It has been exactly two months since Hurricane Matthew blasted the low country of South Carolina. As a full time firefighter I had to stay back with the rest of my coworkers during the evacuation. My wife and kids went with my parents to the upstate despite the disbelief that a storm would actually hit this area. Every few years it seems like we have a close call but a storm never manages to stay the course to Hilton Head Island.
Every employee of Bluffton Fire and Hilton Head Fire eventually fell back to the USCB gym to ride out the storm. Every other branch of our local government was also housed at the campus. A few hours before the storm hit I was able to watch Clemson hammer Boston College 56-0 on a friends laptop. We turned it off at halftime, Clemson comfortably leading, still in denial about the storm’s potential course. A few hours later the violent winds howled through the campus and around the gym. I had never heard winds like that, and we were just being grazed by the hurricane force winds of a then Category 2 storm. I can probably speak for everyone in that gym that night by saying that I was not fearful of our situation, but for everyone who decided not to evacuate. I was also fearful of what might happen to my home. Four or five hours passed at that intensity and a few hours after that we left USCB to assess the damage.
Bluffton really lucked out as Hilton Head and northern Beaufort county basically took a direct hit. Hilton Head Fire made their way to the Island with little trouble but once over the bridge it was a different story. It took multiple days for them to clear a single lane of Highway 278 down to the Island’s south end. Meanwhile in Bluffton, we split up and attempted to cover all 246 square miles of our district. We worked in teams of 5-6, rotating shifts every 12 hours. With enormous help from tree care companies, local and out of state, we were able to access most of Bluffton after 24 hours. Most of us logged more hours with a chainsaw than we had the previous years of our careers combined.
The Lowcountry as a whole really came together. I have heard so many stories of people helping each other following this disaster. Though some homes were damaged beyond repair, the vast majority of our area was very fortunate. I truly hope that this serves as a lesson for us all to never take what we have for granted and always put the safety of ourselves and our family first.
Alright… back to running. I have put together a month and a half of consistant running since coming back from my achilles injury. My legs still don’t feel perfect but they are improving. I am up to 50 miles per week with a weekend long run of 14 miles. I’ve only run a few “quality workouts.” I originally planned to run the 30K at the Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run the weekend that Matthew hit. It was rescheduled for December 11. I am on shift that day and will have to miss out, but it is probably for the better since I am slowly coming back into form. I have still not committed to a winter marathon. It would be my debut marathon and even though I can learn a lot from just participating, I likely won’t commit if I am not fit enough for my own expectations.
I am excited to announce an Adams Running app for Android and Apple devices to be released through a program called Trainerize. I am hoping to get it going for the Christmas season and New Years Resolution time. This should help me reach more people and provide a cost effective option for all of you busy adults, and allow me to send out fitness routines along with a meal plan in app form straight to your phone.
I hope that everyone has a safe and Happy Holiday Season!