Lehi City Firefighter PT Test

I had the opportunity to participate in a physical training test that our local fire station put together. We have a few firefighters that work out at the gym I train at and I was asked along with a few female’s to participate.

They currently don’t have any female firefighters here in the city so they wanted to get a variety of women together to test us on a few techniques and training pieces they work with.   They wanted to get an average time it would take a female to complete the challenge.

I was all over the idea when it was presented to me by my fellow firefighter, Jake.  I even enlisted a few other girls here at my gym to come.  Then asked a neighbor of mine to come do it with me too.  I was so excited to do something I’ve never done before.

We arrived at the city rodeo grounds and walked through the challenges that were presented to us and did a few trial runs on a couple to “test” it out before we were timed.  During this time of walking through it I kept thinking………

“Oh this is a piece of cake”

“I’ve got this, this is nothing”

“I’ve carried heavier”

and so on and so forth.

I walked over and said, “I wanna go, I’m so ready for this!”  I usually like to go first on challenges to just get it over with so I can enjoy watching everyone else.  The next question the firefighters asked me was if I wanted to have the oxygen tank on along with the coat and hat.  I wanted to have the full experience so of course I said yes!

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Mind you the coat and hat alone weighed about 10-15lb then the tank was another 35lb.  I got all dolled up in the gear and I was set to go!  The two other friends of mine, Christina and Lisa, cheered me on as I began.

The first challenge was to take off the caps on the fire hydrant and crank the top to open it up to get the flow of water.  (water was turned off for the test) I was taught a way to do the challenge in the walk through so as I began I noticed that it was taking me a lot longer than I had anticipated.  I began to get frustrated in my mind saying, “Come on, Sarah, what’s wrong with you, they just showed you how to do it and look you can even twist it off!”

So as you can see my mind was already off to a not so good start because as I prepped I was overly confident that I had this in the bag!  So I began to doubt myself and to beat myself up in my mind about my capabilities.  I began to get nervous and my heart was racing because it was such a simple task and I was struggling.

The next challenge was to drag the hose on my shoulder a few feet down and back 2 times.  Then run to the bleachers and pack the 50lb hose on my shoulder up and down the stairs twice.  By this challenge I was already spent!  My legs were on FIRE, my mind was going left and right about how stupid I was to think this was easy and then I had moments of telling myself that I can do it and to just chill out!

The next challenge was to see where you were mentally when your body was exhausted and we had to put together a mega block’s piece by piece according to the picture that was shown.  Here again I said in my mind that little kids can do this I’ve got it.  Well at this challenge I was there for probably a full minute and a half.  I got a little flustered.

Then I had to crawl through a small crawl space on the ground shimmining through to get out to the other side.  The run to the ladder and walk it upright and grab the ropes to slide it upward and lock it in place then slide it back down and place it back on the ground.

At this point in my mind I was just like, “Sarah, just finish what you started, it doesn’t matter about the time anymore, just finish strong and do your best”

Two challenges left and I had to drag a 180b dummy around a cone and back and didn’t keep up with my momentum and stopped to take a breather when the firefighters suggested not stopping but just keep moving.  By this point I could taste blood in my esophagus and my legs were jello and my breathing was uncontrolled.

The last challenge was the Kaiser sled which was basically you had a mallet in hand and you had to whack the metal piece to a certain spot over and over again.  I knew this was the last one and I just wanted to finish and stop.  So I finally started to get loud and get mean at that piece of metal.  It felt so liberating to finally express openly with my voice.

I learned a few powerful lessons with this experience.

1. Never walk into something you’ve never done and think you are the bee’s knees.  I was overly confident that I could take on such a task.

2.  Listen to the firefighter’s suggestions and try not to change it and do it your way.  They’ve done it before trust them.

3.  Your mind has power and what you say will manifest.

4.  When your negative mind takes over you’re already defeated.

5.  Finish and finish stronger than when you started.

I have such a deeper respect for these women and men who serve us in our local communities as firefighters.  I admire their willingness to put their lives on the line and do some crazy things like walk into fires and many more things.

Sure these firefighters don’t have to do all these challenges at once when they are put on the line but I’m certain that their adeline carries them through and they have to be able to have the mindset to handle whatever is placed before them.

I am constantly learning that on a daily basis and will continue too.  Even though I teach women to control their own negative thoughts doesn’t mean that I don’t have many moments where I feel defeated in my mind.  It’s work and if you choose to you can change it.

Until next time and I would do it over again knowing what I know now.

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