As December 1st approaches full barrel, like Chaz Bono at the Dancing With the Stars after-party buffet, I thought I'd clue you all in on our itinerary.
1. To reveal to my audience the facets of the firefighter "lifestyle" through research, methodical study, and dating a lot of firemen. (Okay, the last part is more "wishful thinking" than "goal", but a girl can dream.)
2. To spotlight the fire stations of Washington, particularly eastern Washington, by attending as many fire department-related events as I can, and blogging about them.
3. To pass the FDNY firefighter written examination, and complete a physical training program which would enable me to pass the physical examination, by the end of 2012. (I can't take the actual physical exam; it involves too much equipment that I don't have access to. And I don't want to fall off a ladder and die.)
4. To survive the year with no herniated disks, broken ankles, or other injury as might be sustained by a 42-year old sloth attempting this endeavor. I'll leave it to you to decide if I'm referring to the "dating" part or the "exercise" part here.
Our attack is 4-prong: Nutrition, Exercise, Academic and Events.
Prong 1 - Nutrition. I will start the "Engine 2 Diet" on December 1st, which is basically a vegan-ish diet written by firefighter Rip Esselstyn. It is widely known that all firefighters eat a plant-based diet. ~cough~
Okay, seriously...what fun would it be if I just decided to "eat healthy"? Work with me here, people. My physical pain is your humorous blog post gain. We are going PLANT STRONG, to quote the Mighty Rip.
Prong 2 - Exercise. On January 1st, I will start the "Get Firefighter Fit" workout plan by Kevin S. Malley and David K. Spierer. More details on that later, but it's basically a free-weight workout plan where you pretend like you are doing fire-related activities. I've also got the FDNY physical preparation guidelines which we will be tromping through. We will also be doing a Couch to 5k running plan, utilizing the mini-trampoline for the snow months.
Prong 3 - Academic. I have 3 separate exam prep books. I anticipate spending 2 or maybe 3 months on each book, but that might change once I get started....Anyhow, that starts February 1st.
There is MATH involved. Nobody mentioned that to me upfront, by the way.
Prong 4 - Events. Well, this one is going to be a little more off the cuff, because volunteer fire departments in rural eastern Washington don't usually give you 4 months' notice that they are having an open house. I'll be scouring the internet, particularly during the summer months, for community celebrations, etc to attend. I'll be volunteering at the Scott Stairclimb in Seattle in March, which is a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And if I win the lottery, in September I'll go to New York for the opening of the 9/11 museum and the Tunnel to Towers run.
And somewhere in all this, I have to find a man. Note that I list this right after "win the lottery." Hmmmm.
So there you have it, dearest reader. My year, in a nutshell. Fasten your seatbelts and keep your laptop battery charged.