FIT@50 / week 69
Price of Pizza:
This week while in Paris, Liliana Hart and I took off on the city in a series of pedicab driven adventures. To say the experience was anything less than epic would be an understatement.
But at what price?
I’m always talking with her and our kids about situational awareness. The boys think it’s funny, while the girls think I’m trying to make the junior high boys afraid of them (maybe both.)
After a lift to the Tour Eiffel, we looked down upon an enchanted city filled with lights and people and noise and life. Just below us was a watching station for fans of the Euro semifinals soccer match between Wales and Portugal. I’d never experienced crowd energy like that before. It was like 10 Mardi Gras combined.
As we headed back to the suite, we were instantly caught up in thousands of fanatic supporters of the soccer match. Unable to get back to the room, we ducked into a pizza joint for a late supper.
We were stopped at the door by a tough looking guy wearing a black jacket with an armband that read Security. Seriously, for pizza?
Facing the door as all good cops do, I watched the crowds inside and out. I suddenly felt less for wanting pizza and more for escaping the scene. November 13, 2015 was there. Always there in my mind as we carted around in a beautifully free-moving environment. The 130 victims of that night’s coordinated terror attacks weighed heavily upon my heart as I choked down the first but only slice of pizza.
I was fixated on the tough guy at the door, as well as the hundreds of riot squad special police lining the avenues with body armor and machine guns ready to respond.
It wasn’t nervousness that had stricken me. It was a wash of grief for those people sitting in a cafe just like us, and the revelers whose only care was for the score of a well-played game, and the many others who just wanted to “kick it” across Paris like we did.
Our waiter was an older man who watched the streets as much as he watched his customers. We didn’t mind the delays in service. I’m sure it was all he could do to focus on just doing his job.
But it’s just a pizza place.
I’m never at ease. I watch the lighthearted videos we do on facebook and I’m amazed that when we’re in a public place how my head is constantly scanning back and forth. I can’t help it or want to change it. It’s what I was trained to do–I watch and observe, so I can react and protect if needed.