that somebody could hurt somebody in that way and it was actually in Florida at least they have the like the most states are like this now hopefully all states I could do research that you don't domestic violence you just automatically arrest somebody you know sometimes you arrest them both because used to it would be that. 
And law enforcement knows this that you'd had to get like ask the wife or they'll say as the better life do you want to press charges you didn't she'd have to say yes which made it worse for her and so they took that out of her hands to say no no like no the state like you know tell the guy who does the awful beating up like she's not pressing charges against you the state's pressing charges against us not her she has no choice you hit her we have to arrest you. And so anyway we're never arresting both of them because they both went out each other but that was just so profound to me. And anyway I did it anyway started I think I did that in the spring I was looking into going to the sheriff's office and then they ended up offering me at the time they were having a big push to have more deputies that had gone to college and so I lucked out I was one of the first people that had paid to go to the academy a long time and so I got paid wasn't the kind which was great which is still not much. I mean i came when I got my full salary which is I got less than full salary in the academy my starting pay the deputy sheriff was $27,500 a year and so yeah, I went straight into the academy I was 24 and then it was I thought I wanted to do FBI or DEA and then my track through law enforcement steered me elsewhere which we could talk about.

Jerry Lund
 Yeah. So I kind of like see a pattern of you just finding things that that your interest you right that fascinate you and you're like oh I want to do that I gotta go after that you're seem to be a very like goal-getter something that intrigues you you're you're going going after to check it out and and do it and getting into the police academy and getting paid is like that's that's great. That didn't definitely didn't happen very much back then at all. It's happening more often now than it was, not a thing.

Bridget Truxillo
Like you know I live in Houston and ther are cadets to get paid because you know, there are you know, straight up hired in as it's their academy. So it's the Houston Police Department's Academy. It's their cadets. They're getting paid as soon as they finish working and pass the test. They're gonna go to HPD network for HPD, but it wasn't mine was just through the community college. And that's where there's a lot of smaller places. You just go to some Academy, and then try to figure out where to work. And I just, you know, I would say I lucked out, but I didn't really know what I was doing. But I know later in life now that I've tried to get different jobs, and now that I have a business and try to, you know, get yourself in front of people is, you know, how do you get in the door? And what I didn't realize I was doing them was I reached out to somebody knew somebody who knew somebody and that's, I always say, who, you know, gets you in the door what you know, get you past the door, right? Right. So don't burn bridges. But so I knew somebody that worked at the sheriff's office and then they introduced me to the end up being coming captain, but he was Lieutenant at the time over HR and and he was the one that was making a big push for people to get come in with I mean, it just was timing of it. But But yeah, I got lucky because better than being more broke.

Jerry Lund
Right? Right. Yeah. So how do patrol a call for you?

Bridget Truxillo
Yeah, went straight into patrol and I we had in my sheriff's I was I think they still have this or they had stopped with it, put it back here we have 12 hour shifts. So you know, typically two days on two days off, and then the weekend, three day weekend, then you go back to day two off. I love that actually. Because the days that you didn't work the weekend, you only work two days. So if you took those two days off, you got the whole week off, it was great. But I loved it. I went straight into patrol. So with 12 hour shifts the day shift 7-8-7P, what we call the mid shift which is 3P - 3A a and then the night shift 7P to 7A. And I wanted the mid shift and somehow I got the mid shift I getting that was also a lot because my second FTO FTD field training deputy helped me get onto that shift maker. But so I worked at the 3pm to 3am shift. And it was great. I mean, that's when all the craziness happens. There's really not a slow time and maybe a little bit from three o'clock to about five o'clock. I mean once people start getting off work, and traffic starts happening and people start going to happy hours and then staying up too late and full moons and all that crap. I was I mean literally I thought I was just getting paid to play which again being young and dumb, and then I think when you first start you think you're getting paid to play and then reality sets in somewhere around year three, but definitely by year five, you start to realize it's not play and it's changing who you are. Yeah yeah, I guess I think I heard I was listening to a podcast these girls were doing I always looked for like if there's any females doing podcasts for law enforcement first responders they're hard to find I thought I found one and I was listening to it this girl was saying you know, her friend was saying we know how is the job hard? No, I really don't think it's that hard and I immediately thought she has not been doing this job very long. And then a little bit later in the conversation she said she was almost a year in and I thought I don't like to be what I call Debbie Downer or pessimistic about things but give it time sister that's what I was thinking. Take care of yourself and hopefully that doesn't really hit you hard but just give it some time because the job takes back for sure. 

Jerry Lund
Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. So after a patrol you had other opportunities you got into narcotics for a while. Which you'd probably spill in your your thing for the DEA right?

