There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Monday, May 2, 2011

No Turning Back Now

I hesitate to write this blog today, because once something ends up here it feels so  real.  I’m moving forward with a new goal, but before I can do that I think it’s time for some back story.

Four years ago, I decided to volunteer for my local fire department.  Yes, as a firefighter.  I was 42 at the time.  After about a year and a half of training I became a Level 2 Certified Firefighter in my state.  Even today, I cannot pinpoint specifically why I chose this particular activity other than I felt called to do it.

During this time, I also took it upon myself to take the state physical assessment test. Not a requirement for volunteers, but I believed that I needed to prove to myself and my department that I could handle the physical demands of this job.  This is a timed test.  Which I failed.  By two seconds. 

Two seconds…a blink of an eye, but enough to shatter my confidence.  Enough to wipe out the one and half years of training I completed successfully.  Enough to make me leave the department, convinced that I was too old and too weak to be a firefighter.

Another year has passed since I left, and still I have no peace.  I have only excuses and justifications for why I left, why I can’t return.  But God is working here, through some unlikely people I might add.  And he’s getting me to face my fears. 

So just as I started this blog for accountability on my decision to give up alcohol for one year, I will now use this blog for accountability to stay on task and train once again for what is, by far, the most difficult physical challenge I might ever face.

Feel free to stop me.


  1. You are still young, and not too old or too weak. Two seconds....I say try again.
    I follow your blog so will be checking back to see if you are not drinking...and you can do this! just don't give in two days before you reach the end of the year.
    Do it!

  2. haha funny Shanda! two days... No hopefully I am learning something about not giving up! :)

  3. I bet the not drinking will play a part in how well you do this time. Better, faster, stronger. That's you. It's all tied together, my friend.

    You can do this!

  4. Annabelle, I totally agree. I thought about that myself. Last time I trained i was still enjoying plenty of cocktail hours!

  5. I wish you strength and faith no matter how this physical test will come out.
    You are strong willed and that you have managed to control your alcohol consumption is praiseworthy.
    Now, I think you should not let your self esteem be dependent of these tests. If you are allowed to be a firefighter, that's great.
    Don't be so harsh on yourself, you don't deserve that punishment.
    When I was your age, I was linked to the bed much of the day due to ME (chronic fatigue syndrome).
    I hate to be weak and ill, but I will not be defined by my weakness.
    I am love-worthy in spite of illness and so are you.
    From Felisol

  6. What an excellent comment Felisol! And good luck Deborah! I wish you all the best in this and admire your attitude!

  7. Thanks Colleen! And I hear you Felisol...although that "don't be so harsh on yourself" part is still a work in progress for me :) I'm trying.

  8. You can do it and think of the personal self gradification you'll feel when you do!