Have you ever woken up and thought to yourself: "Let's see… going to work out is probably the worst idea I've ever had. Can't I just go back to bed?" For most people, this eternal to-gym-or-not-to-gym dilemma becomes even more tumultuous when one realizes that it's actually starting to pay off (we, on the other hand, don't have much of a choice). 

For our most recent PT assessment, the results speak for themselves. I improved in every category, my most proud accomplishment being shaving a minute off my time in the mile-and-a-half run. I won't bore you with numbers, but suffice it to say that I'm quite pleased with my performance.

Some of my friends outside of DCFD have said that they're jealous about the fact that my day includes a mandatory workout. I must say, sometimes it's nice to think about how on most mornings, I'm exhausted before some of them even roll out of bed. It sure gets the metabolism going, though… and it allows me to sneak in some pizza and beer on the weekends without fear of consequence.

Speaking of food, the long-standing tradition within any fire department is one of a culinarily extravagant lifestyle, devoid of regular workouts. As one firefighter said to me at the very beginning: "Buy three sizes of pants. One for now, one for when you get skinny in the Academy, and one for when you go to your company and start packin' it on." 

If you think about it, there's a reason why some firefighters get fairly… rotund. Firehouse meals are big, meat-and-potatoes kind of meals, and there's always plenty for seconds and thirds. Combine that with a bit of downtime, sitting at the watch desk, and a fair bit of inactivity on your three days off, and you can start planning for your Oliver Hardy look-alike contests. Methinks it would be best to keep up the activity level after we graduate, both at work and at home. 

Besides, you'll always remember some of the crazy shit they taught you to make every muscle hurt. Some of it is even kind of… fun?

Yes, these four-way group pushups are as painful as they look.

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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Captain Scott Hetrick
Gear Review: Blauer’s new tactical boots
Interesting that BOA is from my home town of Steamboat Springs, and they didn't approach our Fire Department to do a field test or even let us know that they were working on a duty boot. Small towns are funny sometimes. Captain Scott Hetrick Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue
2014-11-29 21:26:03
stephen miller
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
Great job, brethren ... be bald (bold) even off the fire ground.
2014-02-22 09:33:24
John Struve
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
As I read all the above I wondered "How does it work?" Are fire personnel asking for pledges from the public to be paid to this charity when the personnel have their heads shaved? The ad above was not clear to me. I will read it again. The charity is certainly a very worthwhile cause.…
2014-02-22 06:20:28
“Social Media Policy”how does it affect the bloggers? | Raising Ladders
A word of caution for the chronic Facebook addicts.
[…] over three years ago, I penned a post regarding how firefighters and EMS providers were landing themselves in hot water by using various […]
2014-01-07 17:55:57
Jonny Hope
Farewell, brother.
So very well said Brother. Mike was such an awesome guy. Sure am gonna miss him and his stories. Mike touch so many people on and off the job. Mike will continue to live on in so many of us. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful tribute with us about Mike. 
2013-12-04 21:49:48

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"For anyone who ever wanted to grow up and become a firefighter... from someone who did just that."
February 2009
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