Physical fitness becomes a part of who you are because of your efforts and the mindset you overcome to reach your goals. You battle your mind when it tells your body to stop and you have to tell yourself to push through to keep going and not quit.
“Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done,” firefighter fitness groups say.
I apply that statement to my daily hour-long high intensity workouts because if I can push my mind to keep going when instead I could easily stop to take a break, then I can push myself to keep going when it counts.
That’s why I apply that concept to the fire service, in training and on the fire ground. The protective gear and SCBA that firefighters wear are heavy and adds a strain onto your body. It’s important to train in full protective gear to practice like you play. This is helpful to build up your stamina because of the extra weight added and because the design of the gear traps in your body heat. One of the killers of firefighters is from overexertion. Sudden cardiac death continues to be the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
The best statement I heard about exercising is to be selfish about your about physical fitness. That time in the gym can become your “me time.”