Search & RescueStatus Check


This is the time to set goals and make resolutions and change your life. That’s too much pressure for me. Instead, one of my favorite bloggers chose to pick a focus word for the year. I love it because I think it’s more flexible and it can be applied to multiple situations. This year my focus is: Be present. Kate of The Small Things Blog only chose one word, but because I like to make myself crazy, I’m also going to work on: Grow.

ropes-repellingLet me tell you, being a part of California Task Force Six gives me multiple opportunities to grow. To be deployable we have to be trained on various skills, and they are all new to me. Our last training was ropes and repelling. We don’t tie knots when we train dogs, nor do we jump out of windows in repelling gear. But, it might happen at a real disaster, so we practice.


I learned to tie a:

Water Knot

Prusik Knot

Double Figure 8

I made a hasty harness with webbing.

I saw how to set an anchor and belay line.

I went out of a three story window with Kinsey attached to me in a dog harness. Kinsey wagged her tail the entire time. I did not share her enthusiasm.

ropes-repellingThe truth is I’m terrible at these things. I can’t tie knots. I don’t like heights. I don’t understand the mechanics of setting up the thing that is silver that holds your weight. (What is it called? I can’t even remember the name.) The firemen are patient, laugh at me often, and I’m reminded that it is hard to learn a new skill. VERY HARD.

But I go to the drills, and I try and perhaps I grow a little. If I’m being completely honest, I tend to sit back and wait for the drill to be over. I volunteer to go last when we repel, and once we ran out of time before it was my turn. YEAH! But, then I think to myself what will I do if one day I really need to drop out of a building? How will I handle it?

So, at the next drill, I will try harder and grow more. I will also be present, and not imagine myself plummeting down onto the cement as I repel out a window.

At least, I think I will. When I’m sitting on my patio watching Kinsey eat rabbit poop out of the grass, I feel much braver than I do when I’m being strapped into a harness three stories above a slab of concrete.

So pick a word, or two if you’re an overachiever.

Be present.


Don’t chicken out. :/

Happy 2016.


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