Every once in a while we get a story about a local North Hollywood resident that uplifts us, or what we like to call “movie moments.” So the NoHo Arts District dot com team would like to share what would have been a tragedy if not thwarted by NoHo’s very own fitness trainer and wellness coach, Jack Witt.
NoHo: So Jack, where were you, what happened on your recent fitness trip?
Jack Witt: I recently flew out to the Boulder/Denver area to attend the Fitness and Health Social Media Conference. It was a chance for me to brush up on my social media and blogging skills for my fitness business, network with some new folks with like interests, and see an area of the United States I hadn't been to.
It was a terrific first couple days at the conference, which kicked off with a pre-conference group hike above the beautiful town of Boulder, and an opening day's keynote speech by Dr. Hill of the Anschutz Center for Health and Wellness Center. I had previously decided to extend on an extra personal day to go down to Colorado Springs to hike through Garden of the Gods and take the Pike's Peak cenic drive up to 14,000 ft with a friend of mine who was flying in from New York City to rendevous. Two city guys getting some much needed fresh air and experiencing the great outdoors.
On the drive down from the summit on the breathtaking and scenic Pike's Peak scenic drive, with all its fall colors in play on the trees, and a perfect day weather wise being sunny and a crisp 65F, I noticed somebody pulled over that was coming up the mountain road. There was smoke billowing from the engine and a red glow ominously projecting itself from under the car's hood. Through the smoking haze, it looked as if somebody was waiving in distress.
I proceeded to pull my rental car over, across from the burning car, but on my side of the road. I leaped out and at about about halfway across the road, yelled out to get a response from inside the burning car. It was then that I heard a shaken and distraught voice from a man reply; "I'm disabled, can't walk and in a wheelchair."
It was at that point that I noticed that the red glow under the hood had turned into full-fledged crackling flames! There was a sound and smell that's hard to describe...but the combination on my senses made me anticipate that the car would probably explode at any minute. I'm not a mechanic, nor do I know much about car engines, but I just knew.
As adrenaline took over, I rushed all the way over to the burning car, which was a small convertible, and I grabbed the wheelchair parts out of the back seat and tossed them towards my friend who was now out of our car and close by calling 911. It was one of those wheelchairs that was lightweight and you attach the wheels to the main body.
Moving swiftly to the driver, I checked for the number of people in the car. Thankfully, it was just one. I opened the stranded driver's door and started to put his left arm around my shoulders as I crouched down to the low sitting level of the car.
Out of the corner of my left eye I spotted a red truck coming down the mountain, around the bend. While holding on to the stranded disabled man with my right hand as his arm was wrapped around my shoulder, I motioned back and forth with my left arm towards the red truck for help.
Two guys got out of the truck and came running to lend assistance. We picked up the stranded disabled driver out of the burning car and quickly into his just assembled-in-time wheelchair. I found myself then shouting t; "IT'S GONNA BLOW UP!" So we all darted towards a large boulder about 30 yards away down the road on a bend, running and wheeling the victim and ourselves towards cover.
We no sooner got stationed behind the big boulder when it happened...KABOOM! The car actually exploded. "Just like in the movies" I thought to myself.
When we opened our eyes again we all looked at each other with relief. No flying parts came towards us, and the trees on the side of the road looked like they hadn't caught fire. Whew!
So, I'm happy to report it was a Hollywood ending. Nobody got killed or hurt, and the fire department and ambulance eventually made their way up the mountain from the nearest base town.
NoHo: Yes, that was a “Hollywood” ending to a “Hollywood” movie scene. How do you feel after all is over and you’re back in North Hollywood?
The emotions of the event are still fresh in my mind. It impacted me in ways that are still probably coming to fruition. However, I can tell you that I've been appreciating my friends and family more, being thankful for uneventful everyday moments, and not sweating the small things in life that get us down so much.
Yes, each day is a blessing. I'm thankful for my health. More than ever now I know that life is not a destination on a straight north or south paved road. It's more of a twisting, winding, occasionally bumpy journey of experiences, interactions and adventures...sometimes good and sometimes bad.
NoHo: What was the one thing you will take away from this averted tragedy?
Jack Witt: One thing’s for sure, we've all got to help each other on our life journeys.
Who is Jack Witt?
Jack Witt is www.nohoartsdistrict.com’s Get Fit NoHo blogger.
He started his fitness and wellness company after the events of 9/11 happened. It was his wake up call to get out of his comfort zone, and do something that he really has passion and determination for.
He trains with a variety of bodies, shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness personalities. A fun and honest environment, community and family, and wholesome-positive attitude and feedback are my core values. Living in the San Fernando Valley and working on a daily basis in North Hollywood gives him a chance to meet many people from many different industries, ethnicities, backgrounds, and experiences. People also have a variety of goals, wants, and needs.
“It’s not always just to look good on the beach that gets people to pick up the phone and call me,” says Jack. “Sometimes it’s to lower cholesterol or stress, or to increase bone density that I get hired. Sometimes it’s to gain energy and endurance for work that clients use me for. I’ve been hired to help make HIV levels undetectable, thwart off side effects of medication such as prednisone, and re-establish range of motion and muscle mass after strokes and surgeries.”
He holds a Master's Degree in Exercise Science from the California University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he is an NASM Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, IFPA Lifestyle Fitness Coach, Pre and Post Natal Instructor, NASE Speed and Development Coach, and a TTI Behavioral Analyst. His Lifestyle Insights System is a unique way that he can help people and organizations take charge of their health and well-being. It's an Owner's Manual for the Body-Mind. Click here for more information.
Follow Jack Witt on Twitter: @GetFitWithWitt
See more about Jack at www.getfitwithwitt.com
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