Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We Survived The Fire

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!

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