The author of this blog does not advocate hate or unprovoked violence against any group. The purpose of this blog is to provide the very best information regarding philosophy, mindset training, and technique for the Christian Martialist in their broader Biblical, theological and cultural contexts. Nothing posted here should be construed as promoting or excusing hostile speech or acts toward anyone.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Adrenaline Stress: A Personal Experience

The following entry about adrenaline stress -- or adrenaline rush -- appeared in my WARSKYL blog four years ago. It describes an instructive personal experience that bears repeating.

Adrenaline stress can be your most potent natural ally or your biggest hindrance in a crisis. Last night I was reminded of the significance of the adrenaline rush -- both of mine and that of the police officer who was prepared to gun me down.

I was on my way home from work. It was a little foggy, and I was holding my speed about 5mph under the limit. I saw the police car parked in the center lane and figured no problem, as my speed was reasonable for the conditions.

The cruiser pulled out behind me, though, and about 3/4 of a mile later, he turned on his blue & white lights. Mild adrenaline stress (for both of us?) I braked and pulled over, took out my driver's license and made sure my hands were on the wheel, in plain sight (this is both a courtesy to the officer and a self-preservation measure).

"Good evening, sir."
"Good evening, officer."
"South Carolina law requires that your license tag be illuminated and visible from 50 feet. Did you know your tag light is out?"
"No, I didn't."
"May I see your vehicle information?" My registration & insurance card were in the glove box.
"Officer, I want you to know that there is a firearm in my glove compartment."
"What kind . . . uh, do you have a concealed carry permit?"
"No, I do not." (South Carolina law allows any citizen -- other than convicted felons -- to carry a loaded firearm in the glove box of his/her vehicle.) He indicated that I should retrieve my registration & insurance card, and I did so slowly and deliberately.

"Please step out of the vehicle and go to the rear." Who dropped that cold icicle down my collar? I can feel it the length of my spine. Adrenaline stress! I'm about to be cuffed and hauled to the county lockup.
"Officer, has South Carolina law changed with regard to . . . ?"
"No sir. You are allowed to carry a weapon in your car. This is just for officer safety." Relief. Then, I realized that my registration was not with my insurance information. It must still be in the glove box. The deputy says it's okay; he'll just run my plate number.

I stand in the cruiser's headlights. The adrenaline has nowhere to go, other than to my nerves. Then I look up, and I see the deputy's backup. He's standing in the darkness on the passenger-side of the police car. His sidearm is drawn, and in the dark his posture reminds me of a cat ready to spring. Adrenaline stress (this time for both of us, I'm sure).

I want to look casual, so I slip my right hand in my pocket. Wrong move! Now I remove it slowly and let it hang, empty and open at my side. I'm in the headlights, so I know the backup deputy with the gun sees me looking at him. What's going through his mind? The other deputy returns with a written warning & suggests I see about getting the lights fixed. (I repaired the broken wires right after our walk, this morning.)

Surprisingly, I had no trouble getting to sleep after I got home. I evidently had had enough control to keep adrenaline dump small, and the subsequent stress minimal. As I reflected on it this morning, though, I realized that a tag light out could mean a stolen vehicle. Here's an officer who doesn't know me from Adam's off ox, and he radios for backup: "Possible stolen vehicle, firearm involved."

Put that together with the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the upstate in recent years, and you've got an officer under adrenaline stress, with weapon drawn ready to shoot someone . . . to kill someone -- and that someone was me. The officers acted like the professionals they are, and I acted with due deference and an understanding of the potential violence that these men have chosen to live with day after day.

The ability to react with control under stress requires both technique and experience (practice). Adrenaline stress management is as important to the Christian Martialist as it is to any police officer or member of the armed forces.

I do wonder, though, if either officer was constipated this morning.

1 comment:

  1. Good story, I remember this one from before. Thanks for it!