Pain (Day 298/365)

A holiday. In this case, it means that I had a full day to clean house and to tackle the grinding noise of the new elliptical.

I had hoped that when we inserted batteries into the console, which thanks to the designers involves inserting D cell batteries up into the bottom of the console, that suddenly the magical magnets which create the resistance that will eventually turn my stomach flat and my chest into pure brawn, that those magnets would release their grip on the flywheel and we’d have no more grinding noise.

And of course that’s exactly what did not happen. By this time, I had vacuumed the house, and I had become aware that my lower back was not functioning. Probably something to do with all the bending over that goes along with assembling an elliptical on a previous occasion. Probably nothing to do with the mysterious numbness in my right arm spreading to my spine because it’s a dread disease that not even the estimable Dr. Ni suspects. Yet.

So now I was faced with kneeling, leaning, dismantling the heaviest bits of the machine, all with a lower back that refused to do anything but want to remain stationary. Not. A. Problem. I grabbed a footstool from one of the many pieces of furniture that for some reason have migrated to our basement from one or other in-law’s household (“It belonged to the Aunts” is the usual reason it is not sitting at Goodwill instead) and sat to my task.

After removing the hubcap, the pedal, and the flywheel cover, the problem was clear: the stanchion holding the flywheel was ever so slightly not upright. Bent, if you will. If I pushed against it with my foot, and somehow turned the wheel, the noise was gone.

So clearly what I needed to do was to provide enough pressure to bend a steel stanchion an eighth of an inch away from me without breaking anything it was attached to. With a nonfunctional lower back. Not. A. Problem.

I must confess that I also gave it a whack with a hammer. This was probably not a good idea, and I hope that in the future I am not startled by the entire flywheel assembly flying apart as I, buff and joyous, am charging along the path of most resistance.

But, hey, it worked. It whirs along with no noise at all now, other than the odd beeps from the console trying to give me information about something or other. If only my lower back were functioning; I might start getting buff.

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