In 2004, I read this quote from Johnny Depp. “I started working with this guy I had trained with when I did Donnie Brasco. He said every human being should be able to run for 30 minutes. In any emergency, you should be able to pick up your kid and run, as fast you can, for a good length of time. And it just made sense to me.”
It made sense to me too and it stuck with me. However, I can’t run for thirty minutes to save my own life, let alone someone else’s. My swimming ability makes me look like a champion marathoner.
Clearly preparation is a two part issue. One needs to imagine oneself in situations that require heroism, as I said last week. There is a mental preparedness that can exponentially increase your chances of being the hero. Also important is a physical preparedness. It’s one thing imagining a river rescue, it is another to perform it.
- Can you run thirty minutes while carrying someone?
- Can you swim to shore with a near-drowned person?
- Do you know how to operate a boat to help people swimming for their lives? (example)
- Are you strong enough to lift someone up to the subway platform after they fell? (example)
- Would you know how to catch a baby falling from the fourth floor without breaking your arms? (example)
- Can you disarm someone? Can you incapacitate someone?
- Do you know the most effective way to carry an unconscious person away from danger?
There are lots of skills and training you could be doing right now to prepare yourself for heroism. Are you?
Imagine yourself swimming away from danger next to someone who has been shot. They’re not going to make it. You’re their only hope of survival. Literally. But you didn’t ever go take that life guarding class…
Thanks to Drew, the Rogue Priest, for inspiring this post with his own post.