We like to prepare for the unlikely, the dangerous, the morbidly sexy threats which we dream will come to fruition. Like today will be the day that the guys in masks storm into the bank while I wait for the teller. The mugger in the alleyway (I never walk down alleys..) picked the wrong military aged male to rob at EENT (dusk). Etc. We’re all heroes in our own minds and only sometimes in practice.
In reality, that mugger probably did pick the wrong military aged male or female if you’ve been war gaming scenarios like that. But honestly, it has gotten to the point where we completely disregard logic and statistics and spend time planning for the unlikely event that will take us down in lieu of training to mitigate the probable. Are you going to be held hostage on the airplane? Do you need to spend time looking at every face as you head down the aisle to your seat? You probably aren’t, nothing wrong with being prepared, but did you consider you haven’t been taking care of your heart with all those tacos and whisky? Perhaps sitting still in that economy seat for 6 hours put you at higher risk for a blood clot or stroke.
What do I mean? Here are your lifetime odds (from livescience.com) of being killed by the following:
Cause of Death Lifetime Odds Quick-Fix for odds improvement
- Heart Disease 1-in-5 Do PT
- Cancer 1-in-7 Stop smoking and eating garbage
- Stroke 1-in-23 Do PT
- Accidental Injury 1-in-36 P.P.E
- Motor Vehicle Accident 1-in-100 Driver training and assume everyone is a moron
- Intentional Self-harm (suicide) 1-in-121 Do PT and talk to someone. Anyone. Email me
- Falling Down 1-in-246 Go at an appropriate pace and de-clutter
- Assault by Firearm 1-in-325 Avoid situation. Be prepared to defend yourself
- Fire or Smoke 1-in-1,116 Don’t hit it with a broom, swap out the smoke detector batteries
- Natural Forces 1-in-3,357 Stop global warming somehow?
- Electrocution 1-in-5,000 Don’t put the fork in the socket or turn off the power first
- Drowning 1-in-8,942 YMCA lessons
- Air Travel Accident 1-in-20,000 Don’t fly Malaysia
- Legal Execution 1-in-58,618 Obey the law
- Asteroid Impact 1-in-200,000 S.O.L. Unless you know Bruce Willis
It is much more fun to train to protect yourself from some outside force intent on inflicting harm, but the numbers don’t lie. Death by heart disease or you turning the gun on yourself is more likely than someone trying to shoot you. I’m as guilty as anyone. I have more whisky in the house than water and the tap water tastes like hell. The baddest weapon in any situation is above your shoulders, when you can think and calmly maneuver into a dominant position, you’re winning. When you have the physical ability to execute any plan you constructed given your METTC (mission, enemy, terrain, time, troops, civilian considerations) constraints, then you’re an effective force. Great that you learned how to run up to a wooden target and shoot around it then transition to your sidearm flawlessly, but if that got you out of breath, we’ve got problems if there’s more to follow.
The best preparation, the only place to start being really prepared for what threatens us, is to prepare your body and mind for the rigors it may have to endure.