Bridget Truxillo
It was Yeah, so I mean, I knew I learned Yeah, I knew pretty quick I wanted to get I didn't want to do detectives and they weren't gonna let me put the effort because of experience and then I had an opportunity to the opportunity for the narcotics unit came on and they didn't have any any females on a narcotics unit at the time is just three white dates and so about a year later and so I knew I wanted to get into the narcotics unit so I get a lot of that traffic stops to try and find narcotics in the car so that I could turn it over and narcotics unit so they could see that I was doing that and constantly asking them questions like hey, if this happens, what should I do or Hey, I pulled this car over and this is how it happened in what you know what I mean? And they guys those guys probably thought I was so annoying. And I don't care but I just want I wanted them to know I wanted it and I knew if I want to do the DEA then the more narcotics investigation experience I could get one help because you know, not stupid. But so yeah, about a year later, I interviewed for position and I got it and so then I spent the next three years I think I told you in an email so I joke around I said I spent the  nexty three years buying crack. Yeah. And it's not a joke because we bought a lot of crack. And other stuff. You know, we were called the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit. There's not a great deal of organized crime in Gainesville, Florida. But anytime you have any type of you know, fraudulent activity that's a conspiracy among others mean that keep now they've always looked at it as the organized crime way but I mean I never got to charge anybody with a Rico crime and I can't see that's federal. That's a federal crime but, but I get to meet a lot of federal investigators in that job. So we worked with surprisingly, people are like this word to the wise for anybody that's not a cop out there. Or if you're just a really stupid cop.

Jerry Lund
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Bridget Truxillo
Don't mail drugs to people because they will probably find it because you know one time we got involved in an investigation with the postal service that they had shipped, mailed somebody a bunch of weed and wrapped it in plastic covered it in mustard because they had heard that would that would prevent the dog from being able to smell the weed and then they wrapped it again, doesn't work. Try it if you want to take your chances. So yeah, we ended up being in London to live to deliver that package to them as undercover postal workers. And then they had a very unfriendly knock on the door after that. So I got to meet a lot of federal investigators and because of that, even though local law enforcement was a stepping stone and then I will talk about second but right after that I got on the SWAT team also so I tried right after gun and aquatics unit they were having a tryout for SWAT team. I did that because and I'm not gonna make light of it like cuz GI Jane was cool. Just kidding. But I did I mean, I thought like that would be badass  to be on the SWAT team. And I tried out and I was the only female that I'd ever tried out. Three months later, they put me on the team was the only female they had probably. And I think if they had anything to that, you know, times are changing. But at the time if you still had the same leadership in place now, which they don't I don't think they would ever have another female after I left.

Jerry Lund
Yeah, I personally don't know any.

Bridget Truxillo
Yeah, well, it's that they're few and far between, I have a lot of opinions on that which we could get into but it was. So anyway, going back to the narcotic so I met a lot of federal investigators or enough to understand that the struggles I was dealing with at my agency with some of the guys I was working with was not they were not those issues, were not going to go away at the federal level. And if anything, I felt like the egos were just going to be bigger. Unfortunately, some of that stuff you'd see on the movies of like the feds come in and like you know, just treat moguls like they're stupid or don't know what they're doing or we got this from here. I mean, it wasn't that matter. It's the movie called 21 Bridges with shoot that guy that died so suddenly he was the Black Panther. Like they're doing something in New York City they got to shut down all the bridges in New York come in and they're like we got this you know, in web NYPD is like screw you is that you know, it wasn't ever that blatant but that the egos of it that's real and so and I just by the time I left the sheriff's office, I felt so beat down. And so like what else do I have to prove to you guys that I can do this job. I mean, especially from being on SWAT, a lot of the guys on SWAT were also on the narcotics unit. My Lieutenant on my narcotics unit was our SWAT team commander. My Sergeant or my narcotics unit was one of the team captains on SWAT. I mean, it was only one person on SWAT. I mean all narcotics unit was not also on SWAT team. So it was it was a very, I mean we were always together.
 Maybe that's part of the problem, I don't know but I loved being on SWAT and loved all the training. Again, I got into it as part of it big part of this because to be physically fit, and definitely had to be that to be on SWAT, especially for me being the only female you had always had to be fast, I'd always have to shoot well, I'd always have to be tough, I'd always have to have stamina on site. In fact, my SWAT commander knew there's me and one other guy on the team that if anything, he had to tell us to stop training. Like give yourself a rest. So we competed in this. If any of you've ever heard about it, or people in your audience called SWAT roundup International, takes place in Orlando, Florida. And it's not just a Florida thing, but it's it's literally International. I mean, they're a six person team is a six man and it's a six man because I was one of three females that I know of that went six person teams, and they have an event each day over five days. Like one of them is you you have to run into a building with your mask on your gas mask on clear the building, when they and they haven't put in put gas into the but not bad gas. But like smoking abilities. You can't really see any fire you know what that's like a firefighter go in and try and figure out you know, better than me, I'm sure. And one of the rooms has a heavy bag, like a punching bag that you have, that's the person you're supposed to evacuate. You know, but you can't shoot in a sense and you can't but there's some with bag and you're supposed to shoot when I say shoot, we had the you know the non lethal rounds. 
And then all of its time, so you do clear the rooms, the bad guys, not the good guys find the dummy, pick up the dummy being a big heavy bag, and then run it back. And it's all timed. I mean, that was one of the last event of the week is the obstacle course where I literally watched guys, three times my size, fall off of it in tears. And my team that we were on, that I competed in I mean I did that obstacle course I did that get career where I was helping, you know, get the heavy bag out. We placed in the top 20 out of 7674 teams, I went two years, I had to compete on my own SWAT team to make the round up team and I beat out. You know, one year we had two teams next year only had one we had 21 to 22 guys so you know I've been up most of the other guys on my team to make the round up to you. And then we went and competed internationally. LAPD is full time SWAT team Dallas PD as a full time SWAT team. You know, all across the country, SWAT teams, Sarajevo had a SWAT team there, I mean International, and we placed in the top 20. So I did all that train with these, like we really trained we, this is a lot round up. And at the end of it, they still don't think I could do the job. So it was heartbreaking. And there was like specific incidents towards the end that I mean, it was just awful. Nothing physically harassing nothing like blatantly sexual harassment, sexual harassment was actually the last thing. I mean, okay, there were some guys I knew were a little flirty, but I didn't care because all I wanted was to be they all knew that there was not a chance in hell, that that would happen. Because I wanted to be on SWAT and I just wanted to be respected as an operator. So bad I wanted to be put on an entry team. And I did that I got to be on the stream one time. And the guy was a friend of mine who was also on SWAT. He's he was the team leader for that action that day. He put me on the entry team. I was the one right behind the shields that got to throw the flashbang and then I helped clear the building the house we went in, which we did 1000s of times to go and train. Yeah. And then I heard I heard later, much later that he got totally berated for putting me on the interview team. And I never nobody ever put me on the team again. I got to drive the equipment then every time.

