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Month: August 2018

When things don’t go smoothly

When things don’t go smoothly


The third annual Rastin Challenge has came and gone with participants from around the area competing against each other for prizes and to raise money for a local scholarship for first responders.  Rastin Challenge is an amazing local event that was started and is held at the Ariel Foundation Park in Mount Vernon, Ohio. If you haven’t seen photos of it or heard of the place, check out the spiral staircase around an old smokestack that is the tallest point around the county.

My department put in another team this year, made some changes, and competed, but the course was done that things didn’t go smooth.  Despite all four of us being highly competitive, driven, and athletic in our own unique ways, things just didn’t go as planned.  In the grand scheme of things the entire event for us continues to get better every year, but in the end it was the little things that snagged us the most.  From the start I knew something was going to be off for me because the hosepack was different than I trained with, a different setup.  The launch up with the pack was perfect, my breathing perfect, but when that pack hit my shoulder, it slid back, didn’t sit, and threw off the first 8-10 steps from the video review that I did.  The little things.  The little things add up to big things, and much like how the first line goes into a fire that’s how the fire goes, well the same could be said of events like this. Overall there were strengths though, improvements, better speed, better strength.

Looking back at the event I couldn’t be happier that with the size of the department we are, put together a team to compete.  After all, how many other local departments are in the county and surrounding that didn’t even strap up to try.  Looking at the day we succeeded in challenging ourselves, getting fire cadets involved from our department to volunteer, and recognizing that we would rather have these small things happen at a competition or a training rather than on game day when we are needed to be at our best.

When they don’t go smoothly, the important part is recognizing the fact, seeing what broke down, and then improving.  I am looking forward to some HUGE events that are coming up in the next year that I’m involved with and making changes to push even harder.  I can still feel it in the way I’m training, that while I have made some huge strength improvements that I am still trailing in some of the cardio from two years ago.

What must change?  What adjustments need made?  Are they the small ones like the attention to detail on the hose pack, are they gear issues, equipment, or are they bigger cardio and training issues?

Two weeks away from my first 9/11 Memorial Climb since early 2018, we’ll see if the endurance is there like it has been in the past.  Columbus, Ohio up the Chase Bank building five times to make it to the top.  From there its on to some 5k events, stair climbs in Ohio, Indiana, Washington, and potentially if I can get the sponsors, Florida! Lots of exciting things, happy to be back in it again!