Be well. Practice big medicine.

Newman | The Positive Paramedic Project #29 Celebrate the hills

A nugget of EMS organizational wisdom every day. #29 Celebrate the hills.

I learned an important lesson during the final hours of the two-day 320-km Ride to Conquer Cancer from Montreal to Quebec City. I had enjoyed a great ride however the last twenty or so kilometres featured several lengthy hill climbs and I was rapidly running out of juice.

Another cyclist came up beside me and said , “C’mon, follow me. We’ll do this together. We’ll celebrate the hills and really work on enjoying the valleys.”

It was screamingly hot, I was really exhausted and I had no idea what the heck he was talking about but it felt great to have a riding partner so I fell in behind him and quickly matched his pace.

Winding through the streets in a suburb of Quebec City, we were confronted with yet another long climb. “Let’s go! We’re going to celebrate this hill!” my crazed cycling buddy exhorted as he began picking up the pace.

It was weird, I was feeling none of the pain or the fatigue that had haunted me earlier as we worked hard and pedaled faster up the hill than we had over the flats leading up to it. I found myself actually enjoying the ascent even as my legs yelled ‘enough already’ and my lungs were sucking air.

When we got to the top of the hill, my partner slowed and then came to a stop where someone was handing out ice cold water bottles to the cyclists and had a garden hose misting spray set up on their driveway.

He turned to me and said, “We’ve worked hard. Let’s have a moment of refreshment and then we’ll work on enjoying the valley before the next hill climb beckons.”

And off we went, like a couple of kids trying out their two-wheelers on a long descent on a hot summer’s day.

Best advice I’ve received in a long time. Celebrate the hills. Work them hard. Give yourself a moment to savour the victory and then move on.

Absolutely applies to EMS – and everything else.

Be well. Practice big medicine.




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