Saturday, October 24, 2009

Turnout, to Turnouts!

 From about age 5 and on, I danced. I started as a ballerina, and from there tried all forms. Ballet was an interesting thing for me. I learned a lot of discipline, and great dance technique, however it came at a price. It was insanely expensive. It was also, insanely hard and hard on me. I quit around age 14, when I decided that instead of ballet everyday right after school for 2 hours, and Saturday mornings, I longed for some form of social life. I also did not have the ballet body type. I am short, stout, and muscular, not long, graceful, and lean. I was weighed weekly from age 10 on up. Kind of hard on a girl....
Now, the humor in this, is a big part of ballet life, is what is called, your turnout. The way your hips turn your legs out, so that your movement is accurate. If a ballerinas turnout was off, everything was off. In the fire world, the bunker gear we wear into a fire, is called "turnouts." Ironic you ask? No. Both require dedication and discipline, however, it has taken me a while to find my true turnouts. What made me think of this, was my testing a few days ago, for Paramedic school. I had flown in the night before, from Phoenix. Of course I woke up late, and ran around the house finding all of my dress uniform gear. After speeding to my test site, I jumped out of my car and tried to take some deep breaths as I walked over to the building. But something caught my eye...I noticed on the building next to it, a ballet poster. They always suck me in, I want to know what is showing, who is performing etc. I look up at the buildings sign, and notice it is a ballet school. The director of the ballet, school, was a girl both myself and my sister danced with. After dropping my chin, I saw myself in the buildings reflection. No leotard and tights, but a blue dress shirt. My gold badge and name tag flashed in the sunlight. I gave myself a smile, knowing that I was headed into the building that truly made me happy. So what if it wasn't ballet. I absolutely love dance, I always will...but it no longer holds my heart.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Must be this tall to ride....

Recently, the department I currently work for, purchased a custom built tiller truck.  A large ladder truck, that has a separate encasement in the rear, for a "tillerman" to drive.  It is such a monstrousity, it requires 2 separate drivers. What is funny about me, and this truck, "Tillie" I call her, is yes...the size difference. I am, just over 5 feet tall. this beast, is 66 feet long. I can stand up inside the cab.  I have been learning what tools and toys are in the compartments on the outside. What's sad, is I can't reach a lot of them!! During my last training, one section was modified, (so I like to think) for me to pull a bucket out of the lower compartment, to reach the higher one! It's quite comical, that in a world of "safety first" and on a large edifice like Tillie, with more ladders than any vehicle this side of the Mississippi, I use a bucket to reach the goods. The first time I met the creature, I stood next to her, and circled her many times looking for the height requirement. The dorky wooden creepy animal with its hand risen "just so" yeah, just so I can't ride it. Luckily for me, there were none around... I got my first ride in it, and for the intimidation it is, I could've easily mistaken my seat for a plush recliner. She truly is a spacious gem. Now, getting in and out, is another story. Good thing I took years, of dance training, little did I know my high kicks and split leaps would come in handy in the career of my choice. As for now, Tillie and I get along just fine. Her tires just about pass me in height, but hey, I like a good pair of heels myself. Needless to say, I feel like close to a million bucks riding around town.