Life

Some Raw Talk About Safety

OH MY GAWD … KAY YOU COULD GET HURT DOING WHAT YOU DO … OMG KRAV MAGA AND RUNNING ARE SOOOOO DANGEROUS … YOU’LL DESTROY YOUR KNEES … YOU’LL PUT YOUR EYE OUT … BLOOD CLOTS FROM BRUISES … UNPROVEN METHODS … YOU COULD DIE … YOU BETTER STOP EVERYTHING AND GO LIVE IN A BUBBLE …
 
If the thought ever rises up within you that you should say something like that to me, please follow this 5-step safety plan: 
  • ask me about risks and rewards (there are both)
  • join me and see for yourself
  • do some actual and current research
…. and failing that, please
  • superglue your fingers to your lips so that neither fingers nor mouth can communicate that stupidity out loud, and 
  • bugger off to somewhere else where people enjoy fearful nonsense
Listen up. 
Everything in life has risk. We must continually weigh out risks and rewards. It doesn’t matter what you do in life, there’s a risk – and you have to decide whether that risk is worth the reward.
  • Every time you eat (even the most nutritious foods) you run the risk of choking.
  • Every time you shower, you could slip and hit your head.
  • Like to swim? You could drown. Play baseball with your kids? Get whacked in the head with the ball, or step in a hole in the backyard and break your leg. Go to the gym? Throw your back out.
  • Love your pets? They could bite you, you could be allergic, you could trip over the cat.
  • Childbirth? The USA has an absurdly high maternal death rate.
  • Do you cross the street? You could get hit by a bus.
  • Do you drive? Wrecks.
  • Have stairs? One of my worst injuries ever was a fall down our spiral staircase.
I could go on, but hopefully you get the point. Each of those things has a level of risk, but I bet you still eat, bathe, procreate, recreate, and move freely about your world.
So let’s look at my fitness regimen.  I take Krav Maga classes 2-4 times a week. I hike or trail run 2-3 times a week. I sprint on the street 2-3 times a month. I run both barefoot and in running shoes. I do bodyweight exercises at home. I’ll be adding actual weights at some point in the future.
What are my actual risks? There are some.  Sure, I could blow out a knee or have a freak accident while running. Perhaps I’ll run into a bear in the woods. Sure, I could get injured. That is absolutely 100% a possibility. Truth is, I already have been injured… I dislocated a couple of ribs while escaping a rear bear hug. It hurt. It really, really sucked. Most everyone told me I should lay low for a while. Maybe not work so hard. So I oiled up, saw the chiropractor, adjusted my activity level, and powered through. I eliminated activities that actively caused pain, and pursued activities that were either painless or only passive pain. I committed to train HARD in those areas in the interim. It’s paid off. #noexcuses

What are my actual rewards? I feel alive. I have tons of energy. My metabolism is tangibly improving. I’m building muscle. My heart rate, blood pressure, lung capacity, and endurance are all at happier levels. I have WAY less stress. I’m getting fit to fight AND trained to fight, so if I get attacked, or if I need to make an arrest, I’m capable of handling violence either by running away or by standing my ground. I’m learning to assess and respond to situations. When the time for “fight or flight” really comes, by body will know what to do because I’ve trained it to do so. I’m going to be the hardest person to kill. I know now that I’m way stronger than I ever thought possible.

Prevention lies at the pivot point between the risk and the reward. We train to prevent injuries. Why do we punch, and punch, and punch, and punch? So that when my punch connects with a bad guy’s face, I don’t break my hand. Why do we run? So that if I need to run to save my life – or someone else’s – or to catch a bad guy, I have the stamina and strength to do so, and so that I don’t blow out my knees while I’m doing it.

Prevention also includes things like avoiding fluoride and fluorinated chemicals (like cipro, for example – proven to cause joint, tendon, and ligament injuries), avoiding GMO’s, preservatives, hormone disruptors, cancer causers, and giving my body the fuel it needs. I’m guessing that most folks who ignore my 5-step safety plan at the top of this post are also dining at McDonalds, popping pills a doctor gave them, and spraying everything in their lives down with Febreze. There’s no way to reason with that sort of mindset.

Prevention does not look like curling up in the fetal position on my bed (by the way, between 2004 and 2014, there were 737 deaths annually as a result of falling out of bed. So don’t think you’re safe there). Prevention of injury looks like going for a run and fighting hard during training.

Yes, I felt the need to rant. Got that off my chest. And I *did* warn you that this blog would be rather raw and uncensored, didn’t I? 

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