Jerry Lund
Yeah, that's terrible. Glad I've never been stuck doing doing doing that. Yeah. So I understand that you've been like very physically fit and just want to go after things and stuff like that. But being physically fit is only just part of doing this job as a first responder as a SWAT operator as a deputy sheriff. But you you can't achieve those levels that you've achieved without some mental toughness, some mental resiliency or things like that. How did you go through those different jobs and different challenges? Like what what was your thing for your mental toughness?

Bridget Truxillo
Um, you know, I think everybody here's what I think if you become a first responder, you have that your gear going into a job and choosing a job that requires you to be tough in many different ways. And if you didn't have that, you wouldn't be in it. If you don't, it can wear you down and that's where what I do now is teaching people that it's so important that you spend the time to take care of yourself which is a lot of what like you know, the all the guests that you have on your podcast, talk about in different ways. Take care of yourself. And that's what it's you know, that's what I want to tell people is number one is you know, you're you know you already have it it's in you it's why you why you're in the job and you have some resilience or you wouldn't you wouldn't be in the job in the first place. But then like we said already said also but the job wears on you the things you see the things you have to put up with, you know, not not just that people don't like law enforcement and you know, and that's not new to be fair, and I left in the end of 2004 and people in like law enforcement then and when I was a cop when 911 happened, and not not in New York, so I'm not not putting myself there. But I mean, I worked a shift that day I was on patrol, we went in for rush shift that day at 3pm. And they told us like, Listen, don't take any calls. But don't be proactive. Like if you get dispatched to something, handle your call but then just be there and we don't like that day people don't remember. But if you're around you do like I was a quiet day across the country, probably the world but definitely in our country because especially for law enforcement and first responders because we didn't know if they were going to hit somewhere else. Right? You know, are you going to hit Orlando at Walt Disney World? Are you going to, you know, like, you're going to go hit? I mean is Atlanta, you know, you never know. And right. 
So everybody was waiting to see what would happen. And then I remember that maybe was that week or I don't think it was that day. But sitting in my patrol car, and a fire truck went by lucky firefighters, not lucky because I know this is a context of 9/11. So but fire truck went by and people would start literally in the streets of Gainesville, Florida. They're clapping as the fire truck goes by, I get dispatched to some kind of disturbance. And the guy opens the door. And he says, So somebody called 911. I go, they open the door, and I say what can I do for you? And the guy says, "The fuck do you want fucking pigs?" Like, okay, you called me? What can I do for you? Um, and so the, so people have dislike cops for a really long time. It's just way worse now because of public opinion and media, and the media, and perception, but and perception. I mean, I could give a talk a whole episode, because I'm an attorney. Also, I could we could have a whole episode on how ridiculous people's perception of what qualified immunity is, and what it really is, and how wrong people think it is. And, and why you actually want cops to have qualified immunity, and why some cops shouldn't qualify for it, like the guy who killed George Floyd. In fact, people don't even know qualified immunity never came into play with him. Because his actions went beyond what a reasonable officer would do. That never ever was part of it. So anyway. I mean, that could be a two hour soapbox, but yes, you have what I want to tell important me in what you know, and what is that you have to be proactive about taking care of yourself. And if you don't, it will catch up with you. 
It is a scientific research confirmed fact that stress is cumulative, the body will must leave the body somehow. And it will find a way if you don't do it for yourself. Which is why we hear about people retiring and having heart attack the next month, or ultimately taking their own lives, which is absolutely awful. But the good news is that you can be proactive about it that one of the hard things is that is to do something when you don't feel like there's a problem. To take care of yourself, you know, I feel fine, okay, but just do it anyway, take care of yourself, like, you go get your oil changed in your car every 5000 miles or whatever kind of fancy car you might have, unless you have a Tesla. But you know, you go get your oil change because you know, if you don't, your car's gonna break down. It's gonna cost you way more money later. If you don't do that, and take care of yourself. It's absolutely no different zero difference. And taking it's just hard to be proactive about your health, your your wellness, if you feel like there's nothing wrong. And I know for me, for sure, I think the fact that I've always had worked out somehow has really helped me in that way. Because we also we all know that when you work out your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are like the natural happy chemical. And you feel like you start your run and you think oh my god, this run sucks. And then you finish your run you think may I feel great, Me Me, me might hurt your back might hurt. Mentally you feel great. And that's what I do for people or to teach people is that it's it's an everyday it's everyday action. And I do something for myself every day. That benefits me in the long run. I'm drinking this electrolyte stuff because I know in a Morehouse, I get cramps, like Charley horses, my feedlot. So this really helps. But also there's vitamins in it. I mean, this is my coffee also has some protein powder in it, because I know that I don't always get enough protein. And I know I turned into a crazy bitch at the end of the day, if I don't get enough food in me, and I have three kids and that's bad for every guy. Right? That happens. And so I've learned you know, like, I take care of myself to my nutrition and fitness has always been easy for me to take care of myself, but finding other ways to take care of myself mentally, spiritually and also socially, emotionally. So like the way that you interact with people, I've always taken a lot of responsibility and myself meaning whenever you have like 123 relationships or interactions with people and they just keep going bad, the one you're the only common I'm the only comment and I'm They are in their suit to take a step back and say, Okay, well what am I doing? Why am I making myself a victim in this? What am I doing where I could do something different? And also, I mean thing, like I also talked with therapists every two weeks. Why? Because that's just how I stay in check with all of life. I'm less mad at my husband, usually after I talk with my therapist, not my husband's bad, we've been together for 16 years, so, you know,

Jerry Lund
Yeah, things things happen over time. So you have this, you have this process and I know we've talked in some of this, it goes back to your using some of the things you learn through SWAT and repetition and stuff like that. But here, I'm gonna give you this example and fireback some some tips for me, I'm, I'm a first responder, I work two jobs, or I work one job and I work a lot of overtime. I'm tired, I don't eat healthy. You know, I work in these crazy shifts, you know, maybe I'm working the night shift, and then picking up overtime shift during the day. I just don't like emotionally and I don't have it in me to do anything for myself, like I was just going to go get another energy drink, and power through this. And then that's what I'm going to do tomorrow. Like, so what what can I do to like, stop that cycle of I don't know how to call it like, basically self abuse? You know? Yep, stop, stop that cycle. Where? Where is that point that I can, like, start turning this around? What, do you have suggestion wise for that?

