Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Survival Training

In the early 1980s I took a survival training course put on by Air Force Veteran trainers in Idaho. If you are interested in being able to survive anything the first thing to know is it is not like a movie. It is very difficult internally to deal with. The training I received was specifically how to survive a plane crash in the wilderness without hope of communication or rescue from or with the outside world.

It turns out the first problem one encounters is that anyone with any injury at all likely will die within 10 to 30 days in a situation like this. So if you have a compound fracture of even a finger or or arm or hand or leg with the bones sticking through the skin, it will not be very easy for that person to survive that long without medical attention and without good water and good food and warmth.

But if there is no serious injury to yourself, the most dangerous problem is your mind. So, learning how to force yourself to think is the first way you will actually survive anything. Many people who in their lives are very appearance oriented become ashamed and if they can't get out of this "appearance" way of thinking will slowly become dysfunctional psychologically and stop eating and drinking water and this only increases the problems in an exponential way.

So, after a crash or other situation where you are isolated from most of the world and any useful kind of help, you must get control of your mind and say something like this to yourself, "There is no one here to take care of me, if I don't take care of myself likely I will become dysfunctional and then eventually die!"

Though this statement might terrify you at some point during the first 24 hours you must say this kind of thing to yourself or likely you actually will die horribly! So a little terror is better than the alternative to stimulate yourself into surviving whatever comes in your life at that point.

After terrifying yourself with this thought you then have to take an interest in your own survival and if possible the survival of any of those with you in this situation. If you can create a useful alignment with people without expending so much energy that the whole group becomes dysfunctional then this would be a good thing to do.

Movies like "The Edge" with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin demonstrate survival in Alaska in the summer or fall. Jeremiah Johnson with Robert Redford made in 1972 also demonstrate the kind of thinking necessary to survive situations as well.

So, a little physical and psychological preparation is helpful to prepare for difficult situations.

However, one never knows what kind of difficult situations one will encounter in life. But if you are prepared mentally and physically then that is usually the best you can do.

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