LJ McIntosh

How I Went From Hating Yard Work To Mowing Twice A Week

“I couldn’t even get you to go outside and mow the lawn once a summer”. Words from my dad this summer as we visited in Chicago. I think that was a stretch, I probably mowed the lawn more than 5 times from high school moving forward. Maybe.

Honestly back then it just wasn’t something that sounded fun. I was more focused on playing basketball, video games, or going out with my friends. Now if I was going to be compensated for my services I’d gladly go out there and help with the yard. Most of the time it was “if you wanna go to that party tonight take care of that grass for me playa.” That lol was probably followed by me pausing 2k and throwing some shoes on.

I think y’all get the point by now. I hated that shit. High maintenance teenager what else is new. Oh, you want me to sweat and it doesn’t involve basketball? Yeah ok, dad.

Fast forward 6 or 7 years and you can find me watching landscaping videos, internally competing with the neighbors for the best lawn, and making several trips to Home Depot or Lowe’s a week. The life of a homeowner I guess changed my ways. I feel like if I own something and my name is going to be on it or representing it I want it to not only look nice but be the best.

Now I’m not a full-on lawn nerd and just do it to do it, but I did it out of necessity. The lawn wasn’t in the best shape when we bought the house. My neighbors though have some pretty good-looking lawns. 

The path to a decent-looking lawn was not easy that’s for sure. I was doing pretty well with the lawn after we bought the house, but we had tons of weeds everywhere. Then came my first mistake a few months in. In order to have a decent lawn, I had to get rid of these weeds once and for all. So I put down some weed killer in my backyard to start since it was much worse there. About a week went by and my wife says “Is it me or is the backyard starting to look brown?” I insisted it was because the weeds were dying, but at the same time, I figured there should still be some green you know?

A few more days go by and it’s all bad. It’s super spotty with brown and green everywhere. Mostly brown spots. So I go to double-check what I put on the grass. A good ole bottle of RoundUp is what I was spraying in my backyard. Kills weeds and grass is what I read as a weird nervous wave went through my body. “Well this isn’t good,” I thought. It was a struggle for a bit trying to get the backyard back to the way it was but the good news is that it was about to start getting cold outside and I could just start over next year. 

In reality, I think that was the moment that made me want to take my yard seriously. I had made a mistake that you could not miss and I didn’t want that to happen again. These days I can’t pick up a bottle of RoundUp without chuckling. It’s funny bad situations make us want to level up our work and become better at skill but that is exactly the thing I love about trying new tasks.

This is yet another situation that can be related to sports. In my opinion, almost anything can be related or tire back into sports. It’s like when you have a bad game or you get blown out by 40. You remember it and want to make sure it does not happen again. My yard was down 40 points for sure and there was no coming back. Good thing for me though there was always next year where I could bounce back and try again.

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