I almost wrote my last column today. I just completed one full week at the Morris County Training Academy.
Yesterday during our afternoon drill, I choked on the 30 foot ladder. Just 4 rings to where I had to hit the 3rd story window and I just couldn't do it. I did do my 4th leg lock of the day, but I just felt the ladder was wobbly (which it wasn't) and I just said I couldn't do it. The weird thing was I didn't feel scared.
When I got in my car (we were outside about 4-1/2 hours) I was totally drenched with sweat even though I never sweat, and I just cried for an hour. I cried because I thought this is so hard physically on me between my arthritis and fibromyalgia. If you have never had either one you don't know the absolute ache I had in my bones. I was up all night the night before in pain, and I just thought I will never do it.
My Chief at the Academy knew I was upset this morning and he spoke to me for a long time. He explained how there's a job for everyone in a volunteer organization and that many people are engine people. He told me I probably had heat exhaustion. I think I did.
Today we had a test and then another drill. We did the hose lays and hydrant drill and then forcible entry. I had a hard time positioning the irons and then whack when I swung it swung back it hit me in the back. Another bruise. I was working with another Morris Township rookie named Matt, who is so kind, and I must have told him STRIKE about 2 dozen times before I pried open the door. The poor guy he said he wasn't tired but who wouldn't having to STRIKE all those times?
You know how I got that door opened? I listened, I mean really listened to my team saying "Come on you can do it." All the kids on my platoon were so encouraging. So I did it.
I cried again on the way home. But when I got home, I thought I can't quit. I just can't quit. There are too many people expecting me to quit, and too many teenagers that look up to me. And I don't mean my class, I mean my children, their friends, my CCD students in the past.
I could use all the encouragement I can get right now. I will be 47 in two weeks, and my body is so bruised right now you have no idea.