Bridget  
Um, there's a lot you could do. And that's one of the things I like to tell people is you, so you have no control over what the job is. I have no control over whether I'm going to go to work and get in a fight, or a car chase or somebody has screaming my face or spit at me, or, you know, roll up on a crash where you see a 12 year olds, like, I can never going to snap body parts twisting in ways that I wish I can never seen, you know, you can't change that. I and then for me, like, I can't change I wouldn't have been able to change the fact that my Sergeant was my Sergeant or that he was the way he was right? I had absolutely no control over that. The only thing you can control is you and when you're in a situation where you feel like oh my gosh, the job is so bad. I can't do it. Because the job is so hard and it's acting on me. And a lot of times you feel like all these things are happening to me. It's acting on me even even saying like, oh you make me so mad. Like nobody makes you mad. It's really hard. And I have to tell myself isn't I'm not perfect at this. I tell my kids this like nobody makes you mad. You would decide to get mad when my daughters were going at each other this morning over who was going to pick up a stupid T-shirt off the floor. And they both like slaughtered each other so now they're grounded for a week. But like you have 100% have the ability to not react a certain way so that's one thing and then how do you do that is you are doing things every day. First of all, you probably are doing things every day to take care of yourself you don't realize it's what it's doing. So just that mind shift of knowing, "Oh wait, I am actually doing something for myself". And when you know when you feel like you're doing things for yourself, you sort of feel like you have more control over what's happening like for me when I was at the sheriff's office and seeing what's going on the narcotics unit so wasn't going to all those nasty crashes or seeing dead people all the time. Not all the time but enough that was still saying like horrible home conditions I go and we started to serve a search warrant at these houses and these kids living amongst this just filth and that if it doesn't depress you then you need to check yourself on your emotions. 
I know I know we all in last few weeks I did it. You have to compartmentalize because you have a job to do and you can't just break down crying over every sad kid situation you see there's a lot of them. But the second that you start to lose the human like it's a it's a to humanize things. Just as soon as you start to dehumanize things, you really need to stay take a step back. And I know it's common, I felt it too. But you start to feel like you can't you're out of control. Like when I asked you that things like all the sad kids and the sad situations or the domestic violence and the same woman that gets beat up all the time and you go, you know are just like, well, we had an arson investigator killed you know, five minutes from my house. I think last year maybe this spring you know, so you see bad things and bad you can't control that but you can control yourself. So how do you do that? For someone like you my question would be, do you really need all do you really need that extra shift? Because you need to sleep, there are three pillars to physic to, to health to physical fitness, stimulation, nutrition and rest. Rest. If you take one of those out, your body does not work properly, stimulation, which is moving your body in some way. And that can be as simple as a walk, I went for a walk this morning, I have done the training, you know, strength, tough, bad, I do that sometime to Tuesday, I did a workout that has made me so sore, that it's hard to sit down to go potty. But you know, and then sometimes like today is an absolutely beautiful day in Houston.
 And I went from beautiful walk and just 30 minutes, that's all my exercise for the day, I might do a 20 minute yoga later if I have time, but move your body so you can find. So first of all I say so you can find the time in the day and little bit. And that's what I teach people all the time is in one hour a day. You can take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and you think to yourself, I don't have an hour. And now you're thinking that you're thinking, I'm tired. I want to sleep. Well, if that's what you're thinking, yes, you need sleep. So do that and spend more than one hour doing it. Because sleeping also helps you spiritually and mentally helps your body process the food that hopefully you're going to eat later. And when you're going to drink water after that Red Bull that you're drinking right now. That's gonna help, yeah. But so in one hour a day, here's what my day looks like. So I did my 30 minutes of walking as it wasn't even 30 it was 25 minutes. And but this morning, I did my Five Minute Journal. That's part of the mental side. So mental training is an I say training because I believe, especially for tactical minded individuals like first responders are just consider it training. I work on my mental side, too. I write a journal a little bit I do I write down like things I'm grateful for. Because writing helps you clarify your thoughts, getting your thoughts out of your mind, make space for other things, and helps like pull things out of you. So that pull things out of what could could clog cloud your brain so that you're able to feel more control of your life. And if it feels more control of your life, when you're not at work, you will feel more control of your life when you are at work. So I did my Five Minute Journal, I did my 10 minutes of meditation. So now we're at 45 minutes I did 30-10-15 I'm going to do my Five Minute Journal before I go to bed to write three things I'm grateful for before I go to bed, because how can you feel bad about life and sometimes I'm lonely, I'm sitting there with my Five Minute Journal before I go to bed thinking that this day, I don't know what went good or if like I'm really bad argument, you know, every once in a while my husband, I have really not so good conversation. And even in those moments, I can find three things I'm grateful for. 
Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and it's as simple as I'm really grateful for my coffee. Or I'm really grateful for my super comfy bed because I do have the most comfortable bed in the whole wide world. So now I'm at 15 minutes and the other 10 is going to be something that I just do for myself. Like reading I'm really loved to read and i've you know mom of three kids. So if I just sit and read for like I did yesterday, I was in between something that I had 15 minutes, and I almost always bring my book with me just in case I have it and I go I got 15 minutes. And that made me so happy and so calm and that 15 minutes, that email, I picked up my kids and you know, everything goes haywire, like it's gonna do and, and I was able to respond to those things so much better, because I was calm before I even picked them up. And that is exactly what you can do for yourself, when you're not at work for when you do go to work. And you can do those things even when you're at work. I mean, I'm also a yoga instructor. And so I'm really big on the power of breath. And just taking you whether it's the box breathing, for breathing for hold for out for hold for, or Dr. Andrew was a big proponent of breathe in for four, hold for seven out for eight. And that physiologically changes what's happening and you only have to do it four times. In fact, I think he says if you're just getting started, like only do it two or three times and then and that's all in one city. I've been as an attorney going into court and about about lose my whole case for if the judge rules the wrong way. And I was a plaintiff's lawyer and I had about 20 defense lawyers on the other side that were all lined up to argue against my case, and I was gonna have to argue against each one each each one and the case I used to had at the time and in the case was worth somewhere between two and $4 million. If the judge ruled against me, I was gonna lose the whole case. And my client would get nothing. I was so freaking nervous. Though I feel like wish I would have known this breathing technique. When I was standing on the start line at the obstacle course, at SWAT Roundup, it so it just totally recalibrates your body. We know Google it, I won't bore you with trying to even pull it out of my brain of when you take that kind of breath, how it physiologically from your like you're nervous, since the nervous system out, reset your body.
 I tell you this quickly. So this obstacle course, you should google it, look up some of the pictures. It's an amazing obstacle course, it was so much fun. We're getting ready to start and somebody walks up to me, and they said, Bridget, what do you think, and I was so nervous that the only thing that could come out of my mouth was I couldn't speak I was so nervous. And then immediately it's just like a runner thing and a rope climb and an attic entry. And I was just, it was amazing. But so that's a really long way of saying when I teach people is you have an hour a day, you definitely have an hour, but when you break it down into pieces, and do you get up late, let's say for example, like my cousin doesn't drink coffee, but she still gets up and does something each day maybe kind of sits and if you don't, I recommend everybody. If you need to wake up 10 minutes earlier, just have 10 minutes to sit before you start going in today. Do that I know some people who will get up, get in the shower and get their clothes on and grab their coffee on the way out or grab their coffee on the way to work. How about if you just wake up five to 10 minutes earlier, and sit for a minute before you go? And that's included in the hour? And you think that's so dumb, Bridgette, that? No, it's not going to work? Yes, it does. And here's why I call that you mentioned you brought it up, because I've said this before. But I call this tactical wellness training. Because when I was on SWAT, or anybody that's been on the tactical, you know, you've done tactical stuff as you train the same things over and over and over and over the same thing over again. And then we would go into a classroom. And as we did for SWAT, we would go into a classroom and talk about that same thing over and over and over. Because you want your brain to know visually what it would do in the situation and you want your body to know physically what it would do in that situation because you don't want to be going into a hostage situation. And, you know, like, what if you walked into a room and you had like we would visual, we would actually talk about it, we would say Bridget, tell me what your house looks like, when you walk in your door. Okay, well you walk in as soon as you walk in, there's a small study to the right, and then you walk in, it opens up and you have the kitchen, and then a hallway. And then stairs, where stairs are the worst. Because when we have like the non lethal training rounds, I get shot on the stairs so many times that it hurts really bad. So you talk to Okay, well walk us through how you would clear home, if you walked into it, and we would talk I would talk it through. 
