Welcome to the Behind the Shield Podcast! My name is James Geering. Why listen to this Podcast you ask? Well let me tell you a little about myself and my journey and hopefully it will lead you down the rabbit hole with me.
I was born in England and spent almost thirty years there before emigrating to the U.S. My early years saw me in in a spectrum of jobs from lifeguard to stuntman. I had always dreamed of becoming a Firefighter but was told as a child that my poor color vision would disqualify me from the process. It wasn't until I moved to America that I realized that the vision deficit was mild and was a poor excuse for not following my dream. I promptly enrolled in the Fire Academy and the rest is history. I have been a Firefighter/Paramedic for twelve years now and still love it as much as my first day on the job. I am also a Crossfit coach and about to graduate from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's in Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology.
At the start of my firefighting career I felt invincible and thought that the only danger to my health would be in a collapse or burn over. As the years have progressed, I began to notice a trend of ill health in my profession. Retirees would pass away soon after they left. Young firemen got fatal illnesses and depression claimed the lives of many of my brothers and sisters. I incurred several injuries on the job despite being a lifelong athlete, realizing that my training was creating some glaring weaknesses. I started on a path of self reflection and ultimately healing, which took me to some of the greatest minds in the wellness world. Through questioning everything I had been taught, I began to deconstruct the entire fitness community and rebuild from the ground up. I realized that there was a giant void in the area of First Responder wellness. The advice and literature that was out there seemed outdated and disconnected from the rigors of shift life. There was only one solution; fill that void with the amazing knowledge I had encountered along my own journey of repair.
This Podcast will bring some of the greatest minds on the planet to you, the men and women who protect our communities. The topics will range from exercise and nutrition to PTSD and sleep deprivation. I aim to smash the mold that has imprisoned us for so long and take you on the journey with these men and women that will change your lives as they have mine. We will challenge every aspect of our job and heal our peers along the way. As Bruce Lee said, "absorb what is useful, discard what is useless." We are all built differently and each and every one of you will have your own experience on this path. I hope you enjoy the wealth of knowledge and I look forward to hearing the success stories from around the globe.