The Day Chooses You – Terry Trahan

My wife is waiting on me, ready to head out the door. “I’m just about done, Baby” I tell her as I finish lacing up the steel toed Docs, and securing the ankle rig with tools in it. Stand up, arrange the clothes to eliminate any tells, check the tools one more time, and throw on the jacket. There, ready to go.

Every once in a while, she’ll ask why I always gear up before we leave, even just to the corner store, but after 20 years, she knows. I don’t get to choose when bad shit will happen, and I made a dedication to this lifestyle and my Family long ago, to be ready when it does happen. Because it will.

You don’t get to choose, the day chooses you. Think about it logically and it makes sense, but let’s spell it out. Do you think the people attending the Boston Marathon knew shit was going to happen, and ignored it. How about New York, Vegas, the church in Texas. Nope, they didn’t know, the day chose them.

Personal Protection is many things, but at its core, too me, it is a way of life, something that needs conscious consideration, everyday. So, everytime I leave the house, I go through the checklist…

Med kit, tourniquet, tools, weapons, comfort items. Just like making sure I wash my face. I’d say brushing my hair, but ya’ll who have seen me would laugh.

And this is what I teach my students, it is not a fad, or a pick and choose. It is something to take seriously. Don’t buy gear just because someone says you should. In order to support the mission of personal protection, you need to be picky, analyze your life, circumstances, and level of training, and pick your gear from there.

Why would you carry lock picks if you can’t pick a lock? Carrying and trying to apply a tourniquet on someone when you aren’t trained in it doesn’t make sense, and is potentially dangerous.

Everyone is different, our lives, our circumstances, and our talents are different also. And this should influence what choices you make. Play to your strengths, find ways to help with the weaknesses, whether that is gear or training, and then, the important part. Always realize that you are your own first responder, you are the first responder for the ones you are with also. And you never get to decide when something bad happens. You never get warning on what kind of bad stuff might occur. But being mature and thinking, you take the responsibility of being as prepared as possible, and flexible of mind enough to use your training to make up for the other circumstances the tools won’t cover.

But, in the interest of expanding your outlook on this, some of the things I carry, with the proper training, of course, are;

Medical kits: One BOK(BlowOut Kit) on my person, a fuller trauma kit in my bag

Weapons: At least one impact weapon, and a couple knives, strategically placed for access, and a few surprises

Tools: Leatherman tools, mini screwdrivers, pry bars, cutters, they come in handy

Escape tools: Maybe for another day

Flashlights: two, because light is our friend

Miscellaneous items based on comfort or need under specific circumstances

I carry these things because I have made the commitment to myself, my wife and my family to be as ready as I can to handle situations as they arise, whether a fight, a casualty incident, or a busted headlight.

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