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_ And then there was a thunderous BOOM!! that sent a severe wave throughout my body..

The lights were off, “Don’t Stop Believin” (Journey) was playing on my pc, the day’s worries were drifting and sugar plums (sweetened with Splenda) danced in my head. Within a matter of seconds the entire building jolted and I was awakened from a peaceful sleep with a cold splash of reality. Oddly enough, my immediate thoughts weaved in and out of visions of a mortar attack to an earthquake and even a simple slamming of the housing unit door. Minutes later, sirens blared and SrA Parades was pounding on my door.. “There’s been an explosion! Real world MASCAL (mass causality) recall of all medical personnel,” he was sweating and I could hear his heart pounding through the peep hole. “Sure, sure.. I’m on my way,” it was more of a question. For the next three minutes, I dressed in complete darkness and couldn’t help but wonder if my building would be struck by a random mortar. Fear. It has a way of crippling your thoughts, your actions.


A long time ago my brother William told me a story about men and women who move towards danger while others  flee; it was part of his training as a Police Officer. He said, “It goes against every natural response to move forward when you want to run for cover.”

For the past few weeks, our MASCAL teams were drilled on response time, expectations and duties. Led by Capt. Jones, week after week, we initiated exercise (simulated) emergencies, instituted medical care and tested the response plan. 5 days later, we were all called to put our training to the test. Coincidence? I don’t think so. My college coach (Laurie Pirtle) always stressed the importance of preparation; so much so that game days were a lot less demanding than practice!!

Upon arriving at the CASF, I stepped into my Nursing role, still confused, but focused on helping the wounded. The injured personnel received the best possible care, there was no chaos, everyone  came together and performed their respective duties in unison; the entire process was a beautiful, intricate web of continuity. Without going into too much detail, a building less than 100 yards away from my housing unit was engulfed in flames as the result of a major electrical explosion. Luckily, there were no fatalities. Thanks to the raucous, the luxury of hot water and electrical power eluded us in 40 degree weather :o)  

What does all this have to do with fitness? Why must EVERY story that I share have a fitness tie in?!?  Let’s see.. the fundamental factors here… (1) The importance of purposeful preparation & training  (2) The courage to move forward in times of uncertainty & fear (3) Team work is a beautiful thing (4) Committing while others seek cover (5) Service before self…

I’ll leave this one up to you…

Thank you for all the prayers, care packages, positive thoughts, support, late night conversations, words of encouragement, cookies, cards and gear.. I'M ON MY WAY HOME BABY :0)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Madinah