Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jennie "the tool girl" Henderson

Hello Beautiful People!

Well yesterday was just plain incredible. I knew I was going to like it, but I had no idea just how much.  I also had no idea just how sore and tired I would be today.  I gave my all to Habitat for Humanity.  And I mean my ALL!  For those of you who don't know what that is, it's an organization that builds houses for people in need. The labor is mostly volunteer work. So yeah, I was helping to build two houses yesteday.

In preparation of the day I had originally planned on packing my lunch.  Then I thought about how hot it was going to be and figured that no amount of ice would keep it cool.  That meant relying on going out for lunch.  I wasn't thrilled with this, but I had faith in the almighty turkey sandwich.

I started my morning with oatmeal and a banana.  I grabbed one 20oz container of crystal light, a water bottle, and a protein bar.  And off I went.

I arrived 15 minutes early.  Still not sure how that happened, but yeah!  When I pulled up I noticed two things. First, there was no roof or walls.  We were in at the beginning.  Second, there was a community pool directly across the street.  It was a cruel twist of fate. Ironically, it never opened. So luckily we were not distracted by the splashing around all day, but it still called my name when I was sweating...which was all day.

Little miss prepared-for-everything was not quite on the ball.  I forgot suntan lotion and a hat.  Luckily several people brought the lotion. I was out of luck on the hat though....without a roof the sun was just beating down.

Okay so we had our welcome meeting which went something like "We'll use the galvonized nails for the blah blah blah wood and the other nails for the blah blah wood.  The blah blah wood is in this pile and the blah blah blah wood is the identical pile right next to is but they are completely different.  Got it?" um...sure.   CRAP.  What have I signed up for?

We were working on two townhouses. One had some of the lower level rooms framed.  And one had just the outside walls framed. My first task was to build a wall for the closet in the house with more walls done.  Okay, give me a hammer. We went and collected our wood and nails and got to it. The frame of the wall is put together on the ground and then you are bending over to hammer the nails in.  My first nail was a pain. I was having the hardest time.  All I could think was that it was going to be a really really long day if they are all like this.  But, I was hammering it into a knot and that was not cool.  Once I got it in the second nail was much better.  Halfway through the wall my forearm was killing me. And when I held my arms together, the right arm looked swollen. I looked like popeye. argh. I hurt and it was only 30 minutes in.

While we were working on our wall some measurements were taken and it was discovered that one of the walls was an eighth of an inch off. It had to be moved. Ugh. So while they got to doing that I got sent over to the other side. I got to sweep the area and begin the prep. We were going to be measuring and chalking the lines for the walls.  No pressure, but I just learned what a pain it is if they are off 1/8th of an inch....I'll take that hammer back please!

Actually the measuring made me nervous, but the chalking part was pretty dang cool. We used a string that is almost like a tape measure and we would run it through the appointed measurements and snap it against the ground.  The red chalk was leave a perfect line. I was a little too excited about it.

And then I somehow found myself over by the table saw. There were three of us over there to cut two boards (measuring and not losing a limb are pretty important). Alison made her first cut. It was a tiny bit short. Then I volunteered to cut one. I kinda really liked it!  And I made a great cut. Woo woo!

So in case you were wondering, I was drinking water like crazy...and I was in a complete panic because I did not want to have to use the porta potty.  When it was time to go get lunch I volunteered to go with some of the guys figuring I could use the bathroom wherever we went.  I didn't feel like I had to go, but I figured it was worth a shot.

We went to wawa and I got my turkey, cheddar, spinach, tomato, cucumber, ranch on whole wheat hoagie. I also picked up an apple and two propel waters.  At the register I was shaking.  My sugar was so low that I was looking for a tootsie roll to buy and eat immediately.  I couldn't find any and just grabbed a dark chocolate dove bar. It didn't even make it to the car.   But, I felt immediate relief.  Ahh. And yes, I used Wawa's facilities. Thankfully.

We saved the heavy work for the second half of the day.  We had built some more walls in the morning and the afternoon was not just building more walls, but lifting the big ones and moving them.  We're talking walls the full length of the house.  We're talking 8-10 people moving them at once. And it's not as if you can just lift them up.  It's heavy.  We're lucky to lift it 3 inches off of the ground. I felt strong. Somehow or another I always ended up further away from other people and carrying a little extra. But, I did it. Man, I am strong.  Seriously, I was constantly amazed all day at how much I was able to hang with the boys on the lifting.  That was pretty cool.  At one point I was walking around saying "I want to cut something!" And so I was given some measurements. I picked up some wood and took it to the saw...a little too much fun I tell you.

Sadly, we did have one injury.  During the lifting of the massive wall in was put down on one of the girl's foot.  She screamed bloody murder.  I felt so bad for her and offered her a muscle relaxer.  All I could think though, was Thank God it wasn't me.  I have enough trouble with my feet.

I was sad to see the day come to an end, but it had to eventually. I would have stayed longer, but I had a previous engagement to get to and oh boy did I need a shower.  But, I will most definitely volunteer again. I enjoyed getting to know colleagues from work that I had never met before.  We all worked together and had a lot of fun.

When I got to dinner I immediately took an aleve.  I still don't know what took me so long to do so. When I had gotten out of the car at home I could barely move. I was sore all over.  I was also hungry.  My protein bar had melted so I didn't have that to help.  And I was still thirsty.  I calculated that I had over 120 ounces of water...and I had only peed the???

I was meeting some childhood friends for dinner at Chili's for margaritas and appetizers. I was dying. I was so hungry. Looking at the appetizers was killing me, but I knew I needed a meal too.  Chili's has a light menu and I ordered the santa fe chicken wrap that comes with broccoli. Of course I also had a southwest roll and some  of the cheese fries, but for the most part I behaved...except for the 'non skinny' frozen margarita. But, I had a good day and I was celebrating with friends.

I still did not pee while I was out...and we know I am like clockwork.  I worked my ass off yesterday in the heat....but I did well. The former fat girl NEVER would have done that. If she had been forced to then she would have found every opportunity to sit or eat using 'hard work' as justification. This morning I could barely move when I woke up.  I am feeling muscles that I never knew I had.  My first thought was "you've gotta get up and get to the gym".  And my second thought was "Wow, look how much I have changed. Before I would have used this as my excuse for a week not to workout."

I didn't get the workout that I wanted in, but I still did 90 minutes on the treadmill. It's days like today that make it really obvious just how far I've come.

So now if you'll excuse me, Tony Stewart is racing at Bristol right now and I must pay attention...Tony Stewart Call Me!

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

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