There I was. Standing in the unmentionables section taking care of some last minute Christmas shopping. Just like any normal guy, as I stood there browsing, I got a little excited. You see, my mind wandered to the same place it does every four minutes or so all day long. What if? What if I was standing here and somebody was trying to hurt me? How would I handle it? What if there were two of them? What if I had my kids with me? What if, what if, what if…?
- Sponsor of the Day: Tactics Designs
Have a Shopping Cart
Last night I worked pretty hard to knock out the last of my Christmas shopping and I had a pretty successful night despite my mind wandering from the task from time to time. Â At one point in time I caught myself making the typical dumb shopper mistake of being caught with too much stuff and no cart. Â I work pretty hard to keep my right hand fairly free to draw my pistol or take any other action that may need to be taken. Â But here I was with too much stuff in my hands to be able to handle the situation. Â With both hands full, we can really run into some problems if we need to use our hands. Â Now, don’t get me wrong, nothing in my hands was so important that I couldn’t simply drop it to the ground. Â Nothing fragile, nothing of value, especially when compared to the value of my safety. Â We have to understand how our body works so that we can understand why this can be a problem.
Physiological Reactions to Stress
Our body has a long list of survival reactions to stressful situations that has been strengthened through thousands of years of successful breeding. Â We need to understand these physiological responses so that we can exploit them to our advantage and avoid putting ourselves in situations where our responses could be a disadvantage.
So lets take a look at my error at the store. Â Minding my own business. Â Casually shopping. Â Something tucked under each arm, something in each hand as well. Â Suddenly there is a problem, a real threat. Â Two thugs with knives, and they want the last two Angry Birds Plush toys left in the county. Â Not good. Â I do carry a throw away wallet, but I haven’t yet integrated a throw away Angry Birds Plush Toy, and I’m not going to be giving up the real thing. Â Who would. Â This is a stressful situation.
Lets take a quick and abbreviated look at our bodies response:
- Eyes send information to the brain that there is danger
- BrainÂ perceivesÂ danger
- Brain signals body to release chemicals into blood stream to enhance our chances for survival
- Chemicals cause a series of changes in how our body works which can vary from person to person and situation to situation.
- HeartÂ rate increases
- Vision changes to increase the visualÂ acuityÂ in the center of our field of vision
- Brains processing of information changes to enhanceÂ performance
- Blood flow changes in the body to supply blood to large muscle groups for fight or flight reaction
- Changes in auditory function
- Deterioration of fine and complex motor skills
- The grasp reflex
- Keep in mind
- A response to stress is based on many factors
- It varies from person to person
- It varies from situation to situation
Use the Cart
So I started thinking. Â How is gripping this cart different than holding on to whatever I am buying?
- Distance = Time = Opportunity
We have to remember that simple logistical changes can result in a need for drastic changes in tactics. Â As I mentioned above my shopping cart does a great job of creating distance by using it as a barrier, or can do damage to scum when used as a weapon. Â When I am with my family however, my kids must be a consideration. Â If my children are in the cart, I certainly don’t want to use the cart as a barrier. Â This would put my children in harms way and that is counter productive to my goals. Â My point here is simple. Â There are many solutions to a problem that would be ineffective or counterproductive with a simple change in circumstances.