Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Refreshed by a Refresher

Last week I spent in middle Tennessee. Technically, I was there to take the wildland firefighter refresher course to maintain my red card certification. But it was also a way for me to visit Murfreesboro and see all my peeps in Tennessee. The trip did well by me and I am feeling refreshed, inspired.

Well, I am feeling emotionally refreshed. Part of the annual refresher includes taking the "pack test." The pack test, at the arduous level, involves hauling a 50-pound pack for three miles in less than 45 minutes. And one foot must be one the ground at all times (no walking). So the parts of me that are not refreshed are screaming at me. Admittedly, I did minimal training for this specific test as I have been training for a half marathon in March.

It was a beautiful day for a physical exertion test. At 37 degrees, with a crisp breeze and some minor drizzle, I could not feel my nose or fingers. We tried to joke that the positive side of the cold was that maybe we wouldn't feel our legs burn. Ha. The first mile was probably the worst, as I was trying to find my groove. I deliberately let the group start ahead of me to give myself my own space to do my thing. I had been training with a pack but thet provided weighted vests for the actual test. I tried leaning forward, then standing up straight, long strides, then fast steps. I finally found my groove when I started my version of a runway walk. Work it, girl: fire pants, hiking boots, red hat, purple nails, all a'sparkles, struttin' my stuff. I rocked those last two miles.

It may be that extra flare that is the cause of my seemingly extra soreness. What can I say? I live for that extra flare. So now I got my Smokey on and now am ready to serve on a fire crew if need be. Well, maybe after another day or so and a few more doses of Tylenol.

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