Staying fit for what? and how to build a fire pit that will last a lifetime


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Because we live in a time and place that allows us to be tremendously productive members of society from a chair (behind the wheel, or  in front  of a computer,  etc.) we are often forced to measure our fitness in ways other than simply our work.  

One might use the “the ability to do a task” as a fine definition for fitness, but from a physical fitness standpoint, staying in a chair for most of the day doesn’t require a great deal of capacity.  

Since I have a tendency to really enjoy projects in the yard, I find that these are the tasks that offer me great feedback as to whether or not my training in the gym is crossing over to me becoming more fit.  This particular task pushed my capacity to a great degree!

lots of loading, carrying, bending, stooping, rotating, lifting, etc.  


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I must admit, I am sore in some unusual places because of the specific demands that this type of work includes. For example, my forearms are quite sore.  When I was doing this type of work on a nearly daily basis, I was able to perform moderately demanding physical labor for 50+ hours every week without being worried about my physical fitness.

Specific soreness aside, I am also generally fatigued.  I can happily report though, that I was able to meet the physical demands required to start and finish the project in a long weekend. 


I was able to split this project into two days. 

Day 1: retrieve and load 26 retaining wall blocks weighing 60lb each.  

  • carry blocks approximately 60 yards over varied terrain from woods to vehicle
  • unload and carry blocks 20 yards to work site
  • load 1000 lb of crushed stone and sand from pick up and deliver to work site
  • remove large portion of tree stump adjacent to pit site
  • begin digging hole to finished dimensions of 20″ deep and 50″ in diameter

Day 2: 

  • Finish prep for pit site
  • relocate soil by bucket from hole to storage site (10 yards)
  • rough fit blocks for foundation of fire pit ring, then remove
  • level bottom of hole and line with crushed stone and sand
  • lay and level blocks to three tiers
  • back fill to outer wall with sand, crushed stone and soil, compacting soil every 3″-5″

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Day 3 was about an hour of finish work that included leveling the soil around the pit and reseeding grass.  

here’s the finished product



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About Mark

I am a busy guy; husband, father, coach, mentor, gardener, outdoors man and cook are the primary hats I wear. To be the best of these I can be, I stay physically prepared for all those pursuits, and feed myself in a way that allows me to keep up the pace. I can help you to take the next manageable step in fitness and wellness to get you closer to your ideal self.