The books were sort of overwhelming. The main manual was 700 pages long. Another, an exercise science book, delved into intimidating anatomy material. I sat in the meager shade of the Escape waiting for the helicopter to return from dropping water. It was 100 degrees out. A micromanaging deck coordinator made enthusiastic laps around the field, intent on finding somebody doing something wrong. It wasn't the most conducive study environment.
Nevertheless, I persisted. I peered at people, assessing their posture without their knowledge. I forced coworkers to undergo mobility tests. My books went everywhere, getting helicopter flights and road trips.
Yesterday I entered the exam room nervously. The Facebook study group I was in had many dire stories of people not passing, or saying how hard they thought the test was. I could hear someone else clicking computer keys rapidly behind me. She was taking the same exam. What if I don't pass and she does? I thought.
I clicked Submit Exam. After a stressful pause, my results appeared. I had passed with a really high score!
What's next? I don't know, besides
torturing helping my crew by doing movement and flexibility screens. Maybe some part time work, or something to do after I get kicked out of firefighting for being too old. There's this though: there were moments I felt pretty doubtful. College and studying was a long time ago, I thought. These books are expensive. I don't care that much about the digestive system. But I kept going, because sometimes you should do what's new and maybe a little scary. Learn something, take the trip, do the thing. It's always worth it.