Now that I am back out at the helibase, my fitness options have increased. No longer am I relegated to running the trails by Costco or dodging teenage drivers by the school. The trails in the woods, while muddy, are starting to melt. The weight room in the shop is uncrowded. One of my future temporary employees informs me that he runs the mile and a half in 8 minutes, 14 seconds, contributing to the sense of urgency that I, at least, feel.
My coworkers appear bemused as I drag them over to the hotshot workout room. I'm sure they think I'm somewhat obsessed. After 25 years fighting fire, nobody would care if I took up a spot in the back of the pack, coasted a little, stopped pushing it. But I can't do it. I won't be running the mile and a half in eight minutes anytime soon, but I can still keep up with most of the 22 year olds. The difference is that, unlike them, I can't start up running two weeks before the season, or fail to do pullups for months, and bounce back just fine.
So I run to the dam and back, dodging rainstorms. I join the office crowd in an overpriced gym after work. Pretty soon the seasonals will be starting, and I don't want to just keep up. I want to be in the front, leading the way.