A new appreciation . . .
By Laura King
Nov. 9, 2010
Despite my best instincts and the advice of my better half, I was persuaded to participate in Firefighter Appreciation Day on Saturday in Milton, Ont.
I didn’t look at the website until after I agreed to be put on a team and compete in a fitness challenge that would test the mettle of firefighters, friends and family, potential recruits, EMS personnel and Crossfit types. Crossfit types, if you don’t know, are totally jacked fitness fanatics who, apparently, don’t feel pain.
And they are amazing. At least the women on my team – Britney Holmberg, Jessica Evans and Meredee Shaw – were amazing, as they literally carried me across the finish line in the final event. (They are half my age and I gladly rode their coat tails most of the day. And, carrying a team member across the finish line earned us a full minute off our time – so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds!)
After a grueling several hours of hauling ladders, hoses and tires, running in full gear, crawling through and under obstacles and wondering what I had gotten myself into, our team placed first in the women’s division and, remarkably, tenth out of the 25 teams (five female, a few co-ed and the rest male).
I can’t walk up or down stairs today and my right shoulder is a lovely shade of purple from lugging an industrial fire extinguisher, but as soon as I can lift my arms above my head again I’m going to start training to lift that 45-pound barbell that defeated me in the final event (my teammates lifted it 100 times in a very short span and graciously made up for my failure!).
As I said to organizer and Milton Crossfit co-owner Andrea Savard (hubby George Savard is a Toronto firefighter), there’s middle-aged magazine editor fit, then there’s firefighter/Crossfit fit. There’s a big difference!
Proceeds from Saturday’s event went to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
And, shameless plug: If you’re a chief looking for recruits, my teammate, Britney Holmberg, just completed her pre-service training in Texas. I’d trust her with my life. I did on Saturday!