Roger is a local police officer and self-identified FLOAT STL disciple. He was generous enough to take time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us and discuss his floating practice. We hope you enjoy reading highlights from our conversation!
How did you originally learn about floating?
I was having breakfast at a restaurant and saw a flier for FLOAT STL. I was just really curious. My waiter got excited and said, “you’ve got to try it, it’s really great.” This happened around a time that I was looking for ways to relax. I was at a point where I was willing to try anything. And I saw it was only $65. So I thought, why not?
Can you remember your first float?
Before floating, I had never tried anything holistic. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I remember that it felt unusual. It took me a little while to relax. But once I did, it was a very positive experience. I purchased 4 floats after my first experience, because I knew my relaxation would deepen over time. Every experience since then has been more relaxing and more unique.
Can you describe to me what happens to you when you float?
Most times I relax immediately and lose track of time. Other times, I don’t focus on any issues at all. I’m relaxed and do not think about anything at all. I think I am in and out of sleep or a deeply relaxed state. I usually lose track of myself, if that makes sense.
Other times, my mind is active and thinking. I’m able to think clearer and put things in better perspective during a float. Sometimes, I focus intensely on a work issue or a personal issue. It helps me sort things out and compartmentalize what’s important and what’s not.
Overall, the floating environment is my place to relax and disconnect. I was not interested in meditation before floating, but now I experiment with it in the tank. I find it difficult to meditate in the rest of the world because there’s always a distraction. Like, the phone is going to ring and I have to pick it up. So, FLOAT STL is my place to disconnect from that. For 90 minutes, I don’t have to worry about anything bothering me. It’s really a good experience for me.
Can you talk a little bit about how your career and your journey towards relaxation affect each other?
Well, because of my career, I need to be aware of what is going on around me. That hyper-vigilance is an issue for police officers, and that has consequences over time. Everyone, especially police officers, need to take a break from that. Floating with you guys is a break for me. It helps me relax and disconnect completely and sort out issues in a relaxed way.
Have you noticed if floating has effected your overall stress level?
Yes. Floating has helped me improve my ability to put things in perspective and channel my energy towards things that I need to address. There are a lot of things that as you deeply think about them, you realize that they are going to take care of themselves or they are going to work out in their own way. During a float, I streamline the issues. I boil all of the issues down to the ones that I can affect change to. When I come out of a float, I’m able to come back and not get bogged down with the sideshows, areas where I can’t effect change. So floating has helped me let go, which has helped with my overall stress.
Right. You’re talking about letting go of the things that you can’t control. That’s so hard!
Right. I think that’s some of our arrogance as humans, we think we can change all of these things that are outside of our control. But trying to do that is wasteful and stressful, and you end up creating more problems, or not resolving what you actually can change. During a float, I ask myself: “What matters? What do you care about?” And, of these things, I ask myself: “what parts do I really have control over?” and “what am I going to do? How am I going to act?” When I start doing that, I notice that it really comes down to just a few things. It’s easy to focus on things that are not important or that you can’t control. Most of the time, the only thing you can control is your response to an event. So, often, I exit my float with the realization, “well, I can’t control this, but I can control my response, and I am going to do….” So, I come up with those types of things during my floats, which has been a great help for me.
Do you have friends and family that ask you about floating, and do you describe it to them in some way? Or is it something you keep to yourself?
I am a FLOAT STL disciple. I tell everyone about FLOAT STL. I buy floats for my friends and family. I encourage them to try it. I ask them about their experiences. I’ve probably referred about a half a dozen people. I make appointments for them and send them. I think there’s a lot of good positive peaceful energy here, and I would like my friends and family to experience that.
At first, a lot of people think I’m talking about a float trip. And when I explain it to them, they’re usually surprised that I’m into it because I don’t look like someone who would be in to the whole holistic thing. And then I give them a float and I recommend that they try it more than once. I often recommend it to my friends in high stress jobs. I say, “try it, try it, try it! Its cheaper than a massage and you don’t have to talk to anyone for 90 minutes!”
Roger, thank you so much for your time. Is there anything that I did not ask you about that you would want to share?
Floating has been a really positive thing for me. I notice when I take longer breaks from floating, like 2-3 weeks, I miss it. And again, I would encourage everyone to try it a couple times because it is a unique experience.