While having a conversation the other night with a friend, he said “I keep getting emails and messages from people saying ‘Thank God we have some time to breathe now.’.”. This was in regards to the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency (My friend Sparks31 says the “conservatives” all going back to sleep now LOL). My response to my friend was, “They think they have time to breathe because they’ve never been choking.” Of course my friend asked what I meant, so I explained my analogy which was based off of something that happened to me not too long ago.
A while back, my Wife (at the time she was my Fiancee) “Mason Dixon Vixen” aka “WMD” and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie. It was a nice relaxing weekend for a change with no classes or “must do’s” scheduled, and all was right with the world. My Wife loves gummy bears, and had broken open a bag of them, and as she normally does, she was sharing some with me.
She had handed me a handful, and as I popped three of them in my mouth, apparently one of the little dastardly bastards made its way into my trachea/windpipe. Well let me tell you something. I have seen a lot of things in my life, and been in a number of harrowing life or death situations, but at that moment none of those incidents compared to realizing I couldn’t breathe.
So let’s go through the timeline:
- Realize I can’t breathe and I PANIC! Great…here comes “Fight or Flight”.
- Adjust my position by standing up to see if I could cough it out.
- Realize that didn’t work because I didn’t have the air for it, then trying to remember what comes next.
- Did I say I was PANICKING?!!!!!!
- Vixen stands up and calmly says “What do you want me to do?”
- I gave her the hands signal (hands under my sternum) for the Heimlich Maneuver.
- She applies the Heimlich Maneuver
- I didn’t appear to work at first, but apparently, it had loosened it up a little.
- I then realized I could get a small amount of air past “Satan’s Own Gummy Bear.
- I bent over, sucked in a little air, and was able to cough out the SOGB.
Now for some background info. I have been blessed with an ability to normally stay calm while everyone around me is freaking out. I normally feel most comfortable and calm in bad situations. Although having good training helps, I attribute that ability to being how God wired me, not because I’m such a “Bad Ass” or anything silly like that. Throughout the whole choking situation, the longer it went on, the calmer I got. I believe that was for a few different reasons.
- Even though I have never been choking, I have been trained in the proper response to this situation for 30 years. It is an ingrained, second nature response.
- Between #1 and #2 in the timeline above was critical. This is where “Fight or Flight” kicks in, and that is where constant repetitive training is gold because it will help in overriding the primitive responses everyone is born with.
- I’m a Victor, not a Victim. That’s not about being a “bad ass”, It’s about your mindset. I KNEW I would find a solution, but I also KNEW I was on a time hack.
- I know a guy who had this happen while driving, and he stopped, got out, and performed the Heimlich on himself using his truck bumper, AND IT WORKED!
- I had my Best Friend right there with me, and I know she is also trained in dealing with that situation/scenario.
Bottom Line, I was prepared and set up for success because I still continue to train and prepare for something I’d never experienced, but had always known was a possibility. Going through the same training year after year is monotonous, but that is what makes it second nature, and not something you have to “Pull up the file” on when it really matters. That monotonous training is what helped my mind rationalize that I would find a solution. Honestly though, having a squared away partner was probably the deciding factor.
Now your saying “JC, how does that relate to the “breathing room” we have been given with the Trump Win?”. Well here’s how it relates. I could have stopped doing a number of things on my own that related to training in First Aid/CPR, etc. years ago, because I “Had it down pat.”, right? I chose not to do that. I continue to go through the monotonous practice, to include “war gaming” different scenarios just to stay sharp.
Yes, we have been given a breather. I even talked about it here. This is not the time to sit down and take a 30 minute break on the ruckmarch (anyone who has done it knows what I’m talking about. and that it is a “wrong answer”). Take 5 minutes to readjust your pack straps, get some water and a power bar in your pie hole, and get back to doing what it is we do as Survivalists which is PREPARE and TRAIN.
Time is relative. You have got to treat what we are preparing for like you are choking. There was no lead in to that incident. One minute “Deadpool” was saying “What the ass?”, the next second I was gasping for air and my life. If you’ve taken a couple weeks off because you think we won, Great, good for you. Now get a reality check, and get back to work! The probability is we’ll be “choking on that win” before long.
I’ll leave you with this quote,
” On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died.”
P.S. The best takeaway from my “near death experience” was this. You might always wonder if your Wife/Husband/Significant Other can do what needs to be done under stress when a life is on the line. I no longer have to wonder, because I honestly believe my Wife’s quick and calm response was the reason I didn’t pass out and need EMS or worse. Thanks Darlin’, You were the “Bad Ass” in that situation.
P.S.S. Sorry to disappoint those who would have liked to seen me “Bite it” in that situation. As I said to my command after a particularly bad situation in Iraq occurred that should have killed me, “I guess the man upstairs isn’t done with me yet.” Plus, I have a “Battle Buddy” (and future Mother of more of my children) that ROCKS, and none of her guns are blue.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE