Breaking the Barrier of your Comfort Zone

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Most of the time here I share things that are specifically related to safety from the perspective of OSHA compliance or Best Practices. Some times it is about some new industry specific focus that is interesting. But today I want to share about something more personal.

Your health!

There are so many factors that affect your overall health, and it can be very overwhelming if you are just getting started. Depending on who you talk to they will all give you “wonderful” advise about the things that you need to do to get or stay “healthy”.

The short list is:

Each of these steps have a million little steps towards success. And they are all tightly intertwined. Which means, if you are even a little bit like me, you can find yourself heading down a rabbit hole from which there is no recovery.

Baby Steps

My advice? Take baby steps. Find one thing that you can change for the better. And work on that one thing until it is your new normal. Then change the next thing. And then the next.

Yes, this is a much slower way to achieve that end goal. BUT, it is also the much more successful way to achieve that end goal.

Build your Team!

Surround yourself with people that are on the same journey and that will hold you accountable. Accountability is the key here. Your team cannot be made entirely of the people that will jump off the cliff with you because you are having a weak moment. There has to be someone that can be counted on to be the ONE strong person in a situation and that will hold everyone else on the team accountable. And it doesn’t mean that the strong person is the same person every time, but that someone will always step up to that position when needed.

  • “I don’t want to work out this morning”
    • Okay, then you have to work out tonight.
  • “I want to eat a cake…and entire cake.”
    • No, you can eat a slice of cake, but you have to get in an extra hour of exercise this week, or swap in a salad for dinner, or…

Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable!

Change doesn’t happen when you are comfortable. Change happens when you try new things. So get comfortable being uncomfortable!

That can mean different things for different people, and you have to find your level of uncomfortable. And then get a little more uncomfortable.

Last September there was special that was being offered for people that wanted to join Camp Gladiator. My sister-in-law had joined them the year before and had been talking about how great it was, but my sister-in-law was also in a much different place than I was… she was thinner, fitter, and healthier. So whenever she would talk about us joining I would laugh and say that I wasn’t ready to die. But something clicked, finally, last September and I decided that it was worth trying for at least one month and then I could say I tried, I could quit and I could go back to my old habits….

But since I decided I was crazy enough to jump off that bridge I was going to take some people with me. I convinced my husband, and my coworker and his wife to all join at the same time. Because we are BETTER TOGETHER! And I knew that I needed someone to hold me accountable.

And after we were all signed up we learned that another of our co-workers was already a CG Camper.

Nine Months later…

We have gotten comfortable being uncomfortable. We don’t work out together, but we all work out and we hold each other accountable for those work outs.

  • “Did you go this morning/last night?”
  • “Did you… do burpees? drag a fire hose? run a mile?
  • “Are you signed up for…?”

Did you say “Uncomfortable”?

So, this past weekend we all participated in the Terrain Race – Austin 2019.

Here is proof:

This is me (Renee Ramthun) and my crazy husband (Chris) that supports me in all my insane adventures and goofball ideas. Seriously, I don’t think there is a clean spot on me anywhere.

Here is Damian Alvarez and his wife Melissa. They raced earlier in the day and somehow they seem to have fared better than we did.

Parting statements…

Don’t worry about how far you have to go, or how long the journey will take. Just take the first step. Go for a walk at lunch instead of sitting at your desk. Skip the bread basket. Sign up for a 5k (you are allowed to walk them, and they don’t have to be muddy).

Employee Recognition

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Have you ever had that one employee that you knew you could count on to always step up and give their all, no matter what the request was? I am not talking about the employees that do their job every day, or even the ones that do their job GREAT every day. I am specifically talking about the employee that goes beyond that. The employee that inspires others to do more! To be better! To take action!

When you have that employee, it is important to recognize their efforts.

And I am proud to say that we have one of those employees!

Mr. Shane Sanders

Shane, it is a pleasure to work with you. I can’t count the number of times that I have asked your opinion about a safety topic from the field perspective. And each time you have delivered.

Recently, Jordan Foster Construction asked our employees to share their #JFC2019Goals. And once again, you stepped up and delivered!

But here’s the thing, the real thing… These aren’t just your goals. These are the things that you actually do every day.

Thank you for setting the example. Thank you for watching out for your crew. Thank you for showing that our Core Values are more than just words on a poster.

Thank you!
From all of us at JFC.

Safety Scouts

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A much loved program from our history is being revamped!

The mission of the Safety Scout program is to recognize the leaders from our field crews and to provide them with safety training that will allow them to be an immediate resource of information for their crew members.  Some of the training that has already been scheduled includes:

  • OSHA 30-hour
  • Competent Person Training for:
    • Excavations
    • Fall Protection
    • Scaffolding
    • Silica
    • Confined Space
  • FA/CPR/AED Training

Another mission of the Safety Scout program is to act as one of the members of the Safety Committee.  As a member of the Safety Committee the Safety Scout will have the responsibility to bring safety issues to the attention of the Safety Committee.  Additionally, once a solution has been found, it will be the mission of the Safety Scouts to help implement the corrective actions in the field.

The appointment to the Safety Scout program is for one year.  At the end of the year a new group of Safety Scouts will be appointed.

El Paso kicked off their inaugural meeting on January 9th of this year.

It is our plan to implement the Safety Scout Program in the Austin and San Antonio Infrastructure arenas starting late summer or early fall of 2018.

What about the Residential and Commercial Divisions?

We are open to ideas on how this program would be useful and successful in the Residential and Commercial Divisions.  If you are interested in kicking off a similar program on one of your projects, contact Renee to discuss the details.


Front Row, left to right) Jose Hernandez, Joe Cardoza, Michael Moncada, Alex del Hierro, Sergio Gallegos, William Duran, David Rosales. 

 Back Row, left to right) Jesus Miranda, Jacob Aguilar, Mario Lara, Edgar Ortiz, Ralph Kelley, Ricardo Alonzo, David Reyes.