Mario Villalobos

Getting Old

It’s 8:21 PM on the 6th of July. I’m somewhere in Jocko fighting a paltry 1 acre fire that we lined, contained, and pretty much finished today. It looks like we’ll be going home soon, most likely even tomorrow. There is zero reception up here, so I’m unable to post an entry tonight. Rest assured, dear readers, that I’m truly writing this on the day in question on my phone using my beloved Vesper app.

The first fire of the season is always a struggle because your body is not used to hiking up an arduous mountain while you’re geared up with 45 pounds of weight. We all had to stop every few minutes to simply take a breath and regroup. Once we finished the hike into the fire, though, we all seemed to get used to the physicality of the job. At least I did.

The fire was small. As I said earlier , it was only 1 acre, but it didn’t mean we had nothing to do. Digging line around a 1 acre fire is still digging like around a 1 acre fire. Some of us, which includes me, had to carry a 45 pound bladder bag with us, but as we used it to spray down hotspots and the like, the weight reduced and lightened. Carrying one of these suckers for a few hours inures you to the pain, and you actually get used to it pretty quickly. When mine ran out, I felt so light that I felt like I was going to float away.

My last fire was about ten months ago, and for about 8 of those months, I was in the best shape of my life. It’s been the last few months where I regressed tremendously on all my progress. Either that, or I’m getting older. I should’ve been in better shape, but I wasn’t and I still worked my ass off to get the job done. The rookies, on the other hand…

There’s nothing like a hard day’s work. I feel tired and achy and wonderful. I feel good. My muscles are hurting and I’m all sweaty and stinky and I know I’m going to have a great nights sleep on this very hard and uncomfortable ground. I’m going back to working my ass off when I go home because I know how good I’ll feel afterward. I know how wishy-washy that sounds, but if I can only remember how good I feel right now (and after every workout) I know how much I need to earn that. We’ll see.

All in all, first day of fire season was fun and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season will bring.