Last week I had the good fortune to visit Central Queensland Helicopter Rescue Service in Mackay. It’s a wonderful close-knit organisation which rescues over 400 people each year from a variety of dire situations – car crashes, sinking yachts, lost bush walkers and whooping cough babies.

Their mission is simple – to save lives by providing rapid response with critical medical care. They can mobilize a helicopter to be on its way in less then 6 minutes. These impressive operations don’t happen by accident. Each crew member, doctor and pilot are strong, fit and healthy and I met them all.

in one corner of the massive helicopter hanger is a gym complete with weights benches, climbing ropes, chin up bars and treadmills. It was easy to workout why the emergency staff are so fit..they workout! Being and maintaining fitness is obviously a non-negotiable on their position description. They look after themselves so they can look after others. The fitter they are, the faster, the stronger and the better the care.

How many of us can say the same thing? How many of us ensure our well being is a central theme in our lives. I can hear you say, “Yeah but I don’t save lives everyday….” I disagree. If you’re a mother, father, carer or partner – you are in a position of influence. The welfare of others is dependent on the welfare of you. In our house, my wife and I invest in our health everyday by exercising and eating right. Our kids reap the rewards because they too live healthy. They see us working out rather than vegging out.

The priority to exercise and eat right may be seen as selfish, however, I have a different view. I call it self responsibility. We are being self responsible when when we prioritise, each day, doing what we need to do in order to recover and renew our physical, mental and emotional well-being. That means we must choose to make time to exercise, eating healthy meals, rest, recovery and sleep.

If you are a caretaker by nature, as I am, it is important to remember that we can’t give what we don’t have – and when you are low on energy and strength it’s time to make renewing and re-energising ourselves a top priority and I promise, you will find more to give others who need your help.