Master Kerry Lewis
Many of you have heard me tell new black belts that the lessons we learn on the mat should be transferred to our daily lives. One of my favorite concepts is “Paint the Picture” which I see as one part of “the fight begins and ends in your mind.”
Now I must admit to failing to live the Gray Man concept. Cargo pants are just too darn functional and comfortable. Boots? Well broken in military footwear provides great protection and are quite comfortable also.
Yesterday as we were returning home from a trip, we were aware there was a voluntary evacuation order in place beginning about 1/2 a mile East of our home. What we did not expect was a roadblock at the entrance to the canyon when we were driving in.
Not a problem, I had the ID to show I was a resident which is what they were really looking for. That said, I pulled over by our post office and turned on my hand held ham radio to the local emergency channel and pulled my old Red Cross hat from the shelf above my windshield where it was purposely placed 2 years ago. As I approach my home, I see 3 sheriff vehicles parked there. I park in the middle of the road (a one-lane access road) about 30 yards away and get out to find out what is going on. With my cargo pants, boots, Red Cross Hat and radio, I looked like just another emergency worker.
Turns out the Sheriffs were collecting info on everyone on our street because they accidentally missed it during an emergency evacuation a few years ago. They were getting ready in case they needed to extend the evacuation orders. Of course, most good LEOs will make mental notes about where they observe people who are potential threats and perhaps potential supporters. Believe the image with the radio and Red Cross hat put me in the latter category.
So, long story short, I did not need to appear as anything other than a resident returning home. That said, it was a great opportunity to practice “painting the picture.” I believe that if they had looked in my vehicle for any reason and seen the emergency gear inside, they would have thanked me for being there to support their efforts because the proper picture was already planted in their minds.
The hat is back above my windshield ready for its next deployment.
PS – Please share your stories with our group of how you apply principles from our training as you go about normal life. It is not about fighting, it is about living.