Is your training useful to you?
In a catastrophic emergency, would all your training aid yourself, your family, your community? Or…are you the one whining about the scrape on your leg, the lack of water or not being able to update your Facebook status? If there was an earthquake right now, would you be out there digging for survivors, lifting beams and pillars off of people or would you be the one crying in a corner? Is this too grim? Maybe, but I always want to be prepared for anything life and mother nature has to throw at me.
At the age of 19, I lifted a car out of a ditch that was about to slide down a mountainside.
It was a cheap, feather-light import, but it was still a car. I was prepared to let it go if it started taking me down with it, but I managed to bounce then lift it to safety. I saved my friends car, and felt pretty damn good about it. I would not have been able to do that if I spent my high school days playing video games. Instead, it was spent weightlifting 90 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Fast forward 25 years and I still feel confident in my ability to be useful in an emergency. I am extremely strong, know how to start a fire, build a shelter, tie knots, collect water, administer any kind of first aid, talk to people, lead small and large groups, and take charge or take orders.
I have emergency kits at work, in my car, in my home. But, that is just part of it. No amount of preparation can help if you are not mentally and physically prepared. Your training must mirror what you hope to become in a stressful situation. Biceps curls may be for the girls, but it won’t help you in real life! I talk a lot about stress inoculation to my kids and my martial arts students. We must train like how we want to perform in competition (or an emergency). It gives me goosebumps to watch someone really train with ferocity. Instill some seriousness into your training and your benefits will skyrocket.
Can you sprint full speed for 100 meters? Can you lift at least your body weight from the ground? Can you squat your body weight? Can you do at least 20 push-ups? Can you hang from a bar for 30 seconds? Can you walk non-stop for 8 hours? Can you carry your children or injured dog 1km? Can you balance on a beam 2 stories high? Can you crawl in and under tight spaces? I would consider these all essential survival skills that you can work on in a gym.
If you wonder why we do animal crawls/walks, hops, jumps, hanging, squatting, pressing, etc, this is why. There is always a method to my madness. I want my clients to be strong, fit, healthy, pain-free, not only in life, but also in worst case scenarios. It’s not rocket science. Training for this stuff is easy, it just takes some imagination, and not worrying about how you look. It’s especially fun to get down to ground level if you have kids. So, start today. I always hope for the best, but I am still prepared for the worst. You should be too!
Unabashedly educating you on how you can win in life with your fitness, sleep, diet, and stress management.