In the wake of tragic news, it almost seems selfish to capitalize on headlines of any family’s tragedy. In some cases, however, I think there are valuable lessons that we can learn about ourselves in these, sometimes violent, storms postmortem. The subject of this post may be slightly misleading though. I am not asking: “why?” No, this is not a question searching for answers or some entity to blame, there is no desperate plea being made. Rather, it is a statement, an explanation of sorts as to WHY I train. WHY I train myself, WHY I train others, in essence it is WHY I live. I cannot take credit for this revelation, however; it wasn’t until after a very recent conversation with a friend/ confidant, who happens to be a well respected instructor and skilled practitioner, whom initiated this brainstorm. He posed this question to me: WHY do you do what you do? Obviously this took me a bit by surprise, he knows WHY I do this; he does the exact same thing for very similar reasons. So WHY was he asking me this question? For my friends at Archway Defense, it is all about the WHY. It may have taken me a minute to think about it but the more I did the more it fueled me to think deeper and formulate a valid response. It was while I was thinking about this question when I found out about Robin Williams’ tragic end. That is when things really started “snow-balling”.
Now it may seem counterintuitive trying to connect Robin Williams with the firearms industry, but just stay with me. Robin Williams was many things: a brilliant comedian; a gifted actor; and, some would say, an overall caring man. However, outside of Hollywood I’m not sure we would attribute Mr. Williams to the likes of a warrior. Unfortunately hindsight seems to be 20-20, as the adage goes. Mr. Williams, in my opinion, was a warrior and was fighting a very real and substantial internal battle. This is a battle that is not foreign to warriors returning from the hells of war; a battle that for MANY warriors never ends. Surreptitious in nature, this battle of depression or hopelessness is often victorious without the slightest observation from outsiders. It defeats its victims discreetly in a brief, sometimes microscopic, moment of personnel weakness. For some, the war zone is much closer to home than some war torn third world country. For this battle is not reserved for soldiers in some distant war zone.This is where the WHY matters the most. The WHY must outweigh the supposed “escape” or “forfeit”. If there is one lesson I have carried away from the devastation that is war it would be this: the raw value of human life. This may seem contradictory in nature, but to me and my experiences it is crystal clear: I train so that others may live. I am driven by a passion for human life. Unfortunately the reality is that we live in a world corrupted by the sin of man. This is a world that Evil has a stronghold, and devastating platform to destroy us from within. Sometimes this evil forces us to physically act, to defend ourselves or to defend our families. I train compulsively so that I may become the protector that my family deserves. I am a survivor, and I train others so that they too can strive for the same, so that others may live. Not only just to survive our many battles, physical, psychological or otherwise, but to thrive when we are in the fight for our very lives; however conspicuous or inconspicuous this battle may be.
For some, battles will be lost and we will mourn for them and their families, but their loss will only fuel my WHY. Just like my friend posed the question to me, let me plant the seed for you: start thinking about the WHY and what it means to you and what fuels it. It may just save your life some day or at the very least give you some motivation today.
Remember, The Training Is NEVER Over.