About 4 years ago I challenged myself to become healthy not only for myself and my family, but for my job too. I am a full-time Paramedic for the City of Allentown in Pennsylvania, and it didn’t take me long to realize that if I had to get up 3 flights of stairs to help someone who was complaining of trouble breathing, me huffing and puffing was no help.
Along with challenging myself to become healthy, I also wondered if I could compete in a triathlon. I credit a then paramedic student, now full-time co-worker of mine, for planting the seed of a triathlon in my head. After we spent the night talking about what a triathlon is, I could hardly wait to do my own research on them, and start a training plan. I prepared a 5 year plan in my head that would slowly build on my distances, and in that 5th year I was going to compete in not only a full distance Ironman, but the one held in Lake Placid.
I’m happy to report that as of August 2, 2013, I am officially registered for the 2014 Ironman Lake Placid, and couldn’t be more exited! July 27, 2014 will most likely be here before I know it, even though it seems so far away!
I decided to start a blog as a written memory of everything that happens over the year leading up to my race. I am often in awe of professional triathletes, but sometimes wonder if I’d love my sport so much if it was my full-time job. I think the one reason I love it so much is because it’s my getaway. It’s my chance to be around people who don’t want to talk about medical things, what new safety toe boots are out, or what the new protocols are. It’s also, most importantly, my chance to mentally unwind and de-stress, which I feel is important in this line of work.
I’m also happy to report that I have a huge support system of not only family, but friends, that will be my cheering squad at a race, make sure I get in the pool when I’m tired after a long night at work, and even listen to me talk about how inspiring it was to volunteer at the finish line this year in Lake Placid and never once tell me that my stories are boring. So I also dedicate my blog to them.
I also hope that maybe someone will read this and decide to make one simple change in their life to challenge themselves to be healthier. I work in a notoriously unhealthy job, Emergency Services. Mentally and physically exhausting. We don’t get built-in lunch breaks, we never close, we work weird hours and sometimes only have fast food or gas station stores to get food/snacks from. It’s hard to be healthy in this profession. Not impossible, but hard, or time-consuming I guess would be a better word. It involves a lot of planning and strategy. But with that being said, I absolutely love what I do, and can’t see myself doing anything different.
So that’s a little blip of my story. I’ve never done a blog before, so I’m hoping that the more posts I write, the more fluent I become, and maybe things won’t seem so awkward. Here’s to hoping!!