Photo by Patricia Bishop Photography
Mike Calsam is the co-president of J. E. Decker Construction Group and lifelong resident of Alachua County. He and his wife Justine have two young boys, Nolan (6) and Wyatt (3).
Our morning starts, and my wife and I get moving. She takes a shower and starts packing lunches for the boys. I let our dog, Rock, out in the yard. We are not exactly “morning people” so we enjoy easing into the day.
I say my goodbyes as Justine is getting the boys up. I grab my bag with work clothes and make my trek to “the box” (what people in the CrossFit community call their gym). Really, this is my only quiet time of the day spent listening to the news, making phone calls to some of our field guys, or just thinking about the day ahead. (On Wednesdays and Thursdays Justine works nights at Shands, so I get to sleep in until 6 a.m. and take the boys to school and usually work out in the afternoon. This is definitely the best part of being self-employed and something I am fortunate to be able to do.)
David Tate does a great job pushing me physically and mentally at Risen Strength CrossFit. I used to be a gym guy and have seen great benefits to CrossFit regarding mobility, strength and endurance. I definitely like to compete even if it is against myself.
Wrap up my workout, finishing solving the world’s problems with Dave and head off to the office.
Arrive at the office, check emails, talk with office staff and jump in the shower.
One of the best parts of my job is that no two days are the same. From this point on there is no “typical” day. The routine of my morning makes the chaos of the day equal out. Some days I will bounce from meeting to meeting, and some days are spent estimating or working on qualifications packets. Sometimes I get to pour concrete with the field guys or throw on my toolbelt and help the guys get things done. My career in this industry started wearing a toolbelt and I still enjoy doing it every chance I get.
Most of the field activities are wrapped up or are in the process of wrapping up and I am in the office. This is a good time to catch up on emails, review proposals or just catch up with my business partner, Chris Decker, and the rest of the office folks.
Back to family mode. Nolan does taekwondo, baseball and football at different times of the year. Wyatt will follow suit in the next year or so as he seems to be developing an interest in sports. I have coached a few of the teams, and I really enjoy interacting with the kids and watching them progress in their abilities throughout the season. It is even cooler when you have them multiple seasons and see the kids grow as people. We have been blessed to have met a lot of great people doing these sports and look forward to watching all these boys grow up together.
We are all settled in at home (hopefully!), and Justine and I cook dinner and help Nolan with his homework. There are lots of spelling words in our life these days! After dinner, it is clean up time. The boys take a bath together and we get the kitchen cleaned up and dishes put away.
With the boys clean we try to spend a few minutes either watching a movie, playing a board game or just being silly. The boys like to wrestle with me as much as they can.
Part of Nolan’s homework is to read 10 minutes a day, so we read to them both and it helps calm them before bed. Lately “Captain Underpants” is pretty popular in our house.
ADULT TIME! Kids are in bed. We usually spend 10–15 minutes cleaning up the results of two rambunctious boys. Justine went back to school online, so she might have some work to do. If so, it is a free pass for “manly, gory” movies or football for me. If not, we catch up on shows we watch together or just hang out and enjoy each other’s company over a drink. I definitely married my best friend (and married up), and we enjoy the time without chaos around us. This is when our dog Rock gets most of his attention as well.
We head to bed. If we are not reading, we are talking about life, upcoming events and our schedules. She does a great job managing it all. I am notorious for saying “send me a calendar invite” for the kids’ events and appointments. No matter what, we make sure we do not go to bed mad at each other. I usually think about how lucky I have been to have such a great wife, beautiful kids, and loving and supportive family and close friends. There is no doubt we have worked very hard for the life we have, but I am convinced there is a certain amount of luck involved in this crazy life. Either way, I am ready to do it again tomorrow!