07 December 2010

day three with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

This is the third in a series about my days spent with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition back in October.  This post can stand alone, but the other ones are pretty cool.  Here are the preceding parts: day one and day two.

As I said on my previous day, it was for Day 3 I decided to pick a different shift.  My goal was to have a lot less standing around and a lot more doing.  I mean, that's why I was volunteering, right?  So I got a very SMALL taste of what my husband's submarine life was like.  And by that I mean that I had a 6-hour shift and then 12 hours 'off' and then a 6-hour shift again.  On Day 2 I finished at 6pm and woke up at 5am to get there at 6am the next morning.  Obviously doing this for ONE day was a lot better than doing it for 180 DAYS.  At least I didn't have to sleep under my coffee table.  Yeah, I don't think I'm cut out to be a submariner.

Anyway, once I arrived it was still dark out.  And there was nobody manning that sign-in table.  No numbers waiting to be called, no formalities.  My altered shirt that worked so great in the Florida noontime the previous day wasn't quite cutting it for me this particular morning.  I was cold!  So I grabbed the smallest shirt on the table (size XXL, I believe?) and threw it on over my other one.  Much better, except now I was wearing a Muumuu.

Since there was no one telling me I couldn't go down there, I went straight for the house.  There were some other friendly volunteer faces that I recognized, standing around waiting for something to do.  The skilled labor was busily working in and on the house.  We soon got asked to move some bricks and devised an easy system for doing so, finishing in no time.  After that, we were all called over by some bigwig or another and told we were taking a "field trip."  We were gonna go help renovate a gym!  Hooray!  And the gym was only a few miles up the road, so that was a nice bonus.

The basic premise of why we were renovating a gym is that the guy the house was being built for was being given a job at this gym.  You'll have to watch the episode to get all the ins and outs of why -- I do know that they were moving him to Pensacola from a farther-away town because the city donated the land.  Anyway, all that to say we got to go move a bunch of beams, roll up some floors, and jump in the foam pit!
If I ever did that during my gymnastics heyday, you can rest assured it wasn't intentional.
Gymnastics was my activity of choice during my elementary school days, so this gym brought back loads of memories.  It took every ounce of willpower not to jump up on the bars and start swinging to see if I still "had it" (my guess is not).  I also learned just how complex a gym floor is!  We took up the top three layers, down to the wood.  There were springs underneath that and who knows what else.  The gym owner was there along with a few employees, and we got to talking and I learned that a gym floor costs over $10,000!  (A mental note has now been made to not whine about the cost of a future child's gymnastics lessons.)

The wood part of the floor, which is underneath a bunch of foam and at least one layer of carpet
We did everything the gym owners wanted us to do, and we were done by 9am.  (Yes, our crew was alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic, to say the least!)  Around then, a guy from the show crew told us that the film crew would be coming at 10, so we just had to sit around and wait (ugh!).  The worst part of the waiting is that I was HUNGRY.  I'd eaten some cereal at 5am, but that wasn't cutting it at 9.  The show guy had said that the crew would bring food, so I was crossing my fingers.   What was really awful was that I KNEW there were doughnuts at the other site because there were always extra ones around that I saw during the afternoon shifts.  I had bummed a ride to the gym.  If I hadn't done that, I would've hopped in my car during our wait, drove back to the site, and snagged a few boxes.  I'm sure they wouldn't have been missed.

Besides my hunger-induced crankiness, the rest of the day was gold.  We sat around and watched a morning talk show while waiting for the crew, and one of the young guys laid in the foam pit.  When the crew showed, we carried some tables for them, setting up the place to eat lunch.  But, um, NO FOOD.  Not even one measly doughnut.  Gahhh.  I soon saw on-screen talent Johnny Littlefield, so I pretty much knew we were about to get put to work with no food in sight.

We were given Santa hats for our construction helmets once again (although during our actual work in the gym, we definitely did not wear the hats!).  We also got out the gym's assortment of Christmas decor and were told to "stampede" into the gym carrying our decorations.  We had to do it about three times, and it was actually pretty fun!

Me with my holiday gear.  Not sure if the hat stayed up during the stampede!
We then did a couple more shots helping out around the gym - unloading wood, cleaning mats, carrying stuff, etc.  They did actually need more help, but by that point it was past noon and my stomach had some fightin' words for me.  I had planned on a six-hour shift anyway, so I called it quittin' time.  A lot of people stayed, and they hopefully got fed a nice meal.  Before I officially walked out, I made sure to get this:

Johnny Littlefield and me!
I never got to see the fully renovated gym, so I'll be watching this Sunday night (Dec. 12) to see it!  Oh, and to look for myself, OF COURSE.  I'll be blogging some myths busted and tips and tricks for volunteering later this week to lead up the episode's premiere.  And next week after it has aired, I'll hopefully be able to post some screen shots of my pretty little face on national television!

1 comment:

  1. That is soooo cool that you had the opportunity to do that! I'll bet it will be so exciting to see the show. Hopefully you'll be in it!

    Great to see you on the weekly roundup!