Some time ago I wrote a post entitled The view from my treadmill. In short, I spoke about the things you see from the treadmill if you look closely enough. Well this morning, I saw things from a very different vantage point. There is an elderly gentleman who comes to the gym early in the morning. His clothes are not labeled with a swoosh or a logo; his shoes are not high tech and his socks are your basic white socks…
Last Friday night I went to the gym to take a class. I spin every Friday morning so my friends said, “you’re taking another class tonight?” (which isn’t unheard of for me.)
“Yes,” I said, “self defense”.
I wasn’t sure what to expect and frankly I was a bit nervous. When I got to the gym many of my ‘usual suspects’ were there so I settled in and relaxed a bit waiting to see what was going to transpire.
Soon, three men and a woman came in with bags of pads and a particularly huge bag with a punch of red pads. They called us to attention and began to speak. Ken was confident, calm and engaging. Chris seemed to be in the role of the ‘demo guy’ and got knocked around a bit. Carl was also strong and very encouraging. He was the leader in my group.
Ken explained a bit about self defense and in layman’s terms he described the definition of self defense and as he spoke, we began to relax and engage with him. We asked questions and answered questions. We learned about taking away the assailants ability to see, breathe and move and how that would give us time to get away. That feeling of confidence and empowerment was beginning to grow and he started the OODA-loop discussion.
The phrase OODA loop refers to the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act, developed by military strategist and USAF Colonel John Boyd. Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the strategic level in military operations. (as defined by Wikipedia).
Here you have a room full of ladies anywhere from their mid-twenties on up. A diverse group that has no idea what any of us may have or have not experienced in our lives. We were giggling a bit when Ken said “OODA-loop” but soon it turned to intent listening. Ken explained the series of thoughts your mind goes through, sometimes in a matter of seconds, as you observe the situation, orient yourself to the situation, decide what to do and then act. The key to self defense is in this loop and/or messing up the assailants OODO-loop whereby putting him in a position to have to reevaluate the situation. Very interesting discussion, I loved it. I think many of us can apply the OODA loop to other decision making aspects of our lives.
That was the phrase I heard at about 5:45 this morning from my Spin instructor. She is the queen of one-liners. "If you wanted easy, you would have stayed in bed." Some days that thought crosses my mind. She is tiny but mighty and like many of the instructors at Best Fitness, she is strong and supportive and encouraging. Her experiences and her t-shirts tell a story of personal gains and wins from marathons and races. But this particular phrase…