Training While Laid-up

So, you were just starting into a new program, something designed to keep you on track with a REAL PLAN. You intended to get squared away in one of the few skill sets you put on your list.

Then you wound up injured. The initial blow to your resolve was made worse by the news that you will be laid up for two months. Sheesh. What now?? How do you make any kind of forward progress with such a momentous setback? How do you keep “sharp”?

Taking a quick inventory of your past accomplishments, you realize that you are a practiced day dreamer.  This got you in trouble in class, and out back when you were supposed to be doing your chores. But today you understand all that – hence the programs you developed. But now, the setback in play, you wonder what’s next.

I’ll tell you what’s next. Having frequented the land of the imagination, and having exercised thought in that special way, you are prepped to move ahead with a tricky phase of prepping called war gaming, which is a cousin to brain-storming.

War gaming is an exercise wherein you develop a scenario that reflects a situation you may encounter, and then fashion a set of responses to it. A simple scenario has several parts:

  • Setting – the environment in which it occurs, including things that are advantageous and problematic
  • People – who is present, and what they may be doing
  • Equipment – what is available to the people
  • Goals – what is to be avoided, accomplished, prevented, etc…
  • Time – how much time is available for each task, or the entire scenario

Everyone has some experience with this sort of thing. Guys plan what they’ll say on a date, before the date. We do it before job interviews, after getting a ticket (planning what to say next time…). Undoubtedly, you have a few concerns regarding this or that situation. Take one of them, look at its component parts and set about gaming it.

Here’s an example. On a drive through high country, you decide to take a side trail up a ridge with the hopes that you’ll get to a place for some great camera shots. There is debris on the trail and you get two flats. You only have one spare with you, and there are not a whole lot of people likely to come along. What do you do?

When thinking about this, keep a pen and pad nearby, unless you are good at retaining things in your head. (Even so, keep a pad nearby….) Flesh out the problem into a scenario.

  • Okay, the setting might need a few more details. Is it cold?  Clouds on the way in?
  • People. Are you alone? Do you have children with you? Who might be able to see you?
  • Equipment – What do you have in your truck?
  • Goals – Obviously, you need to get home, but first, depending on the Setting, do you need shelter?
  • Time – Is it getting late, or is it early morning?

When the details are worked into the scenario, you can then proceed, limited by these details or liberated. Make it as creative as you wish.

Do try to stay realistic, though, or you really will be revisiting the land of dreams, instead of conducting a realistic discovery and training exercise.

The above type of scenario work is for an event, a short term problem. Others scenarios might consider longer term events such as disaster recovery, job loss, civil disturbances and more. Use your imagination, but again, be realistic. This will help you to make good use of your down time. It can also be something to try out if your lay up is something as simple as a cold that keeps you home from work for a few days. Keeping your mind active when your body isn’t will help you maintain mental sharpness, and develop a thought discipline that will come in handy when things turn sour.

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