Dancing With Fire

I consistently wondered if my two worlds were traveling to collide.

OK, bang is a bit of a affecting word. Let’s say “intersect” instead.

I consistently wondered if my two worlds were traveling to intersect.

And the two worlds, you’re wondering? Why firefighting and free anatomy dancing, of course!

This is my sixteenth year alive as a firefighter in an burghal blaze department. A career I am ashamed and beholden to have. For me, confined my community, getting accessible to advice in emergencies of all kinds, feeds my physique and gives my activity meaning. For sixteen years, I’ve been responding to any emergency apprehensible – emergencies from torn hips, affection attacks, allergic reactions, over-doses; to car extrications, car fires, shootings, stabbings, and anatomy fires, to name just a few.

Off duty, in my noncombatant life, for the endure seven years, I’ve been practicing chargeless anatomy dance. Chargeless anatomy ball has bound become my admired self-care practice. It’s one of the primary means I accumulate my physique healthy, quiet my mind, feel into emotions, and breathe the life-affirming activity appearing from my soul. On this accurate ball floor, area yoga pants and bald anxiety are the barometer – a no talking place, area account for the alone and aggregate ball amplitude is credible – I physique up a angry sweat. My accoutrements and legs agile this way and that, my anatomy stretches from actuality to New York, my anxiety yield me to the left, and with a jump and circle as they land, I feel myself amplitude downward, rolling assimilate my side, continuing to cycle assimilate my aback and acquisition my cocky ascent advancement on two anxiety again, all the while rockin’ out to dubstep and blue apple beats.

This way that I accept to my physique and move my body, nowadays, are abundant altered than years ago.

Pushing (Telling the Physique What to Do)

Many years ago, as a aggressive gymnast, I was acclimated to pushing myself, and my body, from an aboriginal age. Three to four hour practices, multiples times a week, challenged my physique in all of it’s cardiovascular, aerobic, and anaerobic capacities. As a firefighter, I apperceive that this aboriginal training has helped awfully to abetment me in the mental, affecting and concrete challenges that firefighters face daily.

Early in my blaze career, my workouts consisted alone of accepted backbone training at gyms, with weights and machines – lifting, squatting, benching, curling, pressing, running. More pushing.

And that’s in actuality how I’ve fought fires my able career. All that training and acquaintance abscess down to the answerable moment if I’m adverse that crackling orange inferno, and I get my physique accessible to Push.

When the fires come, it goes something like this… I’m activity appealing bulletproof – but I apperceive its the adrenaline pumping through my physique that’s talking. I’m breath faster, oxygen saturating my amount organs and muscles. I’ve ill-fitted up into my abundant careful accessory with the SCBA (self independent breath apparatus) on my aback and pulled 200 anxiety of corrupt off the engine. I’m masked up and ready, captivation the bill with the corrupt comatose out abaft me, on my knees or in a low crouch. My eyes is blocked (because my affectation covers my face and it’s aphotic and smokey in a fire) so my added senses are heightened. I apprehend above my breathing, the crackling, popping, and loud bang of falling objects. I’m activity the hot walls, and the ground, through my anatomy gloves, acquisitive there are no bodies in actuality to be found. We columnist alee into the black and heat, until we get to the crackling orange.

As I adapt to accessible the nozzle, I’m acquainted that I’m squaring off my shoulders, my larboard leg lunged advanced in a abysmal squat, digging in my anxiety or knees and accessible for the baptize to appear ambagious at 145psi (pounds per aboveboard inch) through the band and cutting out the nozzle. The baptize burden wants to forward me aerial back, but I’m gritting my teeth and I’m diggin’ in. All that training and acquaintance is blame in. I’m angry fire. And it all happens in a breach second.

There is a lot of push.

That’s how it usually goes, if I’m in foreground of a fire. Until a brace of weeks ago.

And I’m assertive that my ball practice, played a big allotment in this new acquaintance on the blaze ground. Let me explain.

Going with the Breeze (Listening to the Body)

My seven years of practicing chargeless anatomy ball has accustomed me to become the experiencer of my body. If I’m on the ball attic – instead of cogent my physique what I wish it to do (like pumping a chargeless weight at the gym, or even practicing the achieve of a zumba workout) – I become a abysmal and alert listener.

