Resourcefulness and Lessons Learned from a Pair of Handlebars

There they were. Shining dully in the softball field grass we walk so often. It’s no surprise to find yet another piece of “trash” in these parts but why in the hell are there broke-off handlebars in centerfield? Is this a test?

Naturally, the first time I saw them I shook my head in disgust as I walked by.

It is unlike me to not pick up trash in the ballpark when I see it but I reasoned with myself that this scenario was different.
They weren’t near a trash can and I was kind of in a hurry. I know what you’re thinking. Don’t be a bitch and pick them up anyways. Nevertheless, I decided to walk by them.

Later the next day, Yoshi and I were walking the same ballfield in the evening and the handlebars were still there. This time, I had the decency to pick them up and throw them in the trash. Mission accomplished. We went on our usual stroll and returned to the house.

That same day I was doing landmine rows as part of my pull workout for the day. With a barbell, these exercises can be kind of awkward and nailing the proper form becomes trickier with more weight.

Since I have a home gym, and I’m a frugal SOB, I am always thinking about what needs have and what I can do for less. For some time, I was debating whether to buy an attachment to use for bent over rows but hadn’t followed through with it.

Suddenly, I remembered the nice little pair of handlebars I threw away earlier that day.

I knew they would work as I have seen and used equipment similar in structure in the gym many times before. Why didn’t it register in my mind the first time?

Later that night, we went back to the same ballfield and I snagged the handlebars. This time, I carefully inspected the junk treasure proceeded onward. They still had plastic breaks and the gyro piece and brake cables but I knew all it would take would be a few turns of an Allen wrench.

When we got home from the walk, I went in the garage, stripped em’ down, and gave it a go. Worked beautifully as expected. Welcome to the swoll factory, my new friend. We’ve been waiting for you.


The reason I chose to write about this experience was the realization of how a change in my perspective led to beneficial results. In the gym and outside of it, instead of thinking about what we need or don’t have, look for ways to become more resourceful with what is around you. Almost anything can serve a purpose if you find a way to use it to aid in the pursuit of your goals.

“Change the way you see things, and the things you see will change.” – Wayne Dyer

Too often we convince ourselves that we need the newest, “best” thing or piece of equipment to give us a better edge. In reality, the only tools you need exist inside your mind. While small in nature, the win produced by this experience encouraged me to become more mindful of what is within my reach.

Our desire and vision should be at the forefront of our minds as we look at each opportunity as an interconnected network of learning experiences.

If we aren’t mindful enough to recognize a connection, we not only miss out on achievement but a lifetime of learning experiences.  Like the handlebars, the answer to a problem could be right in front of you.

Have you got any symbolic stories about repurposed junk or a time when you were resourceful? Provide a comment below to add to the conversation!

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