Meet Debbie Davidson

How old are you? I will be 62 in August.

Tell us a little about yourself today? I am a retired Firefighter/Paramedic, Wife, Mom, Equestrian and lover of CrossFit. I wasn't a youngster when I was finally hired full time at the municipal Fire Dept. I was 39. The recruit class had 44 recruits, I was one of three women, but I finished 2nd in the class, 1/10th of a point behind the leader and was one of the recipients of the E'spirit d'corps Award for showing dedication to duty. As far as I know I'm the only woman to have ever received that award from the Fire Academy here in Westchester. 

What is your most vivid memory working as a firefighter? Firefighters, like Police officers, typically see folks at their worst moments in their lives (and death) so I'll concentrate on something positive and say every baby I assisted in delivering.  I delivered 2 by myself in an ambulance, assisted in delivering 2 in the field, and was present in the maternity ward for 5 deliveries. 

What life lessons have you learned along your journey to shape you into who you are today? Life is hard and nothing is handed to you. Hard work and honesty can pay off. Just keep chasing your dreams, I still do. 

Why CrossFit, why not something else? I had one knee replaced due to injuries suffered on the job. I had to have six surgeries which generated a tremendous amount of scar tissue and my knee would not bend past 90 degrees. Mobility has been my biggest struggle post TKR. Squatting was very difficult. It took almost a year to be able to squat full depth.  CrossFit most definitely has helped with my knee and range of motion. The adaptability of every exercise being able to scale the workouts. Plus, the tremendous support group from the coaches and the entire gym.  I could barely squat at all when I went to the on ramp classes.  

What part of the CF culture do you like the most? This is hard, I like it all. But there is absolutely NO judgment from anyone. Everyone is encouraging and genuinely wants you to succeed. And every one has something they need to work on.

What is your biggest fitness challenge? Finishing the Combat Challenge at the Fire Academy in just over 11 minutes. That had a 15-minute time cap. As far as CrossFit that would have to be doing a full depth squat snatch. I also had my thumb joint fused. I literally cannot grip the rig strong enough now to do much of anything! No pull ups, nothing like that. I have to wear a couple of braces and tape it. The fusion has a slight stress fracture from over use. So, I have to really try not to impact it too much. I tend to not use my thumb when gripping the barbell. It's more like a 3 toe sloth grip. 😉

What does it mean to live a good life to you? Eating cleaner than most, staying hydrated and exercising like your life depends on it, because it does. 

What are you capable of achieving? I want to be a centurion! I want to live to be 100+ and still be doing CF and riding my horse. 

What keeps you going when life gets rough? Doing CF and my Appaloosa mare, Lakhota. I've ridden horses my entire life, and she breathes new life into me whenever I am with her.

What would you change with how women approach their health if you could? Their thinking that lifting weights makes you bulky or that they can't do that because they are a woman. 

What is the best part about being your current age? Retirement! And the freedom to go to CF every day. 

What are the 3 best word to describe you? Willfully strong minded.

If you could give one person reading this some advice, what would it be? Set goals. Realistic goals. Work towards them. Celebrate your achievements and set new goals.