And then you know, and that's like just knowing and I do that I know my next cop. So I know what would happen if somebody wants into my house. And I had to start clearing it. May of course, get to my kids really. But anyway, um, you know, where's your gun? What would you do once you get your gun, I mean, all that kind of stuff. If you could apply that to your wellness training, and the reason why is so I'll give you a personal example two weeks ago, I got out again, my husband, I got into a really not fun conversation that did not end well. And so the next day, I mean, it really was not good. But I love my husband, and we're fine. But I also know that I'm best in my relationship, if I'm good on my own. If you're not, nobody can do that for you, you have to take care of you first. It's like when you're on the plane and they say, put your mask on first and then help those around you including your kids. Because you're no good, you can't help them if you're not breathing. And that's the same thing. So take care of yourself first and then the next day we'll come out so still so mad. But I knew that doesn't do anybody any good. And so I did everything I know what to do, which is go for my walk, eat some good food, do my meditation, and like gotten and that started to pull me out of that funk. Well that's exactly what law enforcement and the job of first responder does to you is it takes in it takes and it takes. You have to do the things for you to make you okay, so that number one, you're you're re-energizing yourself. But then also when those challenging things happen at work, like when I have a challenging moment in my relationship, you can either even let it go like I know who I am at my core and I know I'm working on me to be my best self and then that positively benefits my relationship with my husband. Just like it would positively benefit like how I interact with people on the job whether that's my crappy Sergeant because I know he can't ultimately doesn't change who I am I can still be good. Are you going to patrol and I know you're going on those calls for a second you get there people just think you're a piece of shit and they are cussing at you and you know being very aggressive. Do you cannot like you're you are you and that doesn't have none of that affects who you are. And the more you can train yourself to know that and feel that, the more that translates into reality, and so that's why I call my wellness training, a tactical wellness training because I do it all the time. Think about it. When you're, when you're sitting and doing nothing, you're in essence, what you're doing is thinking about you're visualizing it, or even actually visualize it sit to yourself, and that is a visualization exercises, you know, X, Y, Z is going to happen. And the outcome is going to be, you know, this certain event, like I'm trying to think of an example. Okay, we were going to execute a search warrant and the search, my search warrant, let's say, like, I did the undercover buys. And so I'm the one that got the search warrant. And then I'm briefing the SWAT team on what to expect. And then I'm also on the SWAT team. So I'm, and I know, I'm going to be driving the freakin equipment man. And, and yet, I have a job on perimeter. And I can do that's an important job. And I have a supporting role. And my role in the equipment then is important. I wasn't happy by that. But it's important when we went to a, you know, so I know that's going to happen. So you know, visualize, how do I want to feel in that moment, and then go ahead and visualize myself through that that completely changes versus you'd go there and you think, "Oh, my gosh, they're doing this to me again", you know, it's doing anything to me. And they're stupid decisions don't have to affect me, as you know, one of this really good book, I have it right here is the Four Agreements in this video. Yeah, one of the Four Agreements is don't take anything personally. And that's really hard. 
When I read that chapter, he said, and I remember that, and I've read it more than once. And I read that chapter. And I'm like, Okay, okay, but what I'll be thinking of myself, but what was going on when this happens? Like, how could I take that personally, nothing that anybody else does, has anything to do with you, not your wife, your husband, your kids, they're doing that, for whatever reason, they're, they're deciding to do that. It has nothing to do with you. You know, my I tell my sister like she's a teenager right now. She's been awful last night, I still want to do well, first of all, that is not well, I feel bad. Am I doing the wrong thing? Like no, her first off she's a teenager, and there's no explaining to that teenager. Second, that has nothing to do with you. You're being a good mom, you're setting but you're doing everything you're supposed to do as a mom and her actions or reactions or hormones that are causing those things have nothing to do with you. Do not take it personally. And so it's by doing that work. And we're like, part of what I say about the mental mental part of wellness training is reading, like read this book. Yeah. Because if you just read that one chapter, and then think about that, when you're on the job, and people are screaming at your spitting at you, don't take it personally. I promise, it will change how you interact with people, I agree with you less, you'll be less reactive, you will take actions that you know are the right ones to take rather than reacting to what you think they're doing to you. And there's no such thing. nobody's doing anything to you. So that's what my training is about is teaching people, everyone to understand what it means. But then also, how do you put that into action. And so I've created a membership to like, each week, you get training for me, and you can follow me on social media where I explain what, like how it looks. But also because I'm an attorney, and that's I mean, that's 50% of what the membership is about is, as I give you legal information. Mostly that will be job related. But sometimes it's not. Also, for the firefighters out there, did you know that qualified immunity applies to you, if you are a city employee, if you if you are employed by I mean, you can look this up, but you can look up to see if it if you if it if it applies to you, if you are considered a city employee, like the Houston Fire, fire department, meaning a plaza then, right just they don't often shoot people or fight with people. But let's say you are on a site and you're you know, somebody who's aggressive, and as a firefighter, you got to fight and they get hurt or guy, you're most likely protected by qualified immunity. So that's what I like to I really like that I'm able to provide that information. Because also I think that the more informed you feel, the more control you feel, which again, impacts how you go about your job and life. So I give legal training every month.

