Volunteer Workout ;)

So much lost….

Calgary has NEVER been declared a state of emergency due to flooding, but this spring has been an exception. A team of boot camp clients and friends got together yesterday to head to one of the evacuation areas here. We went equipped with rubber boots, gloves, cleaning supplies and elbow grease.

Holy cow, water is very powerful, I really wasn’t  prepared for what I saw. Driveways were sink holes, foundations were worn away with 10 foot troughs around houses. Unbelievable. People just ran. In the end, it’s only ‘stuff’ I guess. I don’t think home insurance covers anything. Helping was the least we could do.

Calgarians are poweful. I couldn’t believe the huge numbers of people out. The streets were crowded with like-minded folks. Those that were short on elbow grease had wagons of baked goods, sandwiches, water, even beer. There was so much food I’m sure that some of it would spoil in the heat.

We ended up on a street that backed onto the river. This one home was completely devastated. The family had the main floor of their home stripped to the studs and we hauled debris out. They had moved some belongings to the second floor, but most of it was carried to the curb with the rest of the debris.

The garage was another disaster area and we needed to gut it. We emptied it and then started to take down drywall, insulation and haul everything to the curb. In addition to worker bees on foot hauling, there was a constant flow of volunteer pick up trucks. We formed a line of about 12 pairs of hands. We passed debris into and out each set of hands to get everything into the pick ups. Piles of debris, six feet high were gone within minutes.


It was amazing to see what many hands could do.

There comes a point when many hands get in the way, only so much can be done at a time, so when we were no longer needed at one home, we walked the street to offer our help elsewhere. There were so many people out helping that we were turned away at some places.

We ended up at a home to clean. We were asked to clean bathrooms and floors. It appeared that this home wasn’t ravaged by the flood so much as by dirty living ;) It was too funny, my partner in dirt, Jolleen and I decided that this homeowner wasn’t in need of flood relief so much as housecleaning lessons. Turns out it takes all kinds…we worked for a bit but felt that others needed our help more so we took our leave.

On the whole, I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to help. I’m really proud of how Calgarians are working to put lives back together. I know that our group’s contribution can’t be credited with much, but when everyone does a little bit, then things get done.  The hand written thank you signs on yards and in windows were overwhelming and it’s just good to know that we made a small difference.

On another note…

There was an abundance of food everywhere to fuel workers. With all the heavy lifting and grunt work we did, I told my clients/friends that all food was ‘calorie free’ yesterday. Of course that was a big fat lie, but we had a chance to burn off every calorie as we worked. We could never burn off those calories if we ate them late at night.

If you want to know what you CAN and CAN’T eat late at night to help you get and stay lean, I have a report from my friend,  Joel Marion here.

4 best foods to eat before bed

Spending a day doing flood relief took care of burning a LOT of calories for our group yesterday. Good times ;)

Want to know what feels about as good as a sweaty workout? Volunteering. I hope you have opportunity to volunteer somewhere sometime.