I Suck at Woodworking (and should have asked for help)

We needed a new dining room table. There was no way around it — the one we had was held together by wood glue and prayers, a hand-me-down from my parents that they probably bought in the 80s. I was afraid to make direct eye contact with it, fearing it would collapse under the pressure. 

At the time I was working part-time in my buddy’s industrial design shop, which had a full array of wood working tools. Furniture is expensive — why not just make my own table? Seems easy enough. My friend was kind enough to let me use his shop over the weekend to make my amazing new table. He’d given me a quick crash course on some of the most common tools, and I’d used some of them in my day to day job too. But I’d never tried to make anything nearly this big, or done it unsupervised. I made a cutting board, and a table is basically just a big cutting board with legs, right? What could go wrong? 

I did some Googling and found what looked to be a simple but nice looking table design, that would fit our space well and not require anything too fancy in the shop. I popped over to Menards to pick up the wood and supplies I needed. 

Before I went to the shop to get cracking, my wife asked: “Do you think you should ask your uncle for help? He’s done stuff like this before.”  My Uncle Mark has helped us with some house and gym projects before and is super handy. Lianna was rightfully skeptical of my woodworking “skills.” 

Naturally I said no, I should be able to do it on my own. How hard could it be? I see my friend make intricate cabinets and furniture all the time and he makes it look easy! 

Well, as it turns out it’s pretty hard. Especially with nobody to help you when things don’t go to plan. 

Some of my wood pieces weren’t straight enough, and I didn’t figure out how to plane them down to make them straighter. The pieces didn’t fit together quite right. 

Some of the legs were stuck at a weird angle. 

There were big gaps between the top pieces of the table (which were also uneven). 

I hacked and sanded and planed until my eyes glazed over, and nothing I did seemed to make it any better. 

In the end, after an entire weekend of work in the shop, I was left with a table that was barely any better than the janky old one I set out to get rid of. 

I learned some things about woodworking. But mostly I learned that I should have asked for more help from the people who knew what they were doing, so I didn’t waste a bunch of time and money! Some coaching from my uncle would have made a world of difference.

Fitness can be the same way. There are a few people out there who can thrive doing their own thing. They can get results, move well, and stay consistent on their own. 

However, that is NOT true for most people! Most people will do best with help. Accountability, guidance, and instruction make the fitness journey so much more fun and effective. 

That’s what Ripple Effect is here for. You just have to show up ready to put in some effort, and we’ll take you through it every step of the way. We’ll help you make corrections when things aren’t going to plan. We’ll make sure every minute and every dollar you spend on your health are pushing you towards your goals. Coaching maximizes your return on investment.

If you’ve had stops and starts and frustration when you try to start working out or changing your eating habits, we are here to help! Sign up for a Free Intro session today to chat with a coach and get moving in the right direction. 


(Hilariously, we did still use that table I made for over a year. Now it’s in the garage where it belongs. I still have daydreams about burning it with fire.) 



Fill out the form below

Learn more about how joining our community can help you reach your health and fitness goals.