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 Paramedic, Educator and Author Peter Canning.
Q: What is your EMS job?
I have been a full time paramedic in the Hartford, Connecticut area since 1995. I also work part time as the EMS Coordinator at John Dempsey Hospital.
Q: What are your athletic pursuits and goals?
I do triathlons, road races and open water swims. My goals are to get stronger, run faster and go farther every year. I didn’t start racing until I was 48. At 53, I know one of these years I will be weaker, go slower and not as far, but I am doing everything I can to keep Father time at bay.
Q: What race, fitness, or lifestyle accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
I have done Olympic triathlons (one mile swim, 25 mile bike, 10K run) and run half marathons. I am proud of myself everytime I cross a finish line. I want to stay healthy enough that I can keep working as a street paramedic until I am 70, which is when my youngest daughter will hopefully graduate from college.
Q: What are your health and fitness tips for other EMS professionals?
- Set a goal.
- Take small steps.
- Don’t overdo it.
- Make certain you get plenty of rest.
- Keep at it until you get there, then set a new goal.
- Don’t neglect strength training.
I have started taking boot camp type fitnesses classes, which cost more than working out alone, but are more efficient use of my time. I make much more progress when pushed to work out at an intensity I can’t manage on my own.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?
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.