Are You Gonna Quit Or Dig Yourself Out Of The Rubble?

Sometimes life gets rough with you. What are you going to do about it? How will you react and respond when you get that metaphorical kick in the teeth? Are you going to lay down and cry about it or are you going to kick back harder? I made a conscious decision a short time back to write and publish a new article or video every two weeks. As you may have noticed, I missed my deadline. This video shares the reason for my tardiness. This little mishap occurred on April 15th just three weeks ago.

We thought the chimney was going to come down in a totally different fashion. We were given some very inaccurate information regarding the structure of the chimney. In the grand scheme of things, we are extremely happy that no one was hurt or killed. It could have been much worse than what you see in the video. Due to the extensive damage the house incurred, our budget is far different than it was before, but we still have a place to call home. The first night after the incident was a little breezy. I should also mention that a hoot owl contemplated nesting down for the night in our new open air floor plan. The only thing I can figure is that the owl smelled my dogs and made other boarding arrangements for the night. We applaud his decision.  I didn’t really want to tango with an owl at 2 am.

My wife was the film taker for the day. She was also the dog whisperer, hence the shaky camera. She did just fine considering her circumstances. The voice you can hear at the end of the video is my neighbor. My wife didn’t freak out at all. She instead remained quiet and calm and waited for my crews and myself to form a plan, which we did without delay. My wife is a trooper for sure.

We pulled the major rubble out of the way with the track hoe and then we all got busy manually breaking it, carrying it, and throwing the rest of it out of the house. It was fairly dangerous in all reality because the main floor of the house was caved in, mangled, and just sort of hanging there. What was left of the floor, that is. For the record, a stone chimney can shred 2x12s when it becomes an inny instead of an outy.  My power rack took a huge hit and quite possibly kept the structure from caving in any worse. You see, other than my power rack, there was one integral post in the basement that didn’t get knocked down. If it had collapsed, then the second story loft would have collapsed. The loft held up the roof. It was almost way worse. By the end of that first evening, we had most of the rubble out of the house. The basement and first floor walls had been rebuilt and were in place. Everything else had to wait until the next day. Here is how it looks today, May 7th.

May 7th house rebuild

We are sealed back up for the most part. We used a skid steer with forks to push what was left of the floor joists back up to a reasonable level. The floor is anything but level and covered with sheets of plywood that keep our dogs (and us) from falling through the holes. It is stable but not really safe to use for much. The entertainment center was crushed along with the TV. Our dining room table was pushed so far and hard that it knocked some of the kitchen cabinets out from under the counter tops. My laptop was under the rubble unharmed and my grandmas piano was untouched. The world will continue to spin as usual and the show will go on. In the end, the brand new 2×8 exterior wall was the only new remodel work that was destroyed. I will spare you the rest of the details. Due to the fact that no one was injured in the crash, I feel the events just make for a better story!

Moving on. I have a competition in a little over a week. It is the USAPL equipped national championships. Yes, it is a full powerlifting meet, but a different kind of meet than I have ever competed in. This is a geared or equipped competition meaning I will be wearing a squat suit with knee wraps, a bench press shirt, and if I wanted to, a deadlift suit. I have never used any of this gear until about two months ago. I have never even lifted around anyone who used this gear. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen it used in many different competitions that I have been at. I have just never used it myself. Believe me when I say, the learning curve is more difficult than it appears. It has been for me at least as I train the squat and deadlift by myself at home. I even had to rearrange some of my training due to the fact that my rack took a hit from the floor cave in. It is bent and wobbly, but I made it stable, sort of.

The point of this article is simple. It would be much easier to just skip the competition all together. It would be easy to throw out the blame card for the chimney collapse and all the damage that came with it. I am shocked at the amount of people that told me to make my equipment operator (my dirt guys) pay for the damages. For the record, my dirt guys tore down the chimney, cleaned up the mess, and hauled off all the 10-12 dump trucks of waste and then refused to let me pay them. That’s 19th century alpha all the way! The interesting thing I found was that no self employed entrepreneurs mentioned blame or insurance claims. As a team, we created a plan to tear down the chimney per the information we were given. It was bad intel. The accident wasn’t their fault. It was not negligence, it was an accident and I am the general contractor. So I will eat the costs.

This will definitely extend my already drawn out video tutorial series, but my writing schedule should be back on track at least. Wish me luck at my competition! I’m definitely going after the gold.  It is always easier to turn another direction when life gets tough, but that is simply not how 19th century alphas roll! It never has been. It never will be. We dig out of the rubble every time. We get up! We press on! WE KEEP PUSHING HARDER!


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