Well, that got my heart rate up

Well, that got my heart rate up

This is a discussion on Well, that got my heart rate up within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This is more of an anecdote than a scenario, but this seems to be the best place to put it. On the way home from ...

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Thread: Well, that got my heart rate up

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Well, that got my heart rate up

    This is more of an anecdote than a scenario, but this seems to be the best place to put it.

    On the way home from a movie tonight, I realized I hadn't eaten dinner, so I stopped at a gas station to pick up anything with food in it. In retrospect, I probably should've chosen somewhere else, but I was hungry and didn't feel like driving around.

    The place was fairly busy with people coming and going, and not very many of them looked like people I would have house-sit for me. Nothing against them, but it had me a hair on edge all the same. I payed for my giant muffin, walked out the door, and headed to my truck.

    As I unlocked the door, and started to open it, I saw a guy who had been standing near one of the pumps about 25ft away abruptly start walking straight towards me, with his hands in his pockets. He wasn't running, but was "moving with purpose" and was aimed right at me.

    I turned and looked straight at him, and in the process lost my grip on the door handle, which swung shut on its own. I fumbled for an instant and grabbed at the handle again with my weak hand, deciding between standing there and trying to jump into the truck. I chose staying put, moved my attention back to the guy, and said "howdy" as he changed direction about 5ft from me and walked past into the store. He glanced at me, said nothing, and kept moving.

    I hopped in the truck, looked for anyone around me, and left. In the process, I noticed that at the time this happened, there was nobody else in the parking lot or at the pumps, and everyone inside was in their own little bubble.

    Looking back on it, I'm sure the guy was just walking inside to pay for his gas, and was moving quickly because it was cold outside, but it still gave me a start, and brought my full attention to bear on him.

    Lesson number 1 - It only takes a fraction of a second for you to lose all fine motor skills under the slightest of stress. I could not perform the simple action necessary to open my car door when I wanted to.

    Lesson number 2 - Having your motor skills fail unexpectedly is distracting. It was surprising enough to pull my attention away from the guy I was concerned about and onto the door handle for a half second or so, which could have been enough time to get me dead if that was his intent.

    I've been in only a couple of stressful situations in my life where I thought (or "felt") someone was going to hurt me. This was the first time I actually realised what had happened, and how it affected me. Next time (hopefully never), I will not be as surprised when my hands fail me, and hopefully I will keep my attention where it should stay.

    Thoughts or any other lessons I overlooked?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array downrange's Avatar
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    something like that happened that to me in a way before. my point is i always do things in a sequence. ...trying not to make this sound weird but, when going to your car, follow steps in an order to where you can leave off. going to the car - can you lose the door and not leave your self locked out (where are your keys?). can you get in and lock the doors while still seeing everything? my biggest fault is that i cross carry and i usually don't have my hand on the grip inconspicuously when (if) being fronted. it's going to be obvious when i have too draw. I'm working on that.
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    Member Array foreveryoung001's Avatar
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    Wow, I was going to post something along this very same line tonight. Earlier this evening I was in the local gorcery shop to pick up a few things for dinner. As I was at the check-out, I saw a guy coming down the frozen food isle that gave me that same hair on the back of my neck feeling. I was reaching for my check book in my weakside front pocket when I saw this guy change directions and walk right towards me, his right hand reaching behind his back. My heart jumped a tick, and I suddenly couldn't find my pocket. I'm still trying to reach for my check book with my weak hand, while moving my stong hand under my coat, trying to make eye contact with this guy so he knows I see him, and nothing is going right. Can't find my pocket with the check book... can't get my other hand under my coat, but I did finally get this guys eyes to meet mine. He just nodded and immediatelly turned and walked towards the produce section.

    I'm sure it was nothing... he was most likely reaching for his wallet and remembered he needed some apples or something, but it really freaked me out that neither of my hand would go where I wanted them to.

