Thursday, August 17, 2006


Today I gratefully acknowledge that my husband stayed home with Sienna so that I could get in my same running practice I have been doing throughout the spring and summer. It felt weird to go and park up by her preschool without her, but you just can't duplicate running along the bluffs or those killer Santa Monica stairs.

I was stairstepping right behind a LAFD fireman. I had just had this conversation yesterday with a group of ladies at a women's luncheon.

"Do you ever see the firemen working out on the stairs?"

"Oh yeah, all the time." I said.

"Really," someone else said, her eyes widening at the prospect.

"Yeah. They're there on certain days at certain times," another single woman pointed out, proud to be in the know.

"Well, I see them all the time when I go in the mornings," I offered.

The whole time up and down the stairs, Mr. Fireman was calmly stepping, one stair at a time to my 2s, barely breaking a sweat, his radio squawking.

"This is 101…to 106…we got a blah, blah, blah…"

It was greek to me. I tuned it out. He must not be on duty if he's on the stairs.

"This is…blah, blah…respond to…respiratory distress…"

Hey, difficulty breathing. Yeah, me too, I chuckled to myself as I huffed up higher, right behind him.

I later heard "…we got a hemorrhage…"

We got a bleeder, folks. Bleeding out, I thought to myself...picturing vivid scenarios in my head.

At the top of the 2nd set, I turned off to go back to the concrete steps a bit west of there and do a round of those stairs. Halfway down, I hear a blast of sirens, one unit, two units, 3 units, everyone was called. I'm sure my fireman was too. Was he tired and sweaty?

I wonder what the call was this time?

As I reached the top of the stairs, I saw a clump of trainers around a gazelle who said she had a calf strain and had to take it slow. She was long and lean, easily 6 foot tall. All legs that tapered down to skinny ankles. The kind of body that can wear nothing but a midriff sports bra, lycra shorts, and be stunning. Jeez, she was beautiful. Her pro-sports body a work of art. I later saw her trying to jog a bit along the bluffs, but her injury prevented much of a run.

It occurred to me that no matter what body we have, what our bodies have been through, whether abused, battered, broken, dysfunctional, we HAVE a body. We have a shot….at life. We have the present. The gift AND the moment.

What are we going to do with it?

With that awareness, I was filled with gratitude for my chunky body, plodding along, not as gracefully as the gazelle but with as much or more strength and determination.



Suzy said...

You must be talking about the fireman!

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Hi Tanya!

We've enjoyed reading your blog, and appreciate your wit and writing style.

All Los Angeles Firefighters are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Those on-duty are directed to pursue at least one hour of moderate to intense physical training while on their 24-hour straight tour of duty (while remaining available for immediate response within their district).

Regardless of what they may be doing, the on-duty men and women of the LAFD must be able to respond to an emergency no more than sixty seconds after they are notified, in this case via portable radio.

While most of our members participate in physical fitness activities at the station, they are equally encouraged to pursue same within their district, so that they may interact with the community.

When these Firefighters come to the outdoor stairs, please don't hesitate to inquire about their exercise regimen or daily routine - and please tell them I said hello.

Kindly accept our best wishes for your personal and professional endeavors, and don't hesitate to stop by our LAFD blog and see what we are up to.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Go Mama said...

Hey...d'ya hear that?

Calling all single gals...
meet and greet on The Stairs!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

How did you get the LAFD to read your blog? Love that! Now, back to the point, you are NOT CHUNKY! You are a VISION, I tell you, a total vision. You are fabulous and feminine. You are beautiful and sublime. No more chunky talk!

Go Mama said...

Hey Suz and Carrie,
Remember, this is LA...everyone over a size 6 (well, 4 really) is considered "chunky" doncha know!