EMS professionals are challenged to balance work, family, and other obligations while also staying or striving for mental and physical fitness. The Everyday EMS Athlete is a regular column to recognize and learn from other EMS professionals that are setting and meeting fitness goals. This edition was contributed by EMT-B and FF/EMT Dan Spangler.
Q: What is your EMS job?
EMT-B with a private ambulance company and paid-on-call FF/EMT in the Township where I live.
Q: What are your athletic pursuits and goals?
I want to continue to become more fit by pushing myself further in my cycling activities so that I may some day compete.
Q: Do you have race, lifestyle changes, or other accomplishments you are particularly proud of?
On December 26th, 2010, I drove myself to one of our local ER’s while smoking my last cigarette and having a heart attack. I have since quit smoking, obviously, have completely changed my diet and have taken up road cycling and gym activities as my exercise regimens.
Last year, I logged approximately 3,800 miles on my bike and have over 1,500 miles so far this year.
I have set a personal goal of 6,000 miles for 2012.
As of last Saturday, I’m sitting at 2,758 cycling miles for 2012 and have 4 – century (100+ mile) rides under my belt. I’ve met a lot of good people on various rides who have become motivators for me over time.
Once you have the mindset, it’s like an addiction. A day without your fitness activity feels off. So the hard work is getting started. Once you’re in that “addicted” phase, your fitness program is literally almost a guarantee minus outside influences and the fact that our days only have 24 hours.
My most recent cardiologist visit, 19 months post MI, left my doctor almost speechless. He has actually taken me off all cardio meds but a reduced dose of statin with the hopes for that to be gone at my next 6 – month visit. That to me is undeniable proof that fitness is by far the best preventive medicine.
Q: What are your tips to help other EMS professionals to set and accomplish fitness goals?
If there’s anything a person can do, that is something. Doing nothing will yield you exactly that: NOTHING.
Start small and don’t stop.
The feelings you will experience post exercise are priceless and you’ll have great fun getting there.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?
I use MapMyRide.com and Garmin Connectto track my exercise activities. I am participating in the MapMyRide “le Tour 12 Challenge”. I signed up for the 544 mile challenge: http://www.mapmyride.com/
All Everyday EMS Athletes featured in this column receive an e-gift card from Road ID. Check out the Road ID information for First Responders. View past columns and submit your profile at the Everyday EMS Athlete page.