Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Motivates You?

I’ve been doing the Tuesday Night lecture thing at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD since the beginning of this year. If you’re not familiar with the EFO (Executive Fire Officer) program, check it out at

In this week’s lecture, I discussed fitness (of course) and the practical reality of maintaining a fit workforce when we really only have control over employees 10 days per month. Of course, the people reading this post are the very ones that “get it.” They understand that personal fitness is a personal responsibility and that duty extends beyond just the days that they’re clocked in.

As a card-carrying member and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, I’m rightfully proud of the body of literature that has been amassed over the last five-plus decades. Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of peer-reviewed research studies on how to get fit, stay fit; benefits of being fit. But, from a practical perspective, we probably don’t apply 10% of what we know. What we’re missing is that link, the trigger that creates the desire to be all that you can be. To know that you have the physical capabilities to get the job done. The self-confidence that comes from knowing yourself.

Ayn Rand wrote: “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others." I would submit that this adage was never more in evidence than at the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge. People who are unfamiliar with our sport marvel at the camaraderie. Now, if we could just somehow figure out how to bottle this stuff and vaccinate the rest of the fire service- now that would be something.

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