Survival training isn’t only for the woods. Just ask Nancy Gessner.

Nancy, a Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School student, found herself woken up one recent morning around 4 a.m.

Someone was trying to break into her home.

A group of male teens had been car-hopping. Police caught two, but two more were in Nancy’s neighborhood, desperately looking for a place to hide.

Nancy heard knocking at her door.

It would be a nightmare scenario for anyone. But instead of being frozen with fear, Nancy found herself thinking clearly.

“Yes, I was frightened,” Nancy says, “but my reactions were… best as I can describe them… were sharp and clear. My emotional state was not terrified but highly alert.”

The teen stepped away from her door and began moving around the outside of Nancy’s house (perhaps due to her barking dog, she says).

She knew to call 911, find a kitchen knife to use as an improvised weapon, and turn on the lights so the would-be intruder couldn’t get to the back door without being seen.

“I knew from the evasion class to stop and limit motion so I would not draw attention to my spot behind the wall,” says Nancy. “Because we practiced evading, I was comfortable with the concepts and not shaking or nervous.”

For Nancy, role-playing the scenario of someone coming after you at Mountain Shepherd was the ideal training for a real-life evasion situation.

Being prepared, Nancy says, “made all the difference in the world.”

For more information on Mountain Shepherd’s survival and evasion training, check out our Courses.