The further I look back at my military history the more gadgets and trinkets meant the world to me. A young skinny soldier at eighteen thought the world of this pin or that beret and considered getting a shortened M-16 the peak of comfort at the time. Later on things progressed to changing the torture devices the IDF issues you as shoes and making sawing and shaping the best vest and configuration possible. The older version has far less crutches to performance and a lot more experience to understand what is really important to getting the job done and living well in nature.
With this perspective I present you four simple cheap ways for the serving and those who plan to serve their fellow countrymen to make yourself ready to the moment when your actions will mean life and death.
1. Many cultures prepared their young for adult life with some variation of a spirit quest. The form I experienced was very simple in formula. Three days in nature with no sleeping, no eating and drinking and all the time you do something from making fires at night to preparing tools and tracking animals during the day. This can be dangerous as people do drop during this trial and the subconscious does surface to some degree (on the fourth day the barrier is broken between the folds ) and here comes one of the hidden parts of this trial. You must find and organize people friends or family to look over you and you need to do the same in turn. Civilians forget the military is team work and there is no better time to start working on that than right now.
The time spend during the spirit quest or however you want to call it will give you a much better control over your senses and deciding what is true and what is just in your head. You will meet some of your demons and as you have to keep working during this time you will either learn an important lesson for the next time or release a lot of misconceptions on your limits bodily mentally and emotionally.
2. Everyone has a few minutes a day to himself. A parent can do this drill while cradling his first born and a kid can do this under the house for a few minutes just before coming home from school. The drill is again simple in formula. You have only two rules. A you keep moving all the time and B you must take X steps per X minutes you have time right now.
Yes, you take one step per minute and you have to keep moving the entire time. This translates to slow motion walking and the benefits start manifesting from the first time you take time for yourself. Awareness to your own movement will rise and the impact you force on your body as you fall from leg to leg will clean out of your system. You will find yourself making less and less noise and your feet will wake up to the surface you are on and you will have less and less bumps and bruises on your toes and legs from going here and there. Another side of this drill is stalking proficiency and again here you will need friend or partners to work with.
We start with just listening as one partner faces away from the stalker and turns only when you hear or feel some movement. Progress to facing the stalker in open ground and calling out the movement only when it breaks the lines of the surface (breaking the surface of a shaded building or coming out of a curve in the ground before the watcher) Progress to moving in nature and using any way to move silently toward the watcher and again this is something you can do from time to time but everyday you can take a few minutes to hone your skill and awareness. No one can do this for you and the subtlety of what this will give you will reveal itself over years and years.
3. Movies are shot during the day and illuminated by night but real work and most of your training will take place during nighttime. Building your ability to work at night will affect your everyday life and allow you to progress where others falter. We start by not turning on the light every time you go to get something from the fridge or when you go down to take out the trash. Slowly and with care you can progress to orienting yourself in dark buildings and in nature using friends and partners to play hide and seek without the use of light. A small and fun trick in this drill is to wear sunglasses during night time games and turning the lights on and off by a partner in the game to see how you fare in the ever changing game of life.
4. The worst time to learn to handle yourself well is when the bullets are flying overhead or when your brother in arms is screaming from a puncture wound in his privates. One of the best educations to your knowledge and to your nervous systems is to give from your time at the local hospital or any of it’s equivalents. Take time and volunteer in the local emergency room. Scrap up the human waste from the floor and help to hold down the crazed drug addict after a long boring shift. Death, injury and fear are a part of everyone’s world. Be the warrior and come up to meet them and make the world a better place for yourself and everyone around. You.
Nothing I write here is new nor is it very high tech or glamorous in any way. Being the guy or girl who walks into the fire to save those who cannot help themselves or the shooter who lies waiting for days to stop the terrorist on his way to the school bus isn’t glamorous either but being on this site and reading these articles I think I am communicating with the few who find the beauty being a good human being and serving with the best.
don’t forget to smile
When your face relaxes you shoot better