Fast Talk Episode 228: Potluck Discussion - Value of Marginal Gains, Attacking in Training Races, & What to Do in an Emergency

Have you had a similar experience? What did you learn? Feel free to share in this thread!

If you have not had a chance to listen to this episode yet, take a listen here!

I am planning on putting down most of my thoughts in one post. So, this will likely get rather long and jump around a bit… Sorry, it is just the way my mind works.

First, thank you @robpickels for sharing your topic. Rob, I know the end result was less than ideal (is that about the biggest understatement available?); but, I want to thank you as a fellow recreational athlete for stopping, assessing the situation, and taking charge. I am unable to have a grasp of how the remaining ride home.

I think all three of you did an excellent job discussing the steps to take in an emergency (or even less than emergency).

As for emergency situation, here goes…
I work for a group within the US Department of Defense. It was the summer of 2019 and there was a change of command and retirement ceremony outside on the covered patio. I was escorting the visitors to the patio and decided to stand and watch the proceeding from behind the seating area. About 10 minutes in, one of my coworkers just collapsed and fell out of his chair. While I was in the middle of asking myself, “Whiskey,Tango, Foxtrot what just happened!” Another of my co-workers standing about 10 yards away (a retired Sargent Major in the US Army with multiple Bronze Stars) literally jumps into the middle of the chairs, clears a space, grabs the collapsed man under the shoulders and starts dragging him to building entrance. I would say I was able to see first hand why my co-worker is highly decorated and the highest ranking enlisted officer in the land! For my part, I was able to pull out of my shock enough to help carry the “patient” the remaining 15-20 yards into the building. Once inside, a lady that works in the on-site fitness center saw the commotion, had already called 911, and met us at the door to start a more medical based assessment. To the point that was made by the guys in the podcast, I saw that I was no longer going to be of assistance and stayed the heck out of the way while remaining available for direct instructions.

Was I a “hero,” absolutely not! That would be my co-worker; but, I was able to pull my head out of my backside and be of assistance as events unfolded. It also gave me something to think about afterward regarding being a man of the appropriate action, if needed in the future. Thihs story has a much hapier ending that @robpickels. Turns out, the collapsed man had played in a softball game the night before and was still dehydrated. Some fluids at the ER and he was back at work the following day.

Both my wife and I have been trained in First Aid and CPR. Granted it has been 20+ years and I have the fortune not to have used the training on anything other than the practice “body.” I am touching an entire forest of wood right now! Both of my daughters have also been trained as well. One is a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) and the other a pool lifeguard. We regularly have discussions over dinner regarding how they were trained to help everyone stay abreast of any new suggestions. We often laugh about suggested songs to have in your head when performing chest compressions. However, if the day comes that I am called upon to perform chest compressions I am confident that at least one of those songs will be turned up to 11 in my head.

I also have a similar take as Grant’s regarding asking fellow cyclists stopped on the road if they need everything while not necessarily believing their response. I at least slow down and assess the situation every time, or at least that is my goal! I think of it as a Karma situation, test of my humanity, whatever you want to call it. As Grant mentioned, (I’m paraphrasing) helping someone on the side of the road is infinitely better than not, even to just get them back on the road. When I have been on the flip side and stuck with some form of mechanical (I have cycled long enough that there are many occasions), any assistance is appreciated even if it is only moral support. My very first (or at least memorable) case of “emergency” was more of a call-of-shame situation than emergency. I was about 14 years old and about 10-12 miles from home when my brand new tire blew the sidewall. This was in the mid to late 1980s and the nearest phone was who knows where? Plus, my parents were both working and a good 20+ miles away. While I was fairly mechanically inclined, this was a challenge to my knowledge base. As I did my best impression of Winnie-the-Pooh and telling myself to Think, Think, Think; a lady old enough to have seen the world stopped and asked if I was alright. I gave her my best assessment of the situation and she drove me home, no questions asked or any sign of concern. While I my parents did an excellent job of raising me to be a thoughtful man (person) and help others in need. This lady’s actions shaped my personality just as much as my parents!

Then there are the random knocks on the door of a stranger’s house asking if I could use their hose to perform some initial first aid after close and intimate skin contact with the road. Fortunately, those were again as a teenager when I was much less wise.

Sorry for the long and rambling post. I guess listening to the podcast made me want to share, a lot!

Not that I am actually wise!


Thanks for sharing!
I’m glad that you’re continuing the conversation within your family.

We’re all in this together; It’s a wonderful thing to be able to help each other however we can.

I feel for you @robpickels That would have been a very hard experience for you. I hope you’ve mentally recovered from that.

My only feedback for this episode, in an effort to help save lives, please be careful telling listeners to call 911. This is the emergency number in America, but not all listeners are from America.

Australia = 000
NZ = 111
UK = 999

Due to countries having media influence from America, I have heard of terrible stories of people calling 911 during emergencies due to seeing that on TV shows and not getting help they needed as it is the wrong number for emergency services.

That is an extremely salient point; I appreciate you bringing it up and sharing the numbers

Here’s a PDF list from the US State Department.

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I thought the whole podcast was excellent but the section on emergencies was very thought provoking and well covered.

If any listener had any doubt what to do before the podcast then they don’t now. Even if the best thing they can do is give the first aiders room to work.

On a recent first aid course the four things I took away were :-

Ensure both you and the patient are not in danger (traffic, electricity etc)
Get someone to call 999/911 ASAP
Giving CPR is hard work but don’t be afraid of hurting the patient for the greater good.
A defibrillator cannot be misused.