After I finished grad school, I discovered that I had a great amount of time on my hands. I knew that if I sat back and relaxed that I would become a couch potato and not grow as an individual. Yea, sure, I played some World of Warcraft, watched football a bit, however I
wanted needed some adventure in my life.
This is when I started prepping…
I grew up in Texas, in a small ranching and roughneck (many oil fields) community. I remember going out with friends to the Johnson Chicken Ranch (which was across the street from where I lived), to the Red River and out to the hills (always on the watch out for cougars).
On these adventures, my buddies and I would walk down the road with our pellet guns (at one point we all had AR-15 style pellet guns), back packs and dressed in camouflage (could you imagine this happening today?). We would spend hours and at times a night or two out in the woods; unsupervised of course, hiking, crawling through the mud, wrestling – you know typical guy stuff.
This all feeds into where I am today…
Since school was complete, I no longer had to read books that had little to no interest to me, so I turned my attention to back-country medicine, survival and books on preparing; two of my notable favorites were Emergency by Neil Strauss and Patriots by James Wesley Rawles.
Recalling the fun memories, the pleasure of being outdoors and of course my healthy distrust of anyone other than myself to provide for me and my family I started to prepare. This lead to an immense amount of learning.
I was four or five years old when I started boxing at the local Boys Club. Around the same time, Chuck Norris movies, the American Ninja series started to come out, and I was introduced to Bruce Lee. I was fascinated by the martial arts and when I was eight years old, I started studying kenpo karate. This only lasted for a year as the instructor moved and living in a small town there were no other dojos, until I was in high school.
I started studying the Tracy System of Kenpo and ended up becoming a certified instructor. I would also travel to other schools to practice various styles such as taekwondo, jeet kune do and shorin-ryu. I continued this until my early 20s when I made the decision to get into the technology sector, however I still dabbled in practicing and teaching martial arts for several more years.
I continued to take courses here-and-there such as krav maga and other kenpo schools to keep my mind sharp or at least sharper than the average person.
I grew up with guns. I remember after Sunday School, we would go skeet shooting and have a good christian lunch and fellowship. Nothing brings people together like sweet tea, fried chicken, corn on the cob and a 12 gauge – oh and I guess the fear of brimstone and fire if you “misbehave”.
Next up, was the ability to be a good marksman, both with pistol and rifle. I eventually acquired my NRA Basic Pistol and NRA Personal Protection in the Home Instructor Certifications.
I felt that I could defend myself and my loved ones now…
After grad school, I found myself weighing 230 pounds and not in shape. My first goal was to lose some of that dead weight therefore I joined my love for the outdoors with exercise and started to hike.
I started to hike, the smallest of hills and then gradually moved up in difficulty and then started to hike the 48, 4000 footers in New Hampshire. Within a few months I had dropped over 30 pounds and eventually hit 170 at one point.
With hiking comes rock climbing in New Hampshire, so I picked up that sport as well. While I didn’t dive right in, I gained basic knowledge and skill that could be useful in the back-country. As a side note, it turns out I have a cousin who is a professional rock climber.
At this time, I have multiple friends and children going on hikes, some of which are up to 10 miles long. I started to think that first aid would be a good skill to have. At first, I signed up for American Red Cross First Aid and CPR and became certified, then I heard about Wilderness First Aid by Nols.
This took first aid to an entire new level, was practical and included many field exercises.
At this time, I was looking for ways to supplement my income to help pay for my new hobbies. And of course I was still thinking about how to get out of Dodge in the event the zombie apocalypse happened.
I signed up and become a certified armorer for both GLOCK and SIG SAUER handguns. I ended up making many new friends, taught many more people one-on-one how to shoot safely and effectively and made money on the side to support my new hobbies.
Finally, after reading Emergency by Neil Strauss, I felt it was time to learn how to drive a motorcycle. Mission accomplished.
While this doesn’t cover everything, it does cover some of the major points. I’ve got many more great adventures planned, however it was now time to test these skills. Rather than testing them one at a time, it was time to mix them all together and use them collectively. This is where Squad School comes into the picture which will be my next post.