Monday, May 12, 2003

I am exactly the kind of person for which pain killers were invented. It hurts? Let's do it anyway!

Before I left for the Habitat site yesterday, I told Catherine I didn't care what I ended up doing as long as I wasn't on the roofing crew. That would be my own personal nightmare. I know my fear of heights is totally stupid, but I don't seem to be able to do anything about it. So, when Valerie asked me if I wanted to go up on the roof after lunch, it is completely beyond me why I shrugged and said, "Sure." I thought I would be able to will myself through my fear, I have a lot of pride and figured I wouldn't embarrass myself by admitting I was scared when a half dozen other women were doing just fine, but once I was up on the trusses, I knew I wasn't going to be able to do it. I toughed it out through the first course of decking, thinking maybe it would be better if I had something to walk on, but even that freaked me out, so I finally just said, "Uh, this isn't going to work for me," and called for a ladder.

Well, I felt like a wuss, but it was okay, because the roofing team needed someone on the ground to throw up decking material. So, I spent many hours hoisting 4' x 8' sheets of OSB over my head and up to the roof (luckily Ricardo and Steven were usually around to give me a hand), and cutting OSB to fit the odd spaces. I was totally worn out by 3:00, checking my watch every 15 minutes, but gave it up around 4:30 when I realized that it was going to take another hour or so to finish the roof and I wasn't going anywhere until it was done.

I learned a valuable lesson about cutting OSB. When the person on the roof hands you a diagram for an L-shaped piece, be sure and turn the OSB over before you cut. I *might* have realized that earlier in the day, but by 5:30, when I was cutting this piece, I was so tired that all my energy was focused on the circular saw, not the roofing process. "Okay, you're really, really tired, you have a power tool in your hand that could easily sever an artery if it jumps, so *focus* on what you're doing, ignore everything else." Anyway, maybe if I'd taken a little time out of my focusing I would have thought to flip that piece of OSB. Or maybe I would have just cut a thumb off, hard to say.

Well, we didn't finish until after 6:00. I know now why I've only volunteered for four hours shifts before this. 8.5 hours would have been long enough, 9.5 hours pretty much killed me. And I look like someone took a stick to me and beat me, I'm totally black and blue. Pretty good knot on my right knee where a piece of OSB slipped across it, and my fingers hurt where Michelle accidentally stood on them, but other than that, it's just tired muscles.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I handed Kirk one set of drawings this morning, handed a second to Steve, so now all I have to do is grading, and I'll be done. If I can make it through rehearsal this evening, everything else will be fine. I can sleep in a little tomorrow before tackling my students' finals, and that should get rid of the circles under my eyes and restore my youthful good looks

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