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Building a Studio

We officially started on August 1, 2020, but the idea was born just before I finished my last year of teaching. My friends asked what I was going to do next, and I casually mentioned that maybe I'd become a Personal Trainer and have my own studio someday. The more I thought about it and shared the idea with friends and family, the more that the idea took shape and seemed like it could become a reality. I never could have done this without the support of my husband, who helped me literally every single step of the way, or the final push from my dear friend Beka, who challenged me to Dare Greatly.

August 1 was a Saturday, which seemed like the perfect time to start. The plan was to turn half of our garage into a fully stocked gym so that I could someday (when the pandemic is under control) offer personal training out of our home, and in the mean time, offer personal training services virtually through zoom. We made a to do list that was 40+ items long, and jumped right in.


Over the course of the next 3ish months, I learned a lot of new skills, and spent more time on a ladder than I ever could have imagined. I could go into excruciating detail about each individual step, but instead I'll share a bullet list of the biggest tasks, and then a brief video montage to show how this space was transformed!

To Do List

  • Clean out + organize space

  • build a dividing wall to partition off the studio-side of the garage

  • Install new electrical outlets and the heating/ac unit

  • Tear out drywall, insulate exterior walls, re-install drywall

  • Drywall mud + sanding (this deserves a line by itself because this alone took 2 weeks)

  • Replace garage door with French doors + install new siding

  • Paint: walls, ceiling, brick foundation, trim, and doors

  • Install trim around windows, doors, ceiling, and floor

  • Sand and stain the wood above the foundation

  • Install new lights and industrial-sized fan

  • Install mirrors

  • Set up the squat rack

  • Install floor

  • Slowly move in all of the equipment we've accumulated over the last 5 years

  • Set up Zoom station

Things I learned

  1. Garage floors have an intentional grade built in so that water won't come in when it rains.

  2. Any wood coming in contact with concrete needs to be pressure treated.

  3. To nail wood into concrete, you get to use a .22 powered nail gun.

  4. If you are painting a vinyl door, it is critical to prime it first (or else all the paint will flake off and you'll have to paint it all over again).

  5. I really despise fiberglass insulation. It gets in your eyes, it's itchy, it smells weird, and it's just kind of a pain to install, especially with 11-foot ceilings.

  6. Putting drywall up is easy, but mudding and sanding is HARD. If you know anyone who is good at this, commend them on their skills because they are way underappreciated.

  7. Garage door springs are SUPER dangerous and you need to get special tools and practice extreme caution when removing them.

  8. If you're making a video montage, it's actually sometimes better if your pictures are vertical.

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