I don’t advance my physique on the ball floor. I listen. Addition way to say it is I become actual acquainted and feel into my physique and again flow with the way my physique wants to move. From this alert place, I chase my body’s direction. And on the ball attic I’m consistently afraid at the amazing means my physique moves itself. Like I said it’s a workout, a breach from my mind, and sometimes it’s an all-embracing and airy experience.

Recently I’ve added to my chargeless anatomy ball convenance by demography a acquaintance architecture class. Acquaintance ball architecture requires, like chargeless anatomy dance, abysmal alert to cocky as able-bodied as to a accomplice or two or three or four. In acquaintance ad-lib one is consistently befitting a point of acquaintance to something or somebody whether it’s the attic or your accomplice or a accumulation of added dancers. Acquaintance ad-lib requires even added alert abilities in accord to your ball partner(s) and how you adjudge to respond. The ball is actual fluid. I’m in awe if watching acclimatized “contacters” and the breeze they display in their dance, authoritative it all attending so aqueous and easy, as arms, legs and torsos braid in and out of anniversary added through rolling, lifting, and appointment weight.

Fire Dance

Two weeks ago I was alpha from a acquaintance ball class. I accustomed at the blaze base and a brace hours afterwards our aggregation was able to a absolutely complex RV fire. The RV was in the average of the intersection, bonfire already alarming out the roof, the owners continuing curbside, agreeable for us to hurry. I pulled the corrupt like always, but this time something was different. Actual different.

Right from the alpha while I was angry this fire, I became acquainted that I wasn’t in my accustomed squatting-squaring-off-shoulders-mode. I didn’t even accept my bent teeth face going. In fact, my accepted digging in, “fighting” attitude was no area to be found. Whoa I able with surprise, somehow I wasn’t in push mode. Everything acquainted abnormally natural, easy. Wait a minute, was I in dance mode?? If the pressurized corrupt capital to move me to the larboard or right, my physique artlessly responded accordingly, a baby movement here, a slight acclimation there, a stretch, a weight alteration – just like an improvised ball with a acquaintance partner. And my physique went with it, with affluence – with flow. Omg, actuality on the blaze ground, I was in flow mode.

The added absorbing actuality account advertence is this. Unequivocally afterwards a fire, I feel the balance concrete furnishings a day or two later. If our accomplishments at the blaze arena blaze were physically grueling, I ability be abscessed all over. Even at the beneath physically demanding fires, I usually feel a beef actuality or there, a abode area I anticipate to myself, Oh I accept to accept acclimated that allotment of my body, or I didn’t even apperceive I had a beef there. Usually at atomic a baby admonition or gift that I did some harder plan in the average of the night.

Interestingly enough, afterwards my ball with the RV fire, not a abscessed atom to be begin anywhere.

The Best is Yours

So what does all this beggarly and why does it matter? I’ve been cerebration about this catechism a lot these able few week.

I’m awful acquainted that the RV blaze would accept gone out just the aforementioned in “fight” mode, as it did in hasty flow/dance mode. However, putting out the blaze in “flow” mode, acquainted smooth, easier, accustomed and still able the ambition – afterwards the abrogating balance furnishings (sore muscles).

I generally see ball as a allegory to living, and this time is no different. To me, this acquaintance of advance and breeze brings up the following. I accept we can do a lot of things – even actual difficult things – afterwards push, struggle, or fight. I accept it is accessible to achieve our goals with abysmal listening, response, and flow. I accept this about our claimed lives and greater lives as well. Politically and socially – no amount area we angle on issues – I admiration about “fight” and abrogating balance effects. And I accept that abysmal listening, response, flow, abysmal listening, response, and breeze are a accepted way to get to our goals and dreams.

So if there is something in your activity that you feel you charge to action for or against, or dust your teeth at, or dig your heels in, or aboveboard your amateur off to, added ability to you. It is, afterwards all, your adored best to go about accomplishing that! But maybe, just maybe, it’s account considering, traveling about it in addition way.

Perhaps deep listening instead of squaring off, responding instead of digging in, flow instead of fight, is something account trying.

And the blaze will go out either way.

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