To counter the memory-erasing adrenaline dump that can sometimes happen during the exercise, an instructor records every simulation; the class watches them as a group — hooting and hollering at each effective strike (as they did during the actual attacks, from the sidelines). That was a good one! Look at that kick! You did amazing!

I watched myself with somewhat embarrassed pride and then I acknowledged to myself that my embarrassment stemmed from a "ladylike" shame of being strong.

Thankfully, it wasn't enough to weaken my defense. That third guy? It was a straight kick. And I was yelling "No!" the whole time.

Deirdre Fulton can be reached atdfulton@phx.com.

Interested in RAD? Classes are offered several times per year. E-mail PPDRAD@portlandmaine.gov or find the "Amy St. Laurent Foundation / Portland ME Police R.A.D. Program" on Facebook for more information.

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