Hiking Up and Riding Down with Local 1009
Fitness is my passion but I never really thought of outdoor options to the traditional gym workout until I started working and playing with my friends at EMS. This is where Luke Foley, EMS Product Training Manager and Peter Casson, General Manager of EMS Schools, introduced me to their winter workout program called “Hike and Ride” - hike up a mountain and then ski or snowboard down.
After my first trip out with them, I was hooked. It was hard but so rewarding. I was not stuck inside a crowded gym but outside with sun and fresh air. I knew if I liked it this much others would too so I decided to pitch the Hike and Ride idea to my friend and fellow fitness enthusiast Seamus Shanley. Seamus is a Worcester firefighter from the Local 1009. I asked him if the guys from Local 1009 might be interested in trying a bit of an outdoor adventure workout. With great enthusiasm Seamus said, “heck yeah!”
On March 1st, a sunny Friday, 12 firefighters, Peter Casson, Luke Foley, our Camera women Andrea Flarety, and I set off on a Hike and Ride fitness challenge. The trip was a two hour hike up the backside of Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort followed by the ski or ride down. EMS provided special packs for their board or ski gear, microspikes snowshoes and poles.
I think the guys thought it was going to be an easy hike in the woods but after 55 minutes into our hike we hit our halfway mark and we informed them the hardest part was yet to come – the climb over the rocky and steep mountainside. I don’t think they were expecting that.
The 30 pound pack on their backs proved to be an awkward challenge as they climbed up and over rock and maneuvered icey snow. When we finally reached the top, sweat soaked, tired and relieved, many of the guys commented that it was way harder than they expected but they would do it again in a heartbeat. Here’s a video recap of the entire day:
I believe we’ve done it again and converted a few more gym goers to exploring fitness outdoors. I told the Worcester Firefighters from Local 1009 to be prepared this summer for another fitness challenge when we take them out again for a little fitness adventure on an SUP. When that happens, I’ll be sure to share some photos and video!