Two things happened to me this week:
1) I went to the range for my bi-weekly shooting session. I noticed that
almost all of the guys over thirty were *seriously* overweight (I'm talking
like 50-100 pounds overweight). My informal observations also reveal that
most of them smoked cigarettes.
2) One of my former managers, from a couple of jobs back, suffered a serious
heart-attack. He is a couple years shy of sixty. I heard he'll probably
live, but that it was really close.
It occurs to me that while it's important to prepare to defend oneself, we are
far more likely to suffer a serious medical event than to be
shot/stabbed/etc. I bet this holds true even for 'dangerous' occupations like
police officer and the like. Isn't it true that more cops die from heart
attacks than gunshots?
Anyway, if the goal is to stay alive, I can't tell anyone here a thing about
tactics. But I can suggest the following:
1) Avoid tobacco. My ex-boss is a smoker. Smoking causes all sorts of disease
as well as being an expensive, disgusting habit. Quit today. Your family
will thank you.
2) Minimize your use of alcohol. I drink, but not as much as I used to. The
biggest mistakes of my life were all made under the influence. Ask an
emergency room doctor what percentage of his/her patients are under the
influence. Long term abuse of alcohol comes with serious health risks. My
ex-boss is a heavy drinker.
3) Get in shape. A bunch of us would run at lunch. My boss claimed he never
had the time and that exercise was a mindless activity. How much 'time' is
his heart attack going to cost him? I don't have a lot of free time
either. I got a jogging stroller and use my running time to spend a little
bit with my daughter. To tell you the truth, I'll be sad when she's
outgrows it. I suggest 45 min of aerobic exercise at least 4
time/week. Once you get into a routine, you'll look forward to it. Take a
look at the exercise routines of the worlds top chess players; exercise is
also good for your mind (Kasparov and Seirawan are pretty fit when they're
4) Eat right. Avoid fatty foods. Eat plenty of fruits/veggies/fiber. Drink
lots of water. For the most part, food that is good for you also tastes
good. I read somewhere that only 20 percent of Americans eat three servings
of veggies/day??? My ex-boss joked that he never ate a salad or anything
that wasn't fried (he was from Great Britain).
5) Get a check up. I went for a routine exam a couple of years ago and the
doctor found a pre-cancerous mole that, if left unchecked, could have
caused me a lot of trouble. Get your teeth cleaned too. A cleaning costs
around 40 bucks (if you don't have insurance). There is some evidence
linking poor dental hygiene to other medical problems (probably from
bacteria entering the blood). My ex-boss had rotten teeth and told me that
flossing was a waste of time. (It came up because a client complained about
6) Enjoy your family and friends. Don't get excited over trivial things, like
the news on tv. Don't be overly aggressive. Try to be happy. It's a fact
that happily married people live much longer healthier lives than those who
live alone. For most Americans, life is pretty good. The downturn in the
economy is about to hit me and my family pretty hard, but in perspective, we
won't starve to death or end up on the street. We have a lot to be thankful
for (health, family, freedom, good educations, etc.)
7) Try to get regular sleep. Exercise will cure most sleep
disorders. (Interestingly, a recent study found that 80% of people
suffering from clinical depression responded favorable to a simple plan of
walking 60 min/day. Compare that to any drug therapy.)
It seems silly to me to prepare for the unlikely event of being attacked and
then drive drunk. It also occurs to me that if you're fit, you'll be better
prepared for a violent encounter. Hey, even though I'm no tactical wizard, I
can run pretty fast!
So, way off-topic, but take care of yourselves. If you don't think anyone
cares, or it doesn't matter-- you're wrong.