    I have to agree with you about that split second. And now I know I need to work more reaching my weapon when it counts. I spend a lot of time at the range shooting, but obviously not enough time working on getting my hand through my layer of concealement.
    When the messenger arrives and says 'Don't shoot the messenger,' it's a good idea to be prepared to shoot the messenger, just in case.

  4. #4
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    With the adrenaline going, motor skills fly out the window usually. And as soon as your body recognizes the "fight or flight" type situation and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you get a big dump of it.

    I have to go "hands on" usually a few times a month at work now that football season is over (then it was a few times a day at least). I know all sorts of fancy arm bars and wrist locks, but I discovered quickly that they don't do you any good when your fingers don't work.

    Just keep your attention focused on the threat, eye contact can be good because then they know that you see them, but remember as someones sig line around here says "watch their hands, hands kill", or something like that. A greeting like "howdy" can certainly throw them off if they aren't expecting it though.

    Who knows what the deal was with either of your situations, coulda just been nothin. But its good that you both were aware and paid attention to what your body was telling you (gut feelings can save your life). Glad both of you are safe.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob The Great View Post
    I fumbled for an instant and grabbed at the handle again with my weak hand, deciding between standing there and trying to jump into the truck.
    So was the muffin in your strong hand at this point? How far would you have let it go before deciding to jettison the muffin to clear your strong hand for action?

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    So was the muffin in your strong hand at this point? How far would you have let it go before deciding to jettison the muffin to clear your strong hand for action?
    negative. Muffin and reciept were also in my weak hand, strong hand was empty (that's one habit I have been successful in cultivating).

  7. #7
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    That darned adrenaline stuff!!! May be a clever mechanism but sure doesn't feel too helpful in such circumstances!

    I have had one or two of these - and even if the ol' ''spidey sense'' has rung bells unnecessarily, we have to treat it as important. Certainly in such environments we have to cultivate the full yellow and also know we can react to the max if required.

    After the event - how were knees and pulse rate??? I think I know the answer
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    Stress is tough to overcome. I have found that exercise , simuating a adrenaline dump helps some, but other than that you need to practice , practice , practice. It needs to be second nature to clear and draw.
    Getting someone else help with a draw/ no draw senario would be very good too. Several times I have been in a almost draw situation, only to have it turn out to be a false alarm.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    After the event - how were knees and pulse rate??? I think I know the answer
    Not bad, actually. I didn't get too big of an adrenalin dose out of it, so I calmed back down in just a few seconds.

    rocky - I think I'm definitely gonna work on drawing under stress and under attack with some buddies. Maybe I can find an aluminum holster mold of my gun somewhere and weight it appropriately. (And no, I'm not talking about getting Cato to jump out of the closet at me when I least expect it).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob The Great View Post
    rocky - I think I'm definitely gonna work on drawing under stress and under attack with some buddies. Maybe I can find an aluminum holster mold of my gun somewhere and weight it appropriately. (And no, I'm not talking about getting Cato to jump out of the closet at me when I least expect it).
    Try finding a airsoft replica of whatever gun you carry. it makes for ease of practicing draws, draw and fire and can be used force on force training with a buddy and appropriate safety gear.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    Try all you want you can't replicate a real life scenario. Your brain will ALWAYS overide because it knows it is not real. The best thing you can do is practice as often as you can so drawing and firing can be done with as little thought as possible, muscle memory, whatever you want to call it. My best friend was a LACounty Deputy and was forced to end a suspects life that was high on PCP. He says when the event went down it was in slow motion, he could clearly see the man going for his gun and slowly turning to face my buddy and his partner, he says a couple seconds seemed like minutes, he never remembers drawing the weapon, he says his training took over, the shots seemed like a bomb going off, he was unaware of any of his surroundings except for his sight on the suspect. The addrenaline dump, loss of fine motor skills is something that is impossible to replicate in a training excercise, knowing your weapon and carry method by memory is what makes the difference between going home at night or going to the funeral home. I have talked to others that have been envolved in shootings and they all report a similar experience.
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
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    Muscle Memory Is The Key...

