Sacrificing sleep and a social life for four months of the year doesn't bother Wood-Ridge Police Officer Timothy Janz.
Wrestling is his passion and he'd give up just about anything to help others looking to follow a similar path.
The officer opts for midnight shifts from November through March so he can continue as the assistant wrestling coach at Wood-Ridge High School.
"I love the sport and being able to coach and represent the town I grew up in and team I once wrestled for is very gratifying," said Janz, 30.
"Plus, the kids love knowing that I have more than 20 years experience, and knowing that their coach is a cop helps build a good relationship amongst myself, my department and the athletes and parents.
"Giving back to the community is what it's all about."
Janz -- who posts his fitness journey on Instagram -- wrestled through middle school, high school and college (Montclair State).
It paid off big time when he entered the police academy.
"We were doing defensive tactic training, and all of it is hands on," he said. "My background in hand fighting and grappling just made me better prepared for the training."
During wrestling season, he's with the kids every day at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. He gets himself to the gym before practice and afterwards, heads into work.
"Having that routine helps," Janz said. "Without it, you get that lazy unsuccessful feeling during the week."
Janz works out at Retro Fitness locations in North Arlington, Wallington and Belleville. He tries to wrestle when he can.
"You can’t do it if you’re out of shape," he said, "so it motivates me to keep going to the gym."
And that in turn helps him at work.
Having a background in wrestling helps Janz recognize when someone might start to get defensive.
It's all about hand position and stance, he says.
He and his colleagues are both confident in his abilities, Janz said.
"Does being able to run longer and faster and do more push-ups or pull-ups than other people make me a better cop? No," he said.
"But my partners feel confident knowing that they have me by their side.
"I'm going to stick with it as long as my body allows me to."
Think you're the fittest police officer in Bergen or Passaic county? Know someone who is? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in the new Daily Voice series, "Fit Cops."
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