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Yesterday’s grueling 8,000 pound workout (with pictures).

Friday, August 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

August
13
2010

I was in bed last night at 9:30, and fast asleep by 9:31. I slept like the dead. Over the years I’ve had my fair share of long days working outside under the blazing hot Florida sun, but yesterday’s project pushed me to my limits. If my heart was in any danger of giving out, it would have happened yesterday. Here’s how I spent my day “off”…

The morning started off easy enough: I ran electric out to the pond to power the pump and lights. The most difficult part of this project was quite a bit of underground concrete was still attached to the patio slab; I needed to run my conduit there, so I had to break all that off. Everything went smoothly, and I now have power at the pond. The post that the outlets are mounted on will be hidden by landscaping:

Power

Power

The fun really started around noon when 8,000 pounds of various rock was delivered to my curb:

Rock delivered

Rock delivered

The front left pallet contains 1,000 pounds of thick Tennessee Fieldstone, the front right pallet holds 4,000 pounds of thin Tennessee Fieldstone, on the rear left skid is 1,000 pounds of Tennessee River Rounds and the large white sack at rear right contains 2,000 pounds of “River Jacks” (small 1″-1.5″ river rock).

Using a wheel barrow I had to move all that rock about 200 feet through thick turf grass into my backyard. This was a long and physically grueling job. The entire process took around 5 hours. I started off with the heaviest rocks and worked my way down to the River Jacks. Around 3 hours into the job I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to finish. I was completely exhausted and every muscle in my body was hurting. I flipped the switch and went into what I call “machine mode”. Basically I just continued working and stopped thinking about the possibility of stopping until the job was done.

My idea to work my way down to the River Jacks backfired. Turns out the River Jacks were the hardest part of the whole project, and by the time I started on them I was completely exhausted. I had to move the River Jacks one shovelful at a time, and those shovelfuls were not light. I started thinking of the job as a workout: I started off with 10 shovelfuls on my first trip, then increased by one shovelful on each subsequent trip until I hit 20; then I’d go back to 10 and build back up to 20. Around 15 shovelfuls made managing the wheel barrow pretty tough, especially getting it through the thick turf. With 20 shovelfuls of rock in there I had to run the entire way because stopping in the grass made restarting almost impossible. My heart was pounding out of my chest. It was like a non-stop HIIT workout combined with weights.

Here I am after I finally finished the job. I was about to pass out here:

Rock moved

Rock moved

I drank more than 2 gallons of water while I was working, and another gallon once I finished. I also had a well-deserved splurge meal for dinner last night, and this morning I was still down 3 pounds!

I’m feeling a little achy this morning, but otherwise pretty good! I’ve got a lot of work to do today, but I may work on the pathway to the pond after work. Tomorrow and Sunday are going to be big work days, and with a little luck I should have the pond up and running by the end of the weekend.

Happy Friday!

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