The Norwegian firefighter May Tommervold uses right now the full leather glove TRITON for Challenges and in fire. She talks with us about her training tips, how she got in FCC and why she's the only one from Norway who takes part at Firefighting Challenges. Enjoy reading it!
What do you work?
I work as a full-time firefighter in Tonsberg/Norway, and as a supplement/part time in a neighbouring department. I’ve been a firefighter since autumn 2014. Before that I was an officer for 15 years in the military.
How long have you been training for challenges?
My first competition was the Ultimate firefighter in the WPFG 2017, and I loved it!. Before then I had never heard about the challenges. But through my instagram I got contacted by several, and one German girl in particular (Vera Licha) who encouraged me to start in FCC. So my first season was last year, in 2018. And I really had no idea what I was in for. We have nothing like this in Norway and everything I had to learn/find out myself, and thankfully with massive help from Vera to explain all the rules and so on! (most of the information is in German, and tho I had some years learning German in school, it ain’t that good! 🙂 ) But my first FCC run was somewhat a shocking experience: It's truly is the toughest two minutes in sports!
Also I want to do more TFA in the future. It kinda suit me more, because I’m not a sprinter. And there’s a lot of fun and different exercises compared to the FCC. And the Europas challenge looks like superfun, and is definitely on my bucket list!
Do you have any training tip?
Train with full gear. Then everything else becomes easy. I trained with full gear long before I heard about the challenges, because I believed it would benefit me to become a better firefighter. Both physically- to withstand the immense strain from fighting fire. Mentally -to be confident that I’m fit to do this. And Practically- to get to know my gear really good.
Also be versatile. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy or train hard, but don’t forget the «boring» exercises like stabilisation, core, stretching etc. And as I learned the hard way last season, you need sleep and rest! Or your body will tell you in the most unpleasant way when it has had enough, but then it's usually too late.
Are you satisfied with the gloves?
So far I like them! For competition training I have just started up with the first workout sessions, so I need to wear them in a bit. I think the leather glove Triton will improve my grip on the hoist at least. For work gloves I haven’t been able to use these either in really heavy fire. But for the small ones we have had so far I love the membrane and how it keeps me dry, even when they’re soaking on the outside.
What was the greatest challenge for you?
My greatest challenge - that's difficult. I loved Bremerhaven, since it was my first, meeting all the people and with such a nice location. Then Torun was something for itself! So sad they wouldn’t be doing it this year. They had it all! Mosel was also very nice. I really felt like I was camping with 200 of my friends, haha! And then Wels. Celebrating my birthday on the track and running my personal best at 2.23 was amazing!
If you refer to challenges as in «hardship» I would say it is being the «only one» I’m the only Norwegian doing FCC, and the only one in my department training like I do, with full gear. So I’m kinda the weirdo! Also having to improvise everything. I’m super fortunate to have a tower and a training dummy at my station, but the thing I miss the most is having a Keiser Force machine! #wishlist #christmas
What are your aims for the future?
Become the "grand old lady" in this challenge circus! 😀 Hopefully I will have a functional and strong body to perform both at work and on the track for many years to come.
My secret goals for this season: nothing less than winning:
- TFA Mönchengladbach
- FireFit Rodgau
- British Challenge
- Ultimate Firefighter WPFG 2019
- EC FCC & still be top 5 in the Worlds as it’s my last year before I enter age-class (40+)
Ambitious? Definitely! Scary to say them out loud? Even more!
Thank you for the great interview! We cross fingers for the upcoming firefighting challenge season.
Fotocredit: Jo Stenersen