Police offer Tricia Kennedy Arrived at the gun range for her competition. She had no idea the real competition she would be entering. A competition for her life.
On Sunday, October 24th office Patricia Kennedy arrived at the Hartford Gun Club in East Granby, Connecticut for a 3-gun shooting competition.
Having become an officer of the law in September, the previous month, the chance to show off her new marksmanship skills was exhilarating.
Tricia had little more than thirty days before she entered. She was Sworn in Tuesday, September 10th, 2010. A major change for the former public relations consultant, owner of her own company.
At the range that Sunday, another adjacent range was in use.
The barrier between the ranges was up and in full, working order. Except accidents can happen at anytime. This time, a stray round penetrated the barrier between ranges.
That stray round entered Kennedy’s head.
She explained that the sensation turned her world black.
She could see nothing, feel nothing.
The lights in the room went out on her life.
For a moment, she was in a calm place. Self-described as “peaceful, or serene“.
Until the deafening sound of her skull shattering under the force of the .45 round forced her eyes to lift like the sun raising on a new day. She was sure, she would never see a new day.
Her eyes stood at full attention. And so did her pain as it washed over her body, described as “the worst pain imaginable seizing my body“. She knew a pain of this magnitude could only mean one thing.
Nearby she heard a scream: “Oh my god she’s been shot“. Confirming her previous thought with total authenticity.
She then fell to the ground.
Going Into Shock
Within moments of her collapse, an EMT and a registered nurse ran to her side to administer care. Luckily, they happened to be at the range after the accidental shooting. Kennedy’s heart rate was skyrocketing from the realization of the finality of the situation. She may never get out alive.
As she was fading in and out of consciousness the nurse shook her.
“You must breathe. You’re going into shock, and we are going to lose you.” The nurse said.
This statement brought forth a memory. A memory, Kennedy had from an instructor at the Gunsite Academy.
She remembered, combat breathing.
Combat Breathing | A Breathing Method For Warriors
Combat breathing, also known as tactical breathing, is a breathing method used to control stress responses of individuals in high-stress, high-risk professions.
Professions most likely to benefit from combat breathing include:
- police force members
- stay at home mothers
- Emergency Dispatchers
- Anyone in a stressful profession can benefit.
The lawyer uses tactical breathing to calm rising fear. Fighting a losing case that will predict the future of his career.
The soldier uses combat breathing to control racing thoughts. Facing an unknown building that needs to be cleared. Death at any turn. No notion of the numbers of hostiles. waiting for him inside.
The student uses tactical breathing when the test cannot be failed.
The parents use combat breathing when the child throws a tantrum.
You can control all stress through breathing.
Without breathing, you’ll never become the greatest version of yourself.
How To Use The Combat Breathing Pattern
Before you begin combat breathing, you need to understand what proper breathing looks like, feels like, and, sounds like.
- Inhale through the nose for four seconds.
- Hold the breath for four seconds.
- Exhale for four seconds.
- Hold your breath at the exhale for four seconds.
- Repeat until breathing feels like it’s switched from automatic to manual.
When every breath you take becomes a manual action, you’re now in the present moment. Welcome to the world that new-age yogi’s preach of.
After Tricia Was Shot In The Head
Tricia Kennedy remembered her training. She remembered her training at the Gunsite Academy. Her training taught her how to keep herself alive in a critical situation.
Being shot in the head was a good opportunity to test what she learned.
Immediately Tricia began focusing on her breathing. She used the exact pattern above, to slow her heart rate down to manageable levels. This in part saved her life with the help of those who were already on the scene.
By controlling her breathing, Kennedy forced larger amounts of oxygen into her bloodstream. This lowered her heart rate, therefore requiring her body to demand less blood. Less blood means less bleeding out.
Tricia Kennedy saved her life using combat breathing.
Further Reading: The Obligation Of Being Prepared For Any Circumstance