The Guardian Broadcast
"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."
A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
"The Power of Acclimation – Part Two of Three"
This week, we continue our base-jump into the human machine and its primary mechanism of survival: acclimation.
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Note: 100% accuracy on text transcription is not guaranteed.
Okay, welcome back to our three-part series on the Acclimation concept. If you missed last weeks’ episode of the Guardian Broadcast, I encourage you to go back and listen to it before continuing with me today.
Alright, acclimation. The process whereby your body adapts to whatever environment you put it in. We ended last week by proposing that through this concept of acclimation, things that would have killed us before become endurable. The shocking can become old-hat and mundane. The heavy can become light. The burning can become tolerable. The painful becomes neutral. The devastating becomes tolerable. The difficult becomes easy.
Consider physical fitness. I remember years ago when I took my first push-up challenge. I considered myself to be in pretty good shape, but I was smoked after doing 250 push-ups spread over a few hours. And by smoked, I mean this: I literally couldn’t do any more. My arms were cramped up. So, I decided to work on that. I was mostly curious how far that one exercise could be developed. So, I began working on this very gradually. Once or twice a week I would do as many push-ups as I could in a day. Now, spread throughout the day, I can do 1,000 push-ups while wearing a weighted vest, and even after those 1,000, I do not get cramps. I didn’t gain much weight or much visible muscle during this process; this must have simply been a change in the muscles and chemical systems at a very small level. And it’s a great example of how our bodies can acclimate to something, if we’re willing to give it the time and the space to do so.
We’ve also talked at length previously about the concept of Concealed Handgun Acclimation. This is the reality that our body adjusts its sensitivity to certain things that press against our skin, over time. Namely, that when we first put a gun on early in our careers, we usually find it clunky and uncomfortable. But eventually, we don’t even notice it. The same is true for wearing a wristwatch, or dress clothes. And we can leverage this concept to gradually size up further and further to a bigger and better gun and more and more ammunition.
And now, with our 3 SECONDS FROM NOW series, we leverage the idea of psychological acclimation; that is, preparing the nerves. Preparing the emotions. Preparing our brains. All for what: preparing them for the reality of what being immersed into a suddenly lethal situation is like.
Because, my friends, I assure you. As much as 1,000 push-ups is on our bodies, the heat and pressure of human conflict is on our minds. And the more you can acclimate yourself to this heat and pressure ahead of time, the better and more clearly your body and mind will act and perform when you finally are pushed to enter that realm. This works, and it works very well. And we’ve got a former West Point psychology professor, a Lt. Col. in the US Army Rangers, who emphatically agrees.
But here’s the thing, and this is what I want to leave you with to focus on for the week:
The process of acclimation only works if we DO it. We have to actually expose ourselves to these stimuli. We have to actually challenge ourselves. We can’t phone it in. We can’t be lazy. We can’t put it off. We have to push ourselves.
Because the acclimation process is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, we have an inspiring reality: that provided you ease your way into it, your body and mind WILL pretty much adapt to any stress you expose it to. Your mind and body WILL catch up. Whether you want to be able to buy a stunt plane and fly upside-down under bridges, do two thousand push-ups in a day, run a faster mile than you think you’re capable of, or develop self-control and precision-action amid a gunfight – you can have faith that your body and mind ARE capable of doing pretty much anything.
But there’s the other hand, the other edge of the sword: the reality that your body and mind can ONLY adapt and acclimate IF you do expose it to the gradual, systematic changes and challenges that will take it to those heights. And that’s exactly what coaches are for; whether it’s me or another instructor for gunfighting, a flight instructor, or a physical trainer. Giving you that pathway is what coaches are for. But YOU have to do it. YOU have to take initiative. And YOU have to keep up the momentum.
Now here’s the good news. Whatever condition your mind and body are in right now, Natural Law and I promise you this: they are in that condition because they HAVE ALREADY acclimated to the environment. You ARE in a stasis. And so ANY disruption to that stasis, that environment, WILL cause your body and mind to re-adapt. Do you get what I’m saying? Think of it as a chemical equation. YOU = Your Environment. You “equal” the sum of the challenges you expose yourself to every day. If you INCREASE the challenges you expose your mind or body to every day, then your mind and body WILL adapt. And this also tells us, what? That you don’t have to jump into some awesome, huge, elaborate gym program. You just have to change your environment.
So if you start today and do three sets of 15 push-ups because you haven’t done a push-up in years, your body WILL adapt. You WILL change, for the positive.
Now. That said. There are three caveats this acclimation concept. These are three double edged swords that can make us or break us of we are not aware of them, and if we allow them to blindside us. So next week, we’ll discuss those three caveats, and I’ll be leaving you with a challenge. And I hope you take me up on it!
Until then, my fellow guardians. Stay safe.