This is my sixteenth year working as a firefighter in an urban fire department. A career I am humbled and grateful to have. For me, serving my community, being ready to help in emergencies of all kinds, feeds my soul and gives my life meaning. For sixteen years, I’ve been responding to any emergency imaginable – emergencies from broken hips, heart attacks, allergic reactions, over-doses; to car extrications, car fires, shootings, stabbings, and structure fires, to name just a few.
Off duty, in my civilian life, for the last seven years, I’ve been practicing free form dance. Free form dance has quickly become my favorite self-care practice. It’s one of the primary ways I keep my body healthy, quiet my mind, feel into emotions, and breathe the life-affirming energy emanating from my soul. On this particular dance floor, where yoga pants and bare feet are the norm – a no talking place, where respect for the individual and collective dance space is apparent – I build up a fierce sweat. My arms and legs limber this way and that, my torso stretches from here to New York, my feet take me to the left, and with a jump and twirl as they land, I feel myself sway downward, rolling onto my side, continuing to roll onto my back and find my self rising upward on two feet again, all the while rockin’ out to dubstep and funky world beats.
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