bustin' a nut Every second Wednesday night of each month is fire training for me. This past one we did a fire fighter competition with both us volunteers (as am I) and several (6) professional fireman (FEMA). The exercise is such (pics ahead): 1) using a sledge hammer to move a pole â€“ I think the pole measures about 8 inches by 8 inches by maybe 6 or 7 feet. It's moved about 15 feet but that is a guess. 2) Carrying a â€œhose packâ€. Itâ€™s 200 feet of hose. This is picked up outside, carried inside, taken up and down some stairs twice and then returning it back outside. 3) Moving to a fully charged hose line and hauling it about 200 feet. 4) Moving a 250 pound dummy about 75 feet. 5) Hauling a rolled hose up and down using a rope over the rung of a ladder. 4 times with controlled motion. 6) Carrying a fan about 75 feet. 7) Then picking up an electrical hose reel and moving it back to where the fan was. All this is done while wearing all our gear and breathing air. All of us volunteers finished but some of the pros quit without finishing. Not all but a couple. This exercise really takes its toll. I can't even say how exhausting it is. I did okay with the sledge hammer but the hose carry was another matter. I ended up dropping it at the top of the stairs. This isnâ€™t me but it kind of shows the hose pack. Here is the hose line that we had to drag. Easy enough at first but the farther out you go the heavier it gets. One guy collapsed when hauling it. Here is me starting out with. The body drag was harder. My gloves suck and I could not get a good grip. By now my bad knee was protesting muchly. Next up was the hose haul on the ladder. Again, that is not me but shows the setup. My time could have been better. While this is hard on nearly every part of our body, maybe the hardest is the hands. Even now, 4 days later, my hands are still sore. Two other guys I spoke with reported similar results. One said he couldnâ€™t use a pen and another said he had trouble eating using utensils. Fun times.