It is the most incredible fall day outside the Clarington Fire Hall for our 3rd Annual Fire Truck Pulling for Epilepsy event. There is a flood of purple surrounding a bright red fire truck. The premise is simple; which team of ten can pull this truck 100 feet the fastest.
First up, The CRCS-DKI Team. It is hard to ignore the youth and exuberance emanating from this team. From the moment the countdown finishes, until the truck crosses the finish line, feet are dug into the ground, hands are tightly gripping the rope, and encouraging yells are shouted, "Pull, keep pulling!" In less than 19 seconds, CRCS-DKI's team of ten have pulled a 20 ton fire truck 100 feet.
The precedent is now set –pull hard, and pull fast.
Team Julian isn't intimidated in the least when they walk up to the rope. As defending Pulling champions, and a team of 10 incredibly strong looking men, they know what needs to be done. 3, 2, 1 go, and it seems the truck is rolling almost instantly. The bar is raised already.
Team Rotary lines up along the rope next. Their service club motto, "Service Above Self", is truly represented as two clubs from the area join forces to provide a ten man team that is up for the task! It is evident that with every step forward, this team is pulling for their community.
The Purple Punks Team is not going to be outdone, however. They show up in high fashion, decked out in purple from head to toe. It is impossible to watch this team pull without smiling the entire time. Through their strength, their enthusiasm, and fantastic purple headbands, they demonstrate the unity necessary to move the truck from start to finish.
Now, it's our turn. The Epic Climb for Epilepsy team of 4 women, two of whom have epilepsy themselves, stride slowly to the rope. We have taken on so many things already, are we up for this? Those other teams had ten people on them, will we move this truck on our own? "Four girls, pulling all by themselves? They're going to need some help!" is said in the crowd.
Annnnd, go! We pull as hard as we can, digging our feet into the asphalt. I just keep thinking to myself, "Move truck, move!", and then I feel the momentum change. I don't just feel it; I hear it in the enthusiasm of the crowd around us. The wheels of the truck are moving our way. We are moving this fire truck! A group of Clarington firemen walk alongside us, encouraging us the whole way, and as we near the finish we hear "Do you need our help now?" The four courageous firemen grab the rope in between the Epic Climb team members, and help to pull the fire truck to the finish line. Words cannot describe the symbolism that this represents for me living with Epilepsy. In a time of exhaustion, in a time of struggle, there was someone there to step in and help to pull me through. That is what my family does for me every day, it is what Epilepsy Durham Region provides for everyone living with Epilepsy in our community, and it is what these firefighters did for our Epic Climb Team.
Team Julian came out on top this year again, with a winning time of 17:34s, but I think it is safe to say that this year, we all won, because we were able to witness what it really means to Pull for Epilepsy.