Throwing it back today, even though it’s not Thursday. In case you didn’t know this part of my story, as soon as I graduated from college, I moved to California to be a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. It was obviously, the most fun job ever, for an extrovert who felt like she was finally “free” from a lifetime of school! (I know, I know. . . school was just never my thing. Another blog for another day.) Southwest was built on a culture all about people and LUV. It was my JOB to laugh, play games and tell jokes with our customers. I got paid to talk with people and learn about their travels. (#winning)
But there was more school involved.
If my mind serves me correctly, we had six weeks of in-house flight attendant training! We all stayed in the same hotel in Dallas and spent our days attending classes at SWA headquarters. Our nights were comprised of eating pizza while studying in our rooms and practicing our drills in the halls. It was more school.
It was still more fun.
Being a flight attendant sounds like it’s all fluff. It’s traveling the world, visiting exciting places with a fun group of friends every week. It’s serving tea and coffee and picking up trash. It is all of that.
But let me just tell you, I became a responsible grown up during that training.
I learned CPR like the back of my hand. I learned how to assess and prioritize emergencies. . . “Breathing, Bleeding, Broken Bones, Burns”. I watched videos of perfectly alert pilots turn loopy in seconds during a loss of cabin pressure when they delayed at all in securing their oxygen masks. I learned the psychology of Stockholm Syndrome, that could eventually turn a victim loyal to a hijacker, and how to combat it. I learned all about the anatomy of fear in our brains and how it makes us freeze in the very moments when it’s most imperative to take action. It’s the reason flight attendants are trained to yell “Release Seatbelts! Release Seatbelts!” over and over after an emergency landing; because unless you’ve been trained, the chances are, your brain might send signals to your body to freeze, causing you to forget that simple, yet imperative first step that will save your life. And oh so much more . . .
That’s why I knew my friend Heidi needed to pay us a visit at GNO.
I’ve been wanting to host a “self defense” girls night of sorts, but couldn’t figure out the best format to tie it into the “Fun & Connection” at the heart of our GNOs. Then I met Heidi. She’s is the co-founder of First Defense Solutions, a company that partners with schools and businesses to provide them with cognitive training for any active crisis that focuses on identifying and de-escalating dangerous situations; this includes as hands-on training for gun safety, simulated active shooter events, first aid and bleeding reduction. When I heard her passion for keeping our kids and businesses safe and the way they partner to train our BRAINS, not our bodies, I knew she was our person.
“There are three parts to any emergency: Before, During, and After. Our greatest opportunity for safety lies in the period Before and knowing what to expect During.”
~ First Defense Solutions
While I was having fun as a flight attendant, I was also learning serious life-saving skills that I have drawn on repeatedly in my lifetime. I lived through emergencies on those planes and the incredible training they gave us in advance took over. I know, without hesitation, the incredible life-saving power of this type of training. I also know Heidi, which means I know we’re going to have some FUN! So if you’re local, make it a priority to join us on September 6th, for our 70’s themed, groovy (& informative) “Staying Alive GNO”. Don’t miss this one.
Get your tickets today.
If you’re not local, I highly suggest you check out Heidi’s resource page, that includes everything from checklists for parents and schools to an article on restoring a sense of safety after a crisis. Staying alive in a crisis is obviously no joke.
You can empower yourself with knowledge . . . or not.
It’s your choice.
to more love,