Jerry Lund
Yeah, that's I think that's a great, a great balance of having your, you know, you're taking care of your three pillars. And you know, getting some legal advices. It's always nice, because I think we always have legal questions. And a lot of time people will come to me about some legal questions. And I'm like, well, this is what I know. But I'm not exactly sure you know, how that pertains to some of these different situations. And so I think that's a great, great resource. Does that allow people to ask you questions?

Bridget Truxillo
Yeah, being members so I was gonna say that, not only do you get like a legal, like I said, it's like the legal foundations video every month, the second week of every month. But also you get access to me when I'm an attorney that has, you know, it's been in law enforcement, my law partner is also former law enforcement. So we work together on that. So in association with protective wellness, we have the legal protection program, where you have attorneys that have done the job, and you get access to those attorneys for a one on one legal consultation whenever you want. And so that's include and that's included in the membership. And I call that like, imagine if you could have your own attorney on retainer, whenever to ask whatever questions you need, like some of the questions I get. You know, unfortunately, there's divorce and it's first responder world. And there's sometimes kids involved so I get child custody questions. I get a lot more recently was a landlord tenant issue. And no does this, What are your rights as a tenant? I was able to help say, Actually, there are and it's not that not as difficult as you think. A lot of harassment, discriminatory questions, which I know that's a whole different episode of what I wish I would have done. And that was actually the first live training I did. So first week of each month, you get a live training on something where you get a chance to interact live with me on a topic and I have guest coaches, like in October, it's going to be a mental health awareness month, we're going to do some mental health training. And with a lady who is a first responder therapist in California, we're going to do some specific training or discussions on understanding your specific personality type and how that affects not only your mental health, but then also how that affects you want a job third week, then you get some other wellness training things in the third and fourth month. But beyond that, all that that implement that training to get each month, you get to book a call with an attorney whenever. You just click a link, pick a time that works for you, and book your call and you just tell me ahead of time what it is you are talking about. 
So I can be a little bit prepared, we talk through it, you get there's the membership include it's 12, a year or up to four and a month. So usually like you don't need an attorney at all. And then all of a sudden, a whole bunch a whole bunch of an attorney. Having been an attorney for 16 years, I was nice. I was a plaintiff's lawyer. And like the, I was never an ambulance chaser, but I was like kind of sorta in personal injury. And so I always just think to myself, like I'm not a very good lawyer, because I actually don't think people should sue as much as they do, which is bad when you're in the plaintiffs field because you want people to file lawsuits. But I don't believe I don't believe you should fight, people should file lawsuits for as many things as they do. And also, what I mean by that is, you can get a lot of resolution before ever having to file a lawsuit. You can get answers, there are remedies there are, you know, you don't have to sue your landlord, but there are process steps you can follow where you put them on notice and then they better help you or they're going to lose a whole bunch of money. Like really, that's what it boils down to is money. So So yeah, it's being able to provide people with as it's everything that I've learned over the last, gosh, as 24-22 years to give back. And what I know is that I wish I could have called an attorney when I was a deputy. I wish I would have had more opportunities for wellness training when I was you know, back then, and I do think the younger first responders are more open to like if starting to you know, start them early, they start from the beginning of things you do to take care of yourself and start those routines so that it just becomes something you do without even thinking like I get I don't have to really work on putting exercise in my day. I just I just do. Because also i i get kind of bitchy. Yeah, I know a lot about myself.

