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Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Could you drag someone out of a car? Could you run a hundred yards right now, if you needed to? Could you swim across a pool? If you had to stop and think about those, ..........GOOD! It means that you're thinking! We have few real physical demands in our lives today. We ride elevators when ascending the floors in a building. We jump on an escalator at the mall, and take the "moving sidewalk" at the airport. We drive 2 blocks to the store, and load our food into a wheeled cart, then push it out to the car to load up before driving home. There are few times throughout the course of our lives when we really NEED to be able to do something physically demanding. When those times come, however, our lives, and the lives of those around us could very well depend upon our ability to rise to such an occasion. The recent airplane crash in the Hudson River in New York is a perfect example. None of those people boarded the plane that day thinking that they would be called upon to climb out onto the wing of a downed jetliner and help other people wade through freezing water and make their way to safety by climbing onto a ferry boat. None of them.

Some people are legitimately disabled, and those of us who are not owe it to those around us to be able to help out. That warning on the card in the seat pocket means something. It says that if you are sitting in the seat near the escape door, you must be physically able to open it and help with a possible evacuation. If your muscles are soft and weak from disuse, and you are so overweight from excess food consumption, you can't do as much. Your body will respond to an adrenaline rush, and let you do some, almost regardless of your condition, however if you will only spend a bit of time and effort, you can have a body that, like that of OGG, will respond to any challenge.

In short, you never know what the next moment will bring. To assure yourself the best possibility of survival, and to be able to help those around you, you need to keep yourself in some reasonable condition. You don't have to be a Recon Marine or a Navy Seal. Your don't have to be a marathoner or an Olympic swimmer. Those are uncommon individuals who have worked countless hours and sacrificed to get where they are. Ask yourself this, if you were in that plane crash situation, who would you want on that plane with you? A bunch of out of shape people who never gave a thought to such an eventuality, or a few Marines? Easy answer, huh? Well, get yourself up off the couch, drop the donut, and put one foot in front of the other. Your duty to yourself, and to those whose fate has put them near you at any given moment, is to be able to perform to YOUR PARTICULAR maximum efficiency. That's all.

The Samurai in ancient Japan had a saying, "One who is Samurai must, before all things, keep constantly in mind, the fact that he has to die." This didn't mean that they WANTED to die, but that, every day, every moment, every second, they should be prepared to face a life and death situation. We should do the same. You may have to pull someone out of a burning car today on your way to work. Kind of a scary thought, huh?

I had the fortune to be able, once, to wade into a lagoon, yank open the door of an overturned pick up truck, and drag an unconscious lady out of the water. It wasn't some big dangerous thing to do, but the point is, I was ABLE to do it. When something like that happens, it can be life changing. You need to be ready. It will happen to you, sooner or later. Maybe something dramatic, maybe not so dramatic, but life will put some demands upon you eventually. Be prepared to help yourself, and help those around you.

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