The Tradie Lady Pt 2
On The Tools
‘My muscles hurt worse than a strength day at F45,’
I winced as I hobbled to the half-finished upstairs master bathroom, after a few consistent days on site, my body ached and I craved an Epson salt bath, too bad there wasn’t a bath in the bathroom, nor the ensuite of upstairs of our ‘renovators dream.’ Renovating a house is not glamourous. You’ve watched The Block, but without an army of tradies and helping hands at the drop of a hardhat, it was up to little me and my handy husband to complete this entire project in four weeks. There were no soft furnishings shopping sprees at the eleventh hour, this was all hands (all four of them) on deck, literally, as my husband built and attached a roof from scratch to shade the beautiful hardwood timber deck out back, and I painted the damn thing white (thrice) to complement the newly constructed handrail.
There was no option but for me to learn and learn fast. From putting together an entire Kaboodle kitchen, learning about the many types of drill bits, screw lengths and remembering to charge the power tool batteries overnight, my skill set increased somewhat dramatically in four weeks. But the thing I noticed the most, was my body hurt at the end of each day.
One day my job was the move all the rubbish, not soft plastics and old banana skins, I mean relocate the …
- entire kitchen, demolished, demo’d, ripped out, bashed out and chucked out
- floor to beautiful high 9ft ceiling built in-robe
- old roof and it’s rafters.
With my safety gloves on and my tool belt wrapped around my waist like a denim shirt in the 90s, I moved each piece of old timber, hinged door, plastic sheet, glass panel, shelf, nail and screw from the back to the front of the house and loaded it into the skip. I filled the skip in a day. I sweated more than I felt comfortable with, and I am well used to sweating it out, but this type of work, is so dramatically different to a workout. In fact, if you find that your regular workouts aren’t doing it for you, you’ve hit that inevitable plateau, then take a week off working at the office and get yourself onto a worksite. You’ll be pleased you just need a pair of old shorts, sturdy shoes, or on my case Dunlop Volley’s and top knot to get the job done and boy you will will be sore. There are no rest breaks when you have to get a truck load of timber from one place to the next, it's just go, go, go until it's done. The jobs at hand also strengthened my mental fitness, with my first thought being, 'I just don't think I can do that,' and then a satisfied smiled when I nailed it, quite literally, or accomplished the task with my own style.
My waistline became a bit more slimline as I loaded up my arms, hips and sometimes shoulders with heavy weight, carried it, awkwardly, around corners and lifted it up over my head to place it strategically into the skip. There is something quite rewarding about finishing a physically demanding job and dusting your hands, again, quite literally, at the end of it. Your body knows you’ve done a solid day of physical work, because you can feel it, and not just in the air tonight, a sense of relief and satisfaction washed over me. Maybe Mick Jagger needed to get on the tools to find that satisfaction, it certainly worked for me.
Now with my toned arms, my tight shoulders, and almost there abs, after a month of being an apprentice on site, I can hang my hard hat up next to the microphone, knowing I have added another ‘thing’ to the list of ‘things’ that I did, enjoyed and will probably do again.
The Tradie Lady Workout is listed below for anyone keen to give it a go!
100 trips from the back of the property to the front carrying a large bucket (purchased from Bunnings, mine was grey) filled with sawdust, old pavers, tiles and some timber cut off.
100 trips up and down the outside steps to check the power tool batteries
100 trips up and down the front stairs to get the 'one thing' you forgot to take downstairs with you in the first place
100 trips up a ladder onto the roof to paint, holding a paint tray and roller brush