I had an amazing experience today. I thought I might die, or at the very least be air-lifted to the nearest hospital. I don't even want to talk about the visions I had of IV's, breathing tubes... and God no... catheters!
About a week ago, one of our "Workout of the Week" trainers, Angie Gallagher, emailed Erin Kiernan and I about a dilemma presented to her by the Urbandale Fire Department. You'll have to wait for all of the details until the story airs. But long story short, Erin and I took the physical fitness/agility test for beginning firefighters.
I think Erin and I would both say we're in pretty good shape. Yes, there are things we can improve, body parts we still want to change. However, we workout almost every day. Erin is a fitness professional. She teaches other people how to get in shape. I participate in marathons and triathlons.
The UFD's fitness test KICKED OUR BUTTS!
After donning about 50-pounds of gear - helmet, coat, gloves and air tank - we trudged through several exercises in the blazing sun, and humidity, high enough to melt our mascara. Carrying, or attempting to carry, the 165-pound dummy proved the breaking point for both of us. Climbing the 85-foot ladder isn't fun either, especially for someone who suffers from acrophobia (fear of heights). Neither is crawling on your hands and knees to find the end of a hose, with a vision blocking, air inhibiting mask strapped to your face. It's supposed to simulate a smoke-filled room. By the time I reached the end of the hose, fire or no fire, I was praying for a quick death.
Needless to say, I have a new found respect for firefighters. I also learned something new about myself. Rarely, do I quit. Maybe it's the Taurus in me, maybe it's my Mom's voice in my head, reminding me I can do anything. Today, I learned there are some things I can't do - at least not on the first try. But dammit, I'm determined to conquer that physical fitness test! And if I fail again, if I continue to fail, at least I've put MYSELF to the test.
As John Bingham... aka The Penguin says, "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
I challenge all of you to find enough courage to START!