I was 7 years old. My brother was 6. I'm sure this wasn't the first time we almost gave my mother a heart attack, but it was the first time I remember. My father was putting an addition on our house, and he tore the entire roof off of our house. My brother and I watched him and his crew working up on the roof all day, and when they got off the roof for the night, it was time for me and Dan to take over. We snuck up on the roof by ourselves and pretended to be working. Mom was not thrilled.
This summer, I had the opportunity to rip off that original roof at my parents house and lay down a new roof. This time my brother and I weren't pretending. We were actually up there on the roof on the hottest days of August this summer. My brother has much more construction knowledge than I do, so I was mostly there as the unskilled laborer doing to brute force work. Having never done any actual roofing work in my life, I was in for an adventure.
10 hours a day on the roof in 95 degree sun sweating out every ounce of bodily fluid.
By all regards, I should have dreaded every second of it. I was not being paid. I was giving up some of my precious days off in the summer and passing up the beach and surfing. Instead, I was stoked.
I was so pumped to be able to spend time with my father and brother up on the roof. I was pumped to be able to push my body in extreme conditions and see how it would react. I was pumped to be able to give my mother something she really wanted: a new roof. I was pumped by the thrill of the build.
Creating something out of nothing is the most powerful force in the universe. It's a secret known by all builders and passed down from generation to generation. My great-grandfather was a wood-worker. My grandfather was a painter before he opened up a bowling alley. My father built beautiful homes. And now I build.
It's been that way every since I was 7 years old swinging a hammer up on that roof. I've built forts in the woods, I've built masterpieces out of legos, and I've never stopped building. Now I build software products, events, businesses, and whatever seems really cool to me at the time. Nothing is more invigorating than completing a project and saying: I built this.