Glad I screwed up!


Today, as I was thinking of the theme for my next series of “pillar” articles (translation: procrastinating with writer’s block and “blog mastermind” homework), I redirected my attention to a home project instead.

A good blogger is supposed to publish content daily, or almost. Since there are so many of us out there, I didn’t want to spam the Web with extra stuff just for the sake of blogging. But, like Archimedes dropping his soap, or an apple falling on Newton’s head, I had my own “Eureka!” moment! Stay with me, it’ll make sense and relate to fitness quite obviously!

How lack of focus can take you off track:
In preparation for the arrival of our first baby in May, my wife and I are finally getting some grown-up furniture and organizing the place we moved into 16 months ago. Today, I started to build our new bedroom furniture. Towards the end, upon screwing in the back panel of a dresser, I realized the top panel was facing the wrong way. At first, like any red-blooded male, I was going to jam the sucker in, figuring all “ready to assemble” furniture is cockeyed anyway. The mistake occurred when I looked at my watch and was going to beat the 90 minute mark some other guy had as his record (based on his review of the dresser online, which took him 2-3 hours alone, 90 minutes with his wife’s help). My focus shifted to the record time, instead of the work. Well, undoing my work and fixing it took an extra 30 minutes. And, there was no way around it, I HAD to step backwards.

How it obviously relates to fitness:
Most guys don’t follow directions. Once we’re on a roll, we keep at it. Had I looked carefully at the pictures in the manual, I would have avoided the error. Also, the manual advises you to read it cover to cover before assembling (something I venture to say no one does). And once you screw it up, you could keep things the way they are. The dresser would probably hold. Until it decides to collapse from the load it’s meant to carry because of the “misalignment”. Even the instruction were missing some information I had to figure out for myself (using this thing called common sense). The lack of concentration caused an error in judgment, leading to misalignment, at which point I had two choices: work with the jammed panel, like a jammed vertebra or pulled muscle, or go back, fix the issue even if it slowed me down, until everything was corrected in the “body” the the dresser I built.

Moral of the story:
Follow instructions before starting a program. Make sure your head is in it for the right reasons (here, to build a dresser, not beat some other guy’s record for assembling one!). Even instructions from a book are not 100% reliable. I’m no furniture builder, but I am a great trainer. Wanna get fit? Get a trainer, even if only to get you going. We’re not a luxury. We’re here to help so you don’t end up having to backtrack and waste time.

3 comments on “Glad I screwed up!”

  1. Philippe Til

    I got the biggest tool: ME! Love the basic rule!

  2. Bill Page

    Join the crowd, chuckle. If you would like to borrow a few tools, like ratcheting screw driver, screw guides, electric screw driver, etc. let me know. They make things go a lil easier and faster. Now all crafts, including handyman have rules. Here is a basic one. “If all else fails read the directions.”
    Billy P

  3. Lauritz

    Tell me about it…I’m starting from scratch. I have to force myself to do the correct movements my physical therapist assigns me to do, which means essentially re-learning some basic movements that I had been doing incorrectly for a long, long time. It’s frustrating, especially for someone who’s very physically active and fit, to go back to doing almost no exercise while waiting for the body to heal…

Leave a Reply...