LIFESTYLELifeFIREFIGHTING AS A LIFESTYLE – AMBER BOWMAN STORY

FIREFIGHTING AS A LIFESTYLE – AMBER BOWMAN STORY

Amber bowman, crackyl, health, fitness, firefighters
By Megan Lautz

When Amber Bowman entered the field of firefighting, she saw it as more than just a career and a consistent paycheck. Firefighting is a challenging, empowering, and rewarding career, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Firefighting is about community, and she took that portion of the role very seriously.

Amber has created a fulfilling life around firefighting through serving the community, competition, and entrepreneurship. Before becoming a firefighter, she was the captain for the division one Ohio State Buckeye’s hockey team, where she earned over 100 career points and won the Silver Stick competition. She continued to compete in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League for years, and continues to play hockey to this day.

At Ohio State University, she completed her degree in exercise science. Her goal has always been to empower and educate others to take control of their health. She focuses primarily on functional movements and mental toughness. She’s also incredibly passionate about inspiring others to follow their dreams.

Amber’s dedicated mindset and fitness expertise led her to train as a civilian military trainer for the Canadian Military. There, she trained elite groups, including firefighting units. During her training sessions, Amber would complete every exercise that her group did with them. She practices what she preaches in terms of mental and physical strength, and she’s an outstanding example of a team player.

Her unrivaled dedication to exceptional mental and physical fitness levels, along with her team spirit, were recognized. Because of this, the military fire chief recommended that she consider a career in firefighting. Firefighting aligned with her values of being of service to the community, so she took the leap. Amber was one of the first four women to be hired by Central York Fire Services. 

She didn’t stop at a firefighting career, though. She began to compete in firefighting competitions right away and won three gold medals. In 2011, she was the first rookie to win the firefighter combat challenges. The challenge of competing ignited a fire within her, and in 2012 she competed in FireFit Canadian Nationals, where she hit a time of 2:01. 

firefighters, fitness, gym, health, amber bowman, crackyl, crackyl magazine

Despite her quick success, Amber wasn’t done competing. She had a dream of completing the FireFit National Championship course in less than 2 minutes. For three years, she trained day in and day out to reach her goal. In 2015, she was the first female to complete the course in less than two minutes, where she came in at 1:58. Since then, she’s been the first competitor to win a medal eight years in a row. She’s also a 25x world champion.

However, Amber’s impressive competition success hasn’t come without challenges. On top of the mental and physical grit it took to achieve her results, she struggled to find a sponsorship. She realized that there weren’t many options for female competitors. After countless failed attempts, she became discouraged. Eventually, her friend suggested that she use her elite training background to build a company and sponsor herself. 

From there, Fit By Fire was born. The idea worked and Amber was able to fund herself fully. Once Fit By Fire gained traction, she began to sponsor other female athletes who aspired to get to FireFit Worlds too. Since then, Fit By Fire has evolved into a platform to give back to the firefighting community as a whole through high-level coaching, useful tools, and community. 

Amber has achieved amazing success throughout her career thus far, and even appeared as ‘Trainer of the Year’ on the Dr. Oz show. As a firefighter, a high-level competitor, an entrepreneur, an elite coach, and an athlete, her achievements are nothing short of legendary. To add to her impressive list of accomplishments in the firefighting world, she still makes time for other hobbies and interests. Right now, she’s interested in cooking, skiing, and mountain biking. 

How does she manage to accomplish so much with only 24 hours in each day? She says that she wakes up every day, has a sip of coffee, and takes 5-10 minutes to reflect on how grateful she is for her life. She values personal growth and believes that it’s essential to find something that challenges and stimulates you. She adds that to see results in these areas, you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

Amber almost seems superhuman with her dedication to excellence. She truly wants others to find what lights their fire too. She’s given some great recommendations to do this. Her suggestions are to make time for yourself, find your ‘why,’ hire a coach or a support team to hold you accountable, and make sure the path you choose to pursue genuinely serves you. Lastly, don’t be afraid to dig deep and follow your dreams. 

Photos by Amber Bowman