Small Project: Home Gym

I enjoy a change of pace now and then. Recently I was asked to build an addition to a house that included a customized home gym. I loved that they planned to fill it with boxing equipment for their daily fitness workouts as I, myself, like a go-round with a boxing bag when I can. I admire people who are committed to health. It usually is a trait of those who can call themselves “green.” Somehow these interests go together as values. It is all about living well–taking care of yourself, recycling, using non-toxic products, and promoting sustainability to save our dwindling, precious resources. If health concerns are the egotistical side of the coin, then so be it. It is no sin to dwell on yourself and your longevity.

Because of my interest in boxing, the client asked me to select the boxing bag. I was more than willing and knew right out of the box (pun intended) that you can’t go wrong with Everlast. You can buy the kit online for a 70-pound, heavy bag that also comes with gloves and hand wraps. The bag has a custom filling that consists of natural and synthetic fibers blended with sifted sand. I bet few of you knew that! The gloves and wraps protect your hands against possible abrasion from the bag. Someone was thinking ahead. It also, by the way, comes with an adjustable height customization chain and a bungee cord that adds greater resistance to the bag. So, you can see, you don’t just select any brand. There is a lot more to it.

When the project was done and the gym was ready for use, complete with the best boxing bag around, I was asked to come and try it out. I suppose the client wanted to verify the room’s functionality, something that I had, of course, guaranteed. Were they putting me on the spot; I don’t think so. They were not mean spirited. I think it had to do with thanking me for a job well done. I was happy to oblige. We set a date and I appeared in gym attire ready to test the bag for all I was worth. I had a great time, and no they didn’t observe which made me feel more comfortable. I adore these kinds of considerate clients and interesting projects. They usually turn out well. It makes me think that I would love to have a home gym myself, if only I had room. Maybe I could put it in the basement or the garage, even a spare room never in use. I could then get my own Everlast and test its mettle. I would save so much time not traipsing back and forth to the gym. There is a lot to say about convenience and saving time. When you do, you seem to have more energy for other projects and interests.

Before You Toss Patio Furniture, Try This

Being green and valuing sustainability is not just another cause. Someday it may be a matter of life and day. I know many of you ignore the problems of the planet because it seems too much to bear. What can a person do when there is so much at stake. It takes government commitment, but citizens can play their parts in supporting environmental programs. Meanwhile I suggest you educate yourself by attending conferences, reading green literature, and doing research to find organizations to join. That is all you have to do to keep the rest of us happy. The more we join forces, the faster change will happen. You can also help spread the word as you can at home and at work. Encourage people to listen. I do it by telling stories that they can relate to such as the need to cut power by installing simple ceiling fans.

My blogs are about conserving resources and recycling anything from metal, to used wood, to appliances. Don’t throw out an old stove that will just add more bulk to the landfill when you can have it repaired. You can be green in so many ways. You probably can think of more than I can. Today it is about that used patio furniture. Some people just want to throw anything away before they consider repurposing. I have a friend who had some rather nice pieces that had gotten rather dirty, to the point of grimy, and he wanted to toss them in the garbage can. He wanted to buy new items which means energy waste in manufacturing something you already have. Energy is not finite and it is expensive. Power is limited and we only should use so much given the number of us humans there are on the planet.

I told my friend to STOP and listen and consider the consequences of throwing away things that show a speck of dirt. You just want an excuse to go shopping. My suggestion is to buy or borrow a good electric power washer to bring anything and everything back to life. You can wash down the garage floor, clear debris from the sidewalk, clean exterior walls, and much more. In fact, you can use it on the patio furniture and it works like magic to restore chairs and chaises lounges to their original glory. It is as simple as that. Now you are saving money and being green at the same time. My friend agreed and did as I suggested for you. I am super proud of him. He now has a new focus on things.

Power washers come in different sizes for commercial or residential/personal use and you can choose from gas, electric, cold-water, or hot-water pressure washers depending upon their purpose for you. The key to cleanliness is the high-powered nozzle, the right hoses, and any special cleansers. They can run up to a thousand dollars for a mighty motor. Not everyone needs to spend that much, but you can spend more. This is not to scare you into breaking your budget, but in making a different point.

Peaceful Trip

I love outdoor sports and welcome any opportunity to enjoy water recreation whether it be in a lake, a river, or at the shore. If I don’t mind driving awhile, I have access to snorkeling or kayaking as my mood dictates. A friend asked me to join him for an open weekend and I suggested we opt for the boat this time. He has an inflatable kayak which is so easy to transport. He told me that he had thought of buying a regular one since he enjoyed the activity, but immediately noticed that it is heavy and causes drag on the roof of a car. He knew that would get my attention given my green nature because it means that the car uses up more gas. He is right. I don’t believe in wasting energy so why not go for the inflatable kayak. Your time on the water is virtually the same. You are zipping along at a nice pace as you take in a gorgeous day of fresh air and sun. Even a darker day is fun. You can’t control Mother Nature, but sometimes we get lucky as our great Instagram photos tell.

Sometimes things go awry and there is trouble inflating the kayak. Other times we forgot food and water and had to go on the hunt. While ashore, we can encounter critters and pests who want to spoil our day. Or we can lose sight of our car and have to walk for a mile or more to find it. Oh, for a peaceful trip! That is our goal. But we handle any adversity that comes our way. The most important point is that the kayak is solid, durable, and reliable. Inflatable isn’t a negative word. They are just as sleek, fast, and performance oriented as the other kind, but they are so much lighter. Some have an innovative design that is intended to be safe and stable. Plus, they don’t cost as much as the rigid models.

Kayaking is a dream in inflatable boat. My friend and I can pack it in a bag that is a fraction of its full size. This is called stowable portability. When I first saw this kind of kayak, I was impressed with the breakthrough in construction. When I first took a ride, I also saw the value of high-performance paddling. Bravo to the manufacturer of our particular boat. It is tough enough for whitewater due to the thick hull material. This is not a flimsy item and it sets up in a mere ten minutes. They are suitable for beginner or experienced paddlers alike so I can recommend it to anyone young or old. We knew we made a good choice when my friend bought it. It has provided many hours of outdoor enjoyment and fun. What a great value in boating today. I say go for it.

Meanwhile we had a wonderful time with no mishaps. It was a day of flat-water paddling, a scenic view, and exercise of a unique kind.