Phone call 9am, Friday morning.

“Have you seen the news?”

“No, I don’t watch the news. Are you okay?”

“There was a shooting last night…”

This was the worst call I have ever received. I got the call on the morning of July 20, 2012, from my dear friend who had just survived a mass shooting.

The Aurora, CO Community has never been the same since. I am talking about the terrible tragedy at a small movie theatre in Denver, CO. As I answered the call, I was in shock. My friend’s voice was empty, like talking to something lifeless. I could tell right away something was not right. To my horror, she had been in the theatre that night.

As soon as she heard the gunshots, she dropped behind the seats for cover. After the shooter’s gun jammed, she turned to her friend who was in need of help. Pulling her own shirt off to stop the bleeding of her friend, she could have followed the panicked crowd through the emergency exit. But she continued to stay with her friend and called 911.

What would you do? No one knows until it actually happens. What do you do if a stranger enters your home? What do you do if someone grabs you in the parking lot at the grocery store? What do you do if you hear gunshots?

These are not questions to scare you. They are here to put you into a state of awareness. A state where you can start making those hard decisions now, and not later in the face of danger.

You are what you eat…no wait, stick with me for a second. The more you train your mind for these types of situations, the more ready you will be when they come to pass.

My friend walked into that Aurora movie theatre with the full intention of enjoying a midnight showing with her work friends. She did not expect to be a part of this story, but  she was Рand still is. All because of her indomitable spirit and persistent training.

Years later she stands, not as a victim, but as an active community member. She helps everyone around her and has risen above her circumstances.

So ask the question now, “Do you want to be trained, or untrained?”

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Tylor-Anne Gardino

About the Author

, Head Instructor at Rockrimmon

A native of Colorado Springs, Head Instructor Tylor-Anne Owen, 2nd Degree Black Belt, has been training in the martial arts for over a decade.

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