Men are built for power and women are built for endurance.
Women’s bodies have evolved over a hundred thousand years to build and sustain life. For millenia, women have been building babies in their wombs and nursing them in their arms through hostile conditions, without medication, health care, half the food we have now, or even clean water. And, today, Bedouin women trek countless miles through barren deserts while pregnant. Mongolian women cover vast distances through the Siberian wilderness while nursing their children, and all over the world, in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Arctic, women are still doing this, continually throughout their lives while chronically dehydrated and malnourished. Yet still they survive.
Being a woman is a strength, not a weakness.
It makes us stronger and it gives us a built in advantage. We are made to endure and therefore have deep reservoirs of resilience. We don’t need to have children for this to be our genetic heritage. It’s how we’re made. We are survivors made to protect and sustain life, which just so happens to be perfect for firefighting.
The idea that we’re the weaker sex, is just that–an idea. It’s another form of brainwashing. Strength is like love, there are all different kinds and swinging a sledgehammer is just one of them. There’s also the kind of strength that keeps you moving because others are depending on you.
I once read a poll in a firefighting magazine years ago that asked firefighters what they thought was the most important fitness trait for their job: strength, power, endurance, cardio, balance or flexibility. Over 70 percent chose endurance. We need all these qualities to be an effective firefighter, but it is nice to know that we naturally have the most important one.
Endurance pulls you through when you are thirsty, exhausted, or flat worn out.
It pulls you through when you are so hot that it feels like every drop of fluid has been sucked from you body. It pulls you through when you want to quit, but you know a brother or sister is by your side and needs you to be strong.
Yes, women were made to create life, and hopefully that makes us more compassionate and nurturing, but it also makes us stronger and tougher too. Compassion with strength, the heart and the fist, is incredibly powerful, and we, as women, naturally have both. So when someone questions what you do, you don’t even need to reply, just know deep in your heart, that you were made for this. Firefighting is an endurance sport and you were built for endurance. You were made to be a firefighter.