Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Amber Bowman maintains gold standard at Canadian firefighting championships

With the goal of becoming the first female competitor in the Firefit Nationals to break the two-minute barrier, Amber Bowman’s determination and perseverance is an inspiration to all who compete. At the 2014 Firefit Nationals, Bowman extended her sparkling legacy with another overall title.

Having played hockey at the NCAA level with the Ohio State Buckeyes, Bowman would also play professionally in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League with the Brampton Thunder, Burlington Barracudas and the Toronto Furies. As a side note, former Furies teammate Amanda Shaw is a firefighter in Hamilton.

In the middle of the jubilation of winning her third national title, Bowman encountered desolation as she was viscerally close to breaking that elusive two-minute barrier. Of note, she would share her experience on social media, describing how close she was to achieving her long-time goal.

During preparations, Bowman found herself across the finish line with a time of 1:58. Sadly, the dummy’s feet were still on the finish line. It was a sign of encouragement, building Bowman’s confidence heading into the nationals.

With only 15 feet to go, she was on pace to break the two-minute barrier with a record time of 1:56. Along the way, she would have to re-grip and pick up the dummy again. In that time frame, precious seconds can feel like a lifetime.  

Despite the fact that Bowman could not top her personal best, there were so many small victories along the way, culminating in a win that may be one of the most cherished. Acknowledging the support of Oakville, Hamilton and Barrie fire for letting her train at their facilities, it resulted in very long travel days.

This was compounded by many weekends sacrificed for competition, a new nutrition plan, coping with injuries and the loss of a dear friend. Finding the emotional strength and character to excel under such circumstances is testament to what makes Bowman a champion. While Bowman would be quick to acknowledge the support of her Fit by Fire clients and the sponsorship of Duivenvoorden Haulage, her motivation is what make such support worthwhile.

Employing the motto, “Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It,” the desire and self-discipline that Bowman possesses is what separates a challenger from a champion. Bowman’s dominance is nothing short of a modern-day Canadian sporting dynasty. With the World Championships in six weeks, Bowman is ready to add to her remarkable legacy. Even if the World Championships finds Bowman not breaking that elusive two-minute barrier, she is already a champion in the hearts and minds of her fans. 

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