Posted by: mckenzie68 | August 29, 2011

Day 12 – WPFG Adventure – Gearing up for competition!

I did not get up early today, struggled with pain all night, even after taking medication, I could not get a reasonable sleep.  I could have got up, but chose to relax hoping that would help…it didn’t, and after a while I got up at about 9:45am, showered, and went out for some breakfast.  I managed to located a Timmies close by and enjoyed a nice morning coffee, and later a Subway breakfast wrap.  Of course I was wearing a white shirt, and we all know what that means!  LOL  I returned to my room with a big ole coffee stain smack dab in the middle of the chest, I washed it out as best as I could and hung it up to dry.

I contacted Pete and Raz, arranged a meeting point, the NYPD station on Times Square…it was not long before they showed up.  The crowd in Times Square was huge, probably all the tourists who had been stuck in their rooms for 2 days trying to catch up!  =D

Our event was supposed to start today, but was scrubbed as the range has been flooded, and we will all have to complete the event in one day…tomorrow!  At least it gave me a chance to gather some gear for the event.  I needed to pick up a belt, holster, and mag pouches, and based upon a conversation with a nice lady from Olinville Arms in the Bronx they had the items I would need.  I convinced Raz and Pete to come with me on the subway ride to the Bronx, nice to have a couple of body guards!

We got on the #2 train northbound to the Bronx and the rail car we were on was relatively empty, and we got pretty good seats in the front car.  As we left Manhattan island under the east river the subway went from being underground to an elevated system, just like you see in the movies. Immediately I noticed that we were now exposed to the “real” New York, raw, edgy, rough, whatever you want to call it, the change was palpable and easily observed.  There are no big skyscrapers, no cop on every corner, and the graffiti, barbed wire, and run down buildings spoke volumes about the criminal elements in the area.  At one of the first stops a female entered the subway car and she was obviously talking on the phone via a headset type device.  Not only was she loud, but was using language that others would consider racist, and offensive…and it was non stop.  The others on the train showed no reaction to this display, and I tried to do the same, after all I was only there for the ride, but I was captivated by her.  I listened to the conversation which referenced violence, drugs, racism, and I lost count of the number of times she used the “N” word.  This was truly a very short exposure to what the Bronx was like, nothing like the experiences I had in Manhattan during a similar exposure.

We reached our stop at Burke St and walked about two blocks north to Olinville Arms…it was intimidating as we were clearly did not fit in, and were eyeballed by some who were clearly part of the criminal element, one of whom Pete had noticed was armed!  We were relieved to get to the store for sure!  I managed to find what I needed in order to compete, and we decided to head back to Manhattan immediately.  We returned to the subway platform and waited for the southbound #2 train, watching others who were clearly watching us.  The train ride back felt so much quicker for some reason…  Keep in mind that this is not a reflection on the majority of law abiding good people who reside in the Bronx, only the obvious unsavory ones, and a very, very limited view.  Regardless what I have said does reflect what I had observed, and it differed significantly from what I had observed in Manhattan.

Once back in Manhattan, I dropped my newly purchased gear in my room and then went out to look for presents…all of us needed to get something nice for our lovely spouses!  =D  This took significantly longer than we all anticipated, mainly due to the inflated prices in some stores.  It was fun to watch Raz spending so much time to find just the right thing for his wife, and Pete going out of his way to get something from the NHL store for his kids.  It made the long walks, and shop exploration worth it.

We needed to go to the convention center to gather information about the Police Action Pistol event and the shuttle service to the range.  It was a long walk, with a short side trip so Raz and Pete could drop their purchases in their hotel room.  As we approached the convention center we could see that it was buzzing with activity, athletes everywhere, and competitions going on inside.  We checked out a boxing match between a Hong Kong police officer and a French firefighter…the cop won!   There was also basketball, indoor soccer, darts and rowing, waaaay too much for us to stay and watch.  We located guest services and found out that our bus departs at 06:30am, and with that we decided to head back to our rooms to get some rest.  No Hurricane Party for us…we need to be on top of our game for tomorrow so we can represent ourselves, our agency and our country with our best effort!

I returned to my room, and put together everything I needed for tomorrow…I need to do some mental preparation after I finish this blog, then some much needed sleep….we walked quite a bit today!

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