Getting Back on Track

In the weeks following our trip to Cape Cod, I struggled to get myself back on schedule. I was wholly unmotivated and got very little done around the house.

I didn’t miss a workout and continued to stick to my diet and exercise with Body Beast. But getting out of bed and getting going with my day had been a struggle. I had gotten up before 6 am almost every day for over a year. So not being able to get up and get at it was odd for me.

This week, for whatever reason, I have been able to get back to my usual schedule of morning workouts (except today, because I couldn’t fall asleep last night). I think a big part of getting motivated to get back into a routine has been getting back to work on the deck.

I am finishing up the final touches of the deck and am really happy with how it is coming. I decided to use deck boards for the skirting around the base of the deck

I am going to stain/seal it next week. I just have a few finishing touches to apply to the hand rails and I am ostensibly done with this project. It came out better than I had hoped.

I am starting Phase II of Body Beast on Monday. I have my last Phase I workout today, Build: Shoulders. Then I am going to take three days to rest/recover. And by “Rest/Recover” I mean I am going to do Insanity and X2: Yoga. I haven’t gained any weight (actually down a little bit) by design. I am not eating enough carbs or calories to be adding weight. I am going to up my calories slightly over the next month (to 2400). I feel pretty good about how I look/feel at this point.

Beast Week 2

Avi and I are reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at night. I read her the “Kings Cross” chapter the other night from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She loved it and wanted to know what happened, so I told her we would have to start from the beginning. As I was reading it, she asked me “Daddy, why are your eyes leaking?” I said, because Daddy loves this story. I can’t wait to work through the series with her.

The Deck Project

Being unemployed this summer, I needed a serious project. One thing I have hated about my house since I bought it in ’07 was the lack of outdoor living space.

There are beautiful sliding glass doors off of the dinning room, that until recently, opened up to steps leading down to the driveway. This led to avoiding spending time outside. We have a beautiful back yard and Avi loves playing out there. But, there was never any place to sit and enjoy the space.

A few months ago, when I realized I was not going to have a job for the summer (and maybe the fall) I decided to sell my motorcycle and use those funds to build a deck.

I have never undertaken a project like  this. With some guidance from some friends, today I “finished” the deck (there are still some small things to be done, but I put the power tools away, so I am done for now.

I started by digging the holes by hand.

Luckily, we have almost no rocks in our soil. So I was able to dig the holes (a re-dig a few of them) without much problem. It also gave me a chance to show off my Beast Mode.

Joists

stainless steel cable for the railings.

Because the back yard gets full afternoon sun, and thanks to man-made global climate change, it as hot as hell (literally, as hot as hell) out, we bought a triangular “shade sail” and hung it over the deck. It creates a nice shaded space in the center of the deck throughout the afternoon. Had I known when I started that this was the direction we were going to go, I would have put more thought into where I placed the posts, and when I choose to cut them down. The original plan was for a wooden pergola.

shade sail

the (almost) finished product

I was worried about building the stairs, but it was actually easier than I anticipated. I would have been done with the thing a week ago, but I had to spend half of my time fixing my own newbie mistakes. At the end of the day, I am really proud of myself. I have created (with some help) a really beautiful and comfortable space where before there was asphalt. It took me about two weeks to build (while taking breaks to play the role of Eric from “The Little Mermaid” and whatever else Aviendha dreamed up). I am not sure about the total cost, I would have to go through the receipts (there were many return trips to Home Depot). The lumber cost $2000. All told, everything (aside from the new furniture we need) will be less than $3000.

We are hosting Avi’s 5th birthday party on the deck this Sunday, got hope it does not collapse.