Having grown up with a father that was a master carpenter and custom home builder, I was always spending time on the job site and gleaning construction skills. I remember being only 5 or 6 years old, and I would sweep up at the end of the day for my contribution and a chance to hang out with my dad. Later, I would help out after a school day or on a weekend, and in college I spent a couple summer breaks building homes with my dad over the summer break. Although I will never reach a level of expertise that compares to his, I learned enough to get by and tackle the occasional project.
In fact, I often find myself filling offseason time with construction projects, or even taking on the occasional one in season. When I bought my first home in Boulder a couple years ago, the first thing we all did was convert a garden level area of the house to its own separate living quarters. Fast forward to my offseason after Kona last year, and Kelsey, my parents, and myself all took on a massive effort to rehab an older home that she bought in foreclosure. It was a 6 week push to completely rebuild the kitchen and bathroom, redo flooring, repaint the interior, and all the other fun bits that go into a remodel. There is a deep satisfaction for me in having something so tangible and visible come to life, be reborn from mediocre to great through hard work. Although most of my “builds” are based around an Ironman, I get equal satisfaction from these.
The most recent weekend project was a patio that Kelsey and I built outside for a small seating area. We had no real experience with laying a flagstone patio, but we managed to turn out a nice and level place to enjoy an occasional dinner in 3 days between my training. It’s not exactly the standard strength training, but I’m pretty sure my “caveman crossfit” helped work my abs, back, and arms!
At the end of the day, it’s nice to be able to have enough confidence to work on some basic construction projects around my place, and it gives me a mental break and refresher from the grind of training, while reinforcing my strong belief in hard work. What’s your next DYI project?
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