Jerry Lund
Yeah, I do as well, I'm sure.

Bridget Truxillo
Yeah. You need sleep is what you need Jerry.

Jerry Lund
Yeah, that's actually the thing that's been probably the most in my career. I know that affects me in every single way. But yeah, it's something.

Bridget Truxillo
You physiologically not capable of doing everything that you could do. If you don't have sleep. Like not eating right and not drinking water.

Jerry Lund
Totally, totally agree with you.

Bridget Truxillo
Simulation, nutrition and rest. I'm gonna send you an email in a couple of days and say how's your sleep going? 

Jerry Lund
Yeah. Well hopefully have four days off. So hopefully, yeah. Tonight. I'll get some sleep. Bridget, where can people find you and how they become a part of this program?

Bridget Truxillo
We have a I have a really great special special. I hate to say that but a really great pricing on the membership right now because of the programming I described about what you get every week is, I just launched that in September. So I have what's called the founder's offer. So for right now, it's $37 a month, and that includes that gives you all of that. I think I'm probably priced that too low, but I really want people to get in it and try it, which includes getting through getting to talk to an attorney. I promise you that my hourly rate as an attorney is a lot more than $37 right now. But I also know how I know I want to help law enforcement, I am 46 years old, I'm doing what I'm meant to do with my life, which is to positively affect the lives of law enforcement. And if we can, if I can ultimately prevent one death by suicide, then my whole life will have had meaning. So $37 a month to join the membership, you get all that stuff I described. If you want a little bit more information about like, how does wellness training that I was talking about, you can go to my website, it's myprotectivewellness.com, and there's a free download. So it kind of walks you through and seven steps of i know what i mean by that sort of and how to get that started and examples of it. And then on my LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, I'm about to start Tiktok. That's a good thing to do.

Jerry Lund
Here, but I'm there, but I'm not there. I'm just monitoring right now.

Bridget Truxillo
I know. It's just so much, but but yeah, so but I definitely go to my website, myprotectedwellness.com click to download, it's a free download, get you started and join the membership, you know, $37 a month on October 5, it's going up to $67. And then the ultimate pricing will be $97. So it's super great deal for right now. And I'm doing that on purpose to get I want to get as many people in as I can to try it out. And I promise it will positively benefit you, it will benefit you on and off the job.

Jerry Lund
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. And we'll have some of the stuff in the show notes too, that people can also have access to. So if you if you can't perfect, they'll remember what you just said. It'll be in the show notes and perfect there. So thanks again for being here today.

Bridget Truxillo
Thanks, Jerry.

Outro
Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to rate and review the show wherever you access your podcasts. If you know someone that would be great on the show, please get a hold of our hosts Jerry Dean Lund through the Instagram handles @jerryfireandfuel or @enduringthebadgepodcast. Also by visiting the show's website, enduringthebadgepodcast.com for additional methods of contact, and up to date information regarding the show. Remember the views and opinions expressed during the show, solely represent those of our hosts and the current episode's guest.

Bridget Truxillo

CEO, Founder

Law enforcement officers who are overwhelmed and frustrated are able to leverage Bridget’s 30 years of wellness, leadership, law enforcement and legal training for a blueprint on how to easily feel more comfort, ease and support for increased balance and joy in life. Bridget is passionate about helping law enforcement officers discover the ability to find happiness on a daily basis, no matter what the environment is, or circumstances are, surrounding them. She is an attorney and former Deputy Sheriff (SWAT and undercover narcotics), and the founder and CEO of Protective Wellness.