I never would have thought playing ball in rain and hail could be so much fun! Our softball game got caught in a thunderstorm yesterday and we had to hide out in the dugout for a little bit while the worst of the rain and hail came down. We decided to play on after it stopped, soaking wet, and I had such a blast! I haven’t splashed around in the mud since I was a kid and I am definitely going to make it a regular thing.
I was fortunate enough to participate in a fun event called Fire Ops with the Lethbridge Fire/EMS Department. A few City employees and City Councillors went through a half day of basic fire fighter training to get a feel for what it is these men do. I say men because our services are combined and means all the men are trained in both Fire & Emergency Medical Services. Passing requirements to be a fire fighter are more difficult for women and I can see why- the gear alone (jacket, pants, boots, mask, helmet, oxygen tank) must weigh at least 50lbs. I was DYING trying to move around in all that gear.
We got to do four activities that day- rappelling, car extraction, fire fighting, and EMS.
I was shocked at how scared I was to do this activity! I have rock climbed before but when we got to the top of the stair case and looked down I got real nervous. It was a staircase that had large gaps in between stories, unlike a climbing wall which had a solid wall you could balance with.
When it was my turn to climb over the railing and put my weight on the rope I got scared and the guy helping us had to very nicely pull my hand off. Ha ha! But once I let go and felt the solid support of the ropes I was no longer scared and away I went and I loved it! I even went up for a second round.
I never really thought of it but fire fighters do A LOT of car extractions (scary thought) and we got to get a glimpse into what they do and the tools they use. They have this really awesome sticky tape thing that prevents the glass from shattering on the ground or the inside of the car. I got to use the cutter and the spreader (better known as the jaws of life) both of which are HEAVY!
This was the coolest and the scariest activity of them all. I am claustrophobic and putting that mask on without the oxygen was a real challenge for me. They made us put them on and listen to instruction for probably about 10 minutes. I was so close to freaking out several times but I took the deepest breathes I could and told myself over and over to stay calm because I didn’t want to look like a wimp in front of the fire fighters.
We got the tanks on and the oxygen going (tanks were so heavy they killed my bad back) and picked up the hose and headed in. We were practising a basement fire and we had to crawl in through the smoke and spray down the fire they would start on the ceiling and the wall. Yup, I got to use the big old hose to put out a fire, it was awesome! The steam is much hotter than the fire itself though you could feel the heat even through your gear. We went outside and prepared for the second exercise which was finding a victim. They handed me the axe (at this point my arms were dead) and we went back into the smoky building to crawl around the basement (hands against the right wall) to find our person. I had to drag that axe along and when we found the dummy, I grabbed a leg and drug it and my axe back up the stairs and out the building.
This was a great way to finish the day because we got to go inside the air conditioned classroom and learn about forcing open airways, drilling IV’s into legs bones and the many different medications and equipment our paramedics are armed with. I got to put in a mock breathing tube and jammed it in hard enough that I would have busted off the teeth of a real victim. Oops.
It was such an amazing day and who knows maybe a volunteer fire fighter career is in my future. Ha!
Thanks to Camille I actually have photo evidence that I do in fact play softball. Here it is:
Yup, that’s me in the pink tank top.
Coutts was a lot of fun; but who doesn’t have fun camping, playing ball and hanging out with your friends? We came in 10th our of 13 teams. Ha!
It was hot, I got a good burn, it was pretty nice.
My absolute favourite part was being outside all the time. I would wake up and go outside for food, bathroom, etc. I could totally be a gypsy and live in a camper.
And so, a few photos from the weekend.
I was lucky enough to road trip back to Alberta from Washington with my little brother Ben after his graduation. Just as we were leaving the Crowsnest Pass I saw the sign for Lundbreck Falls and asked him if we wanted to make a quick pit stop though we were less than two hours from home.
When you pull off the highway you only need to drive for about 3-4 minutes and you’ll see the parking area on your left. You can’t miss it!
