Monday, March 30, 2020

And....the Machine Won!

It was day three in my family's journey to assemble a home gym.  Friday was the first day and we got a majority of the way through the assembly until we didn't have all the parts.  After many trips to Ace Hardware on Saturday, we had the gym assembled and began to deal with the pulley system.  Saturday ended with everyone frustrated and in need of a break and the promise of picking it back up on Sunday.

My first clue things were not going to go well should have been the dark, large clouds that loomed in the sky.  The outside atmosphere seemed to mirror that of the inside.  As I came down the stairs, I stared down that pulley system and gave a quick glance at the mechanisms.  I am still convinced that we have assembled it correctly.  Anyway, I go about my morning waiting eagerly for the men in the house to wake up and tackle this beast of a gym.

When my husband finally wakes up, we begin to discuss the gym and where we could have gone wrong and what the possibilities for quick fixes are.  We head into the gym armed with caffeine and can do attitudes.  My oldest is up and has agreed to put his young mind to the task.  Step one for us is to go back and look at the stupid directions.  Now, I know it is not nice to call something stupid but at this point I have them memorized and I can not figure out what the pictures signify.  I mean if you are going to put all of the technical words and then put the pictures to help people, at least make the pictures decipherable!

We study the directions like we are studying for final exams and come to the conclusion, we have followed all the steps and the pulleys are going in the right direction.  Step two is to tighten all the loose bolts, we decide that there may be some play in the pulley system.  The boys begin the arduous task of tightening an endless amount of bolts and I go and wake the youngest.  I can't decide whose chore is worse! The youngest makes his way downstairs, looks at the machine and groans... even he who wants the gym more than the rest of us, can't believe we are still working on it. 

Tightening the bolts does very little, we get maybe 3/4 of an inch closer to connecting the last pieces of the pulley system together.  Back to the drawing board, we go!  We decide to change out the piece of carpet that is under the gym that does not match the others thinking that maybe the differences in height are affecting the pulley system.  Nope! We are all back to staring at the drawings and at the pulley system.  We believe that one section is causing the problem, but we can not figure out how to fix it... our set up is exactly like the pictures show (or at least from what we can tell). So, we decide to try and rig the system to work.  We had back to Ace Hardware in search of a fix.  After what feels like forever, we decide on chains and carabiner clips.  The reluctant consensus is that we can connect the chains and clips to the pre-drilled holes in the pulley system and it should work. We find a super helpful employee he cuts the chains, we pay and drive back home.  After washing our hands for the millionth time today, we get to testing our idea.  Ah... this doesn't work either.  The clips are too big and we know that they have to be that size to support the weights. We are out of ideas, out of patience and are just done with this gym.  You know how you get to that point where you are so frustrated, everyone is mad at everyone else and it becomes not worth it anymore?  That is where we are, we just can't anymore today.  Maybe we are done for good!

Today is another day, the birds are chirping and the day looks like it will be a good one.  Hopefully, after working at home today, we can look at the directions again and try and tackle the pulley system.  If not today, I know we will look at it again this week.  We do not give up... maybe we take breaks, maybe we step away, but we are not going to give up.  The machine will not win!


  1. I can feel the frustration of getting this gym assembled! It makes me think of all the times I've followed directions to put something together and got frustrated that it wasn't going right. Hopefully, after some time away you can figure it out!

  2. Such a metaphor for so many tasks these days included virtual content and platforms. I saw a video of Ellen trying to read lego directions and saying that they were much more complicated than she imagined. I believe we should hold that truth in our hearts for parents and students at home. These things that are routine at school are so much more complicated at home.

  3. I was so sure today would be the day. I thinking stepping away and coming back to it with fresh eyes might be the way to go. In a few years, over dinner, you will retell this story and laugh.


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