Saturday, January 12, 2013

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Wishful Thinking, Poor Memory, or Bad Profiling?

Still Smiling (Before Hiking)
The hardest person in the world to profile may be oneself. It is a bit hard to be subjective when it comes to one's own behaviors, choices, and goals which is why, no doubt, we often argue so vehemently with the advice of friends. And so it was with my trip to Guatemala. Hey, I am not saying I didn't have a good time, go to fascinating and beautiful places, trek in the mountains and jungles, and meet wonderful people....and learn great lessons of life....I am saying I didn't accomplish my mission of losing a good bit of weight. I left the country weighing 166 pounds (yes, dear friends, I did gain a lot of weight this year while finishing my last two books) and I came back at 162 pounds....big whoop. Now, some of you will say that was a reasonable weight loss for four weeks and I would agree, if I were sitting on my fat arse on  cruise ship eating unlimited food. But, I was supposed to be hiking for three of those four weeks, every day, and eating healthful and small portions.

I Should Have Googled "Mountains" and "Guatemala"
Now, here is where my poor memory or bad personal profiling comes in. I totally forgot I hated hiking up. Yes, I am good at walking all day on flat ground, but, hills, I hate. What the hell was I thinking? Guatemala is a totally mountainous country! I apparently forgot that since the last time I had been there, thirty-three years ago on my honeymoon (and I probably only walked from the hotel room to the nearest bar/restaurant/cab during that trip). I also forgot that I likely quit hiking years ago when I realized the Blue Ridge Mountains were, uh, mountains, and I hated the whole first half of any hike to some great lookout point and didn't sign up to repeat the experience. Pretty much, I think I used the backpack for traveling overseas and sold it when I got married. I took a suitcase on my honeymoon.

Easy Start but Them Thar Mountains...
So, forgetting that and ignoring the fact I was thirty pounds heavier than I should be and seriously out of shape (yes, I ignored advice from annoying folks who thought I should hike locally for a half a year and then go to Guatemala), off I went to join a volcano hike. And the day the hiking group left our starting point, the city of Quetzeltenanago, they added food to my already heavy backpack and made me carry four liters of water; hence, the black cloud of doom began descending even before I started ascending. That day, we hiked up hills to the bus station and I was already hating life. Then we rode for six hours on chicken buses holding on to the seat in front of us less we fly into the aisle while rounding the corners at a suicidal speed (which I preferred to hiking). After a wonderful evening in a little town called Nebaj, a too fattening dinner of spaghetti and apple pie with ice cream (that hostel owner sure could bake) and a great night's sleep on  rock hard bed (yeah, I was very tired), we walked out of town (that was  pleasant hour long stroll) and then we went up....and up.....and up.

Arriving at the Little Schoolhouse
Inside the Schoolhouse
I went up more slowly than anyone else (who were all under age thirty). Seven hours of up and I was straggling way at the back, bloody miserable every torturous step of the way. One of the leaders of the group kept me company (what a sweet boy!) until we reached our final destination, a tiny village where we were to sleep on the floor of a one-room schoolhouse. The next morning, in the pouring rain, the group was to rise at 3 am and climb the volcano, hiking up eighty seven steep switchbacks (I was originally misinformed that they weren't so bad but that night I was told they were a total bitch) until they reached the top four to six hours later.

All Alone....Thank God, It's Finally Morning
Taking the Tuk Tuk Back Down the Mountain
I decided to go the other direction. As the other hikers packed up their gear in the dark in circles of light from their headlamps, I wished them well and snuggled back into my warm bedding. After four more hours in a rather scary, very dark, desolate spot thinking about the embarrassing headline, "American Criminal Profiler Gang Raped and Murderered on Guatemalan Mountain," (and to be fair, I refused the kind hike leader's offer to escort me all the way back to the city) I got up, packed my things, and walked down to the road to "town" (kind of just a bend in the road with one shop) to catch a tuk-tuk (autorickshaw), then three chicken buses back to Quetzeltenango (an all day rather hair-raising affair) to retrieve the rest of my stuff that was in storage.

A Long Hard Three Days in the Jungle but Doable
I did manage to do about seven day's total hiking (a couple of more days at Lake Atitlan, one in Semuc Champey, and three days in the jungle from Zotz to Tikal), but with three other weeks of sightseeing, eating and drinking in restaurants and bars, my plan rather went to hell. I still had a good time, lost four pounds, and have great photos and memories, but hiking up mountains is never ever happening again in my lifetime. Never ever.

So, weighing in at 162 pounds on return, I have decided to go back on the raw food plan. After just four days, I have lost four pounds. Geez, to think, all I had to do was stay home and eat my veggies

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

January 12, 2013

Pat Brown's Books

Only the Truth
How to Save Your Daughter's Life
Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
The Profiler
Killing for Sport


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Pat, on what you did achieve - very well done!! As a Monroist in my younger life I know exactly what you went through. Oh, and the weight of that pack .....
You were very wise to cut short and head down. You are very worthy of admiration nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear more about your raw food plan.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about trying the Pure Coffee Bean Extract (pill form) or the Pure Saffron (fruit) Extract appetite suppressant? Both recently were explored by Dr.H.Oz during television interviews showinhg fantastic results. Dr. Oz is a practicing licensed cardiologist and should have no reason to mislead about their successes. Might be worth a try.

Anne Guedes said...

Hi Pat, You've been very brave ! Do you feel tired sometimes when at home -- and not only when climbing a mountain ?

Anonymous said...

Well done! No doubt your lungs appreciated and benefited from the excursion.

Next time try to have others follow you and not the other way around.

Have you tried to walk with Ki rather than with the legs? Try...

Next time you are in Los Angeles see Corky!

Video of him here:

More in the collection.....

Anonymous said...

Fret not Miss Brown. Metacognitive Dissonance rears its ugly head and frowns on all of us concerning self regulating behaviors and such.

I thoroughly enjoyed your last post on Misreporting, yet I couldn't pass the Robot test ironically.

I like many aspects of Behavioral Evidence Analysis (ideo-deductive methods opposed to nomothetic etc) but must admit that in most instances profiling does little to assist in the apprehension of criminals, and the " collection of inferences about the qualities of an individual responsible for the commission of a crime or series of crimes," is a better marketing tool for talk shows than anything else.

There are good ones of your variety, and of course bad ones and those who speculate and try to pass that speculation off as an inference based on logical, scientific deductions...but at the end of the day youre still humans and subject to the same flaws and internal discprepancies common amongst us laymen.

(Your current weight predicament proves as much....though I personally think youre rather good looking just how you are. In many instances Beauty serves as a clever mask worn by ugly souls, or a handicap to conceal mindlessness....rare are the few who possess both qualities without vanity....lucky you.)


Anonymous said...

Well done Pat for your effort. Look at it from this way you can eat raw veggies any day but you can't have the experience of hiking in Guatemala unless you actually go there.

You have achieved more than I have by simply going hiking!