A rest stop well worth it! The falls are beautiful and have a couple of observation decks that jut out over the water. There are also restrooms and benches, the perfect pit stop at a beautiful location. There is a campground across the bridge from the falls so I may have to try it out one weekend this summer.
I have done A LOT of travelling the last two weeks of May. With one brother getting married in Salt Lake City and the other brother graduating from Richland, Washington I spent a total of 40 hours in a car and 3 hours on a plane in two weeks!!!!! Craziness! Luckily I had some great companions who made the trip fun and enjoyable.
Here are some tips for a great road trip:
- Dress comfy
- Pack healthy snacks
- Stop a lot! Even if it’s for 5 minutes. A stretch break at a scenic spot will rejuvenate you along the way.
- Do not eat in the car and don’t eat at chain restaurants. You can eat at McDonalds at home, when you are on the road seek out the locally owned joints and get chatting with the locals about cool places to hit up
- Music. Make sure you have lots of music for every mood. I LOVE musical soundtracks to sing along to on a long drive
- Talking. If you don’t have a talkative partner (like when I drove to Seattle with Ryan) it will be a LONG drive. The first 6 hours of my trip to SLC flew by because my cousin Jenn and I were talking the whole time
What’s the one thing you always want to do after running an 8k road race? Go golfing of course! Lol. I had very little time to spend with my baby brother Ben before he had to go to Waterton and he mentioned how he would like to try golfing so I decided we had to go.
Of course, Bridge Valley Par 3 course is perfect for us, especially as I still suck royally. It was a windy but beautiful day and the course was practically deserted- perfect for two beginners to take their time and get stuck behind trees, etc.
I don’t know why I do the crazy things I do, but when my friend Aimee asked me on Thursday if I wanted her bib to run in LadiesFest 8km on Saturday I said yes. Never mind that I haven’t worked out or gone on a run in a month, I was just gonna bust out an 8k!
My little brother Ben woke up at 6:30 am to come out and watch me race! Which was so sweet. When the race started he was very loudly cheering “Tynan Power! Tynan Power!” And then when he saw me in a crowd he started yelling “Go Rachel! That’s my sister! That’s my sister!” It was so sweet. A lot of the ladies were laughing and I heard one say “I wish my brother would come cheer for me.” It made me feel really good. He also snapped this picture:
The first km and a half was down into the coulees and I was shocked how many women weren’t tackling the hill properly. I didn’t do so hot in high school cross-country but I do remember the coaches saying to always let your body go and gravity pull you down hills. So I was flying down this hill and I knew that once I hit flat ground and started my regular pace that women would pass me and probably laugh at me in their heads. Which is what happened. I had to walk right before the 2km mark. I picked up a second wind at the 2.5 mark that only made it to the 3km before I had to walk again. The inner athlete in me just cringed, why do I struggle so much with distance running??
The turn around was at 4.5 km and for a while runners had to run past each other. I was about at 3.5km and this girl in a sports bra (who was at about 5km in) and a body to die for came FLYING by me! She looked pretty much like this:
As she flew by, others were close behind her including some older ladies I wouldn’t expect to be that quick (I’m talking 50s-60s!). I watched these athletes fly by me andas I walked/plodded along it made me sad that I am not a crazy elite athlete. I have no one to blame but myself because these ladies aren’t naturally that quick, they have obviously trained hard to be. I need to step it up.
That gave me the motivation I need and I started jogging again at the 4.5 mark. My third wind kicked in and I was cruising. I was so excited as I passed the 6km mark which, prior to this race, was the farthest I have ever run in my life.
But, as I have said in previous posts, Runners Soul are sadists and love to end their races on big, long hills. So at 6.5km I hit the hill and had to walk the km up it very slowly. When I hit the top of the hill I jogged the last little bit to the finish line. I didn’t kick into an all out sprint until I saw two ladies just a few metres ahead of me, so I kicked it hard and rushed past them over the finish line.
My final time? Exactly one hour. Ha ha ha! Not exactly brag worthy! Oh well, I did it and that’s what matters. I figure if I keep doing these races eventually I’ll get my act together and start training for them.