Room At The Top

Nancy Rothschild

Federal Law Enforcement Officer

Firearms Instructor


They say that you respond like you train, so take it all seriously and practice all you can. I agree with this. It is not “practice makes perfect”, but “perfect practice makes perfect”. To me, this emphasizes NOT repeating bad habits, but getting as much training and coaching and feedback as possible in order to repeat good habits. Much of an officer’s training deals with utilizing everything that could be utilized before having to go for the gun. Hours are spent on combat fighting techniques, verbal commands, hand-cuffing techniques, take-down procedures, baton use, pepper spray application, and whatever else an agency deems appropriate for use in their field operations encountering the Bad Guy. As an instructor, that school for these Other-than-Weapons tactics, encouraged 100% effort. It was, in a word, brutal. What does this have to do with a new recipe? Well, whomever has tried roasting chilies will understand and nod in reminiscence. Living in the Southwest, I first approached roasting with the robust Poblano. Roast, cool, peel, heaven. I was damned proud of my culinary conquest. Hours later, more than three hours later, after washing hands, cleaning the kitchen, paying the bills, walking the dogs, it is late, I am tired, I rub my eyes. I have effectively pepper sprayed my eyeballs. I instantly experience my bodily functions of breathing, blinking and swallowing locking up. My eyes start gushing tears. In that moment of considering panic or consulting the mental file for solution, I remembered my training: air it out, wait 45 minutes. I felt like an idiot crying my eyes out for the pepper residue I had directly applied, but my original studentship paid off. I responded like I trained. I remembered what to do, I did it. I can only hope in a more danger impacted setting I would also respond like I trained.   nancy-metals2  nancy-metals1 


One Response to Room At The Top

  1. thors45 says:

    My son did that once… He would have been 8 and we were visiting a friend. I noticed a plant with small, bright red balls on it but thought it was an artificial decoration. A while later my son was in a panic and said his eyes were burning. I’m trying to see if he’d poked something in there and asked him what he had been doing right before it started to hurt. He said that he had picked one of the “berries” and crushed it. I took one and tasted it and realized it was one of those “BB bomb” peppers.

Leave a Reply