    ...and practice builds muscle memory!
    I hope that I will never have to face the 'real' scenario, but I constantly think about potential situations wherever I go...
    I always make sure that I'm wearing brown pants, too...just in case something does scare the crap out of me (...an adrenaline rush can do strange things!)

    OMO

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    Importance of eye contact

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob The Great View Post
    This is more of an anecdote than a scenario, but this seems to be the best place to put it.

    On the way home from a movie tonight, I realized I hadn't eaten dinner, so I stopped at a gas station to pick up anything with food in it. In retrospect, I probably should've chosen somewhere else, but I was hungry and didn't feel like driving around.

    The place was fairly busy with people coming and going, and not very many of them looked like people I would have house-sit for me. Nothing against them, but it had me a hair on edge all the same. I payed for my giant muffin, walked out the door, and headed to my truck.

    As I unlocked the door, and started to open it, I saw a guy who had been standing near one of the pumps about 25ft away abruptly start walking straight towards me, with his hands in his pockets. He wasn't running, but was "moving with purpose" and was aimed right at me.

    I turned and looked straight at him,
    Thank goodness I have never been in a fight or the victim of a violent crime, notwithstanding riding NYC subways well into the AM hours before the city was sort of cleaned up.

    You avoided a problem because of the eye contact. Crooks depend on surprise. Once the turkey realized you were eyeballing him and alert to him, he wasn't about to do anything further.

    I once had a similar situation on an Atlanta street. They guy came right at me, the whole time I looked right at him. He backed down about 12 feet from me.

    These are dangerous situations, but there is nothing much to be done except to rely on instinct and either run at the last moment or fight.

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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob The Great View Post
    This is more of an anecdote than a scenario, but this seems to be the best place to put it.

    On the way home from a movie tonight, I realized I hadn't eaten dinner, so I stopped at a gas station to pick up anything with food in it. In retrospect, I probably should've chosen somewhere else, but I was hungry and didn't feel like driving around.

    The place was fairly busy with people coming and going, and not very many of them looked like people I would have house-sit for me. Nothing against them, but it had me a hair on edge all the same . . .

    Thoughts or any other lessons I overlooked?

    I have one. This is an excerpt from the NRA's handbook, NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection Outside the Home :

    "Never discount or dismiss your instincts about a person or a situation; and do not hesitate to flee if something 'doesn't feel right,' even in the absence of any overt action that crosses a threshold you have set."

    It appears to me that you overrode your instincts regarding the seediness of the people coming in and out of the place. You probably should have driven on to a place you felt more secure about.

    Further comment from the aforementioned book:

    ". . . the use of a firearm or other deadly weapon to protect yourself should be an act of last resort when no other option is available. It is always better to evade, escape, avoid or deter an attack than to resolve it through the use of force. By employing your powers of awareness--one of the most important personal protection tools you possess--you will be able to recognize threats in your environment early on, which in turn may enable you to escape or avoid them."

    and this:

    ". . . by staying away from certain streets or areas at night, you may avoid being placed in a situation in which you may have to use force to defend yourself."

    and finally this:

    "Walk away; run if you have to. It may make you look like a coward, but it will keep you out of a situation that may escalate into violence."

    I think that last part is of equal importance: we who prepare for defense by carrying guns must realize that it is crucial that we avoid having to use them if possible, and our egos must not stand in the way of our decision to bug out if possible rather than standing to fight.

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peacefuljeffrey View Post
    It appears to me that you overrode your instincts regarding the seediness of the people coming in and out of the place. You probably should have driven on to a place you felt more secure about.
    Exactly right. This was the same place that I had stopped at a few weeks ago, and decided to drive on after watching a half dozen gangsta-wannabees jump out of their car and proceed to stand around the main entrance watching people go in and out. I drove off then, and I should have last night too, but I let my impatience get the better of me.

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