About a week ago I participated in a fire drill. It was a kick ass, ass kicker. Kick ass because it was an air management drill, meaning, we had to perform certain check-ins on our air tank level so as not to get caught deep into a building filled with smoke and suddenly realize that I won’t have enough to get out. Then you realize that all the stuff swirling around your face mask is really trying to kill you dead. And so in this highly modified chicken coop there was several mannequins we needed to haul out, and several smoke machines in high gear. Like I said, it was kick ass.
The first evolution went okay. It was a bit getting the 185 geared up mannequin out, and so we went back in having not quite hit the halfway mark on our air bottles, meaning, the lowest of our four man team. Upon doing so we exited the building and went to rehab. Time to see how the BP was doing.
128/82. How’s that for 56 YO kick ass?! Of course, it’s helped by meds, but that means they are working.
So back in we go. Now it’s dark. And they tell us that we can’t use our flashlights this time. Follow the hose to the end, attach the safety line, keep looking. Okay then. We had new air, so that wasn’t a huge deal, except for the total lack of light. We found the mannequin and started hauling out. We found the mannequin just above the halfway point on our tanks, so another team was sent in. I’m here to tell you that hauling that second victim out far exceeded the first in difficulty. I finally took over near the end because we stalled, not knowing exactly who was doing what, other than that my team mates were behind me somewhere, and another team close by.
The next day I realized my age. The ass kick. I was definitely playing a young man’s game that night. We crawl around in these events, because in a fire, if you stand up you greatly decrease the odds of living. Extreme heat and ignitable gasses await you at standing height.
Yea, I could lose maybe 10 or 15 lbs. Maybe work out a bit more. Okay, a lot more. I’m slacking in that area. But I will never again be in my twenties or thirties. Nor do I want to be in some regards.
Sometimes I just wish isn’t so much work to stay in shape! It feels like at times my left arm is outstretched, hand trying to hold onto something that can never be, and my right arm is extended, palm out flat, trying to stop that which is inevitable….Despite how vulnerable it feels at times as I learn to assess myself in this place I am in, I am going to live a kick ass life, even if it kicks my ass doing it.
Some days feel one way, some the other.