The Broken Winch

For nearly a decade, we have relied on a steel cable winch to lift our swim spa cover up and off to the side, since it’s too heavy to for one or even two humans to lift in the space between our home and the neighbor’s fence.

Over the past few years, it has slowly but surely deteriorated under the weather of snow, ice, sun, and being drawn in and out recklessly by all of us taking it for granted.

The other day it finally gave out, no longer willing to budge another inch.

I researched what could be done on YouTube, since that’s where we go now for the How-To issues of life.

Confident with my newfound knowledge, having watched enough goatee’d, bandana wearin’, sleeveless shirt and tatted southern dudes drawl through the simplicity of replacing the wire cabling while filming from their home garage under a jeep on a lift, I armed myself with the necessary tools:


Wire Cutter

Bottle Nose Pliers


Tobacco…since that was in the video…no, actually I just used Big League Chew, so I could feel like the guys I watched in the videos and chomp on something while I did the manliest of work.

Teetering high on the ladder, which balanced on the hot tub cover, on top of my trifold truck cover (which was the only thing I could find to place the ladder on, after figuring out how to remove it from my truck), I climbed up and began to assess the situation.

My wife watched from below, squinting into the sun as she asked if we thought this was a good idea.

Of course it wasn’t a good idea – this is the opposite of anything I’m good at. But who else is going to do it? We can’t get in the swim spa!

Eventually the gloves just had to come off, as the wire cable was so wrenched within the gears and stuck under the coiled lines, that I could no longer feel around to fix the problem without the hands doing the work it needs to, without the hinderance of gloves in the way!

Within 10 minutes, my hands were covered in black grease, and my fingertips cut to shreds, blood soaked, and…the winch was not moving any further.

I finally resorted to cutting the line, which required nearly breaking the wire cutters, resorting to using the Cutco scissors our friend gave us as a gift – hey, it worked! It should be on their commercial.

Cutting the line did nothing but spread my blood further over more cables, more tools, and my wife finally convinced me she would find someone who could do the job I shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

Defeated, I descended the ladder, stumbled in the house, washed my hands in writhing agony due to the micro wire cuts all over my hands, knuckles and fingertips.

Remember – she owns the tools in the house, I just borrowed them, since this job was harrowing.

I should never touch my wife’s tools.

Why didn’t I just call some guy to come do this?

I honestly didn’t know who to call. I have no pride in these things, I always call someone to fix stuff like this. But this day, I just felt that I needed to try it.

And that is the lesson for today.

The Promise to Try is many times The Promise to Fail.

I got no further to success than I am sitting here now with fixing that thing.

In fact, it hurts to type this now that I think about the cuts on my fingers.

It reminded me of my favorite line from “Happy Gilmore”:

“My fingers hurt…”

“What’s that?  Your fingers hurt? Oh, well now your back’s gonna hurt, coz you just pulled landscaping duty!”

Thank you Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler for that wonderful quote I use every day for whatever reason.

The Promise to Try in this case only led me to have another story to tell, and perhaps that’s all it was good for.

At least I know now for certain we need to call some guy to come do this thing I can’t fix, as the wires are now hanging from the winch as if someone was up there, cutting away, bleeding, ruining their body and confidence…

That’s what it looks like anyway.

The Promise to Try doesn’t always mean you’ll succeed, it just means you gave it a shot, failed miserably, and in the end, you realize, you should do your own Signature Moves, while others should do theirs.

Promise kept.



Enjoy SUBSCRIBING to my NEW YouTube Channel when you’re ready to improve upon Your Leadership Promise!

~ Jason Hewlett

Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker

  • Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Mentor
  • World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to teach The Promise
  • Author of “The Promise To The One”


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6 thoughts on “The Broken Winch”

  1. This is hilarious. My favorite part was to “never borrow my wife’s tools” (I, by the way don’t have any tools,
    Your point is a good one as to let others have their own promise.
    It’s a blessing you didn’t really hurt yourself.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Paul Simon said it right on, “you’ve got to learn how to fall before you can fly.” In this case you’ve got to learn how call a pro before you shred your fingers!

    1. LOL! I don’t remember the last time I didn’t call a PRO first, and man, what a shame I didn’t do what I always usually do. Funny play on words, my friend!

  3. The Promise to Try. The Promise to Fail. What a juicy concept!! How many times have I feared trying – because I feared failing??

    1. This is profound, my friend. I have another great one as well coming about this subject, thank you for helping me with it in so many ways.

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