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The War on Children’s Playgrounds
Found out today that I am definitely not a competitive force on the dodgeball court. There’s no telling how many burpees I actually did, but it was a butt load.
About the topic. This one strikes a nerve with me. I don’t have kids of my own, but I do have a 6yr old nephew that I spend a lot of time with. He has no father figure, so I’m pretty much it. He’s coming up old school, you know… lol. He had his first stitches and staples at 4… got sent home from school for choking a kid at 5… punched a 3rd grader in the face for calling him names a couple weeks ago… lol… that’s my boy. Anyway…
IMO there are more candyass kids in the US than ever before. These candyass kids are going to grow up to fight our wars and run our country… I’m worried. As a country we spend billions of dollars a year trying to keep things safe… trying to keep nature from thinning the heard. We had tons of metal stuff on the playground when I was a kid… If it was hot, you got burned… if someone got mad and kicked you off and you broke an arm… Big deal. No helmets when bike riding… unless it was a football helmet and you were jousting with shovels. We kept score at ball games and understood that sometimes you suck and your team doesn’t win… we didn’t get candy and a pat on the back… we got laps and more practice. Punching someone in the face was an accepted and expected way to settle differences. If, after 48 hours, duct tape still hasn’t closed the wound, you might be able to go get stitches. Sometimes your dog died.. he didn’t run away to doggie heaven or magically turn into a new puppy… he got his ass splattered across the highway… go scrape him up and dig a hole. We rode 3-wheelers… if you ran over your own leg and ripped all the skin off… well… you were a dumbass and you knew not to do it again. Lawn darts were fun. BB-gun wars were ok as long as you kept it away from the face… the groin shot was perfectly acceptable. Smear the queer was a politically correct game. I could go on all day…
Anyway… I turned out ok. I’m still alive at least.
Ok, maybe I’m not a good example… lol
I’m laughing my ass off reading your post. Pretty much ditto for the entire thing. We grew up on a growing neighborhood with a lot of construction always going on. That gave plenty of opportunities to grab scraps off wood to make crap out of. Our neighborhood past time was dirt claud wars (basically pick up good ol dried out Alabama red clay and throw it at someone). Getting tagged in the face was just a lesson to learn how to dodge rapidly moving flying objects. A LIFE SKILL! I’m sure Larry will add some of the growing up history but here is a short list.
-Dirt Claud Fights
-Bows and Arrows (I almost killed my neighbor who was floating in her pool)
-Constructing huge bike ramps and then BMX’ing it off the ramps. No safety gear
-Hide n’ go seek in the culverts (we had the underground mapped out)
-Playing in a huge concrete ditch (you’d have to see it to understand)
-Smear the Queer in the neighbors yard that had a concrete sidewalk running throug the middle of it
-Cutting Firewood with my Dad (“Pull on this rope…when the tree falls…RUN”
-We had the neighborhood’s biggest and baddest custom sandboxes….and yes the cats took a shit it in….if you were unlucky enough to get one it gave a great opportunity to throw it at your friend
-Tree climbing (yep…gravity works)
-Bottle Rockets and endless supply of fireworks
-magnifying glasses and fire
the list goes on and on. I’m horrified about how our society is wrapping our kids in bubble wrap and kevlar to keep them safe. We are creating a nation of wimps and even worse….kids with no imagination.
I’m Proud to let you know that my kids favorite “toy” is a giant pile of dirt that sits in the empty lot next to ours. They climb, they fall, they throw dirt at eachother….it is awesome and reminds me of a younger me and Larry.
So far so good….Julian is already asking for a bow and arrow. That’s my boy!
oh yeah. How we rolled back in the hood wasn’t just for the boys either. The toughest kid in our Neighborhood was our next door neighbor Tiffani that could whip anyone’s ass at pretty much anything.
-crabapple wars in the orchard
-riding go carts (NO helmets, or ‘seatbelts’)just pray your cousin didn’t hit that curve too fast and sling you out
-playing in the creek, barefooted
-making homemade mud pies
-popping bottlecaps (or those red strips with ‘gun’ powder in them) with a wooden bat on the sidewalk
-slinging worms AND THEIR POO at some unlucky recipient, as you sit and shuck corn that your grandparents GREW in THEIR garden…….
-And, now watch, there will be a reality show about the ‘poor deprived kids’ that have to live that life…
Yep, those were the days….
How many of you slept in the back window of your parents car, just above the back seat? When dad hit the brakes, you fell off onto your brother below. Bottle rocket wars were pretty much the coolest thing as well as pinecone wars, dirt clod wars, and anything else you could hurl at each other. I had my first pistol at age nine, was making coathanger tube cherry bombs at age twelve, and made my first batch of TNT from stolen chemistry lab materials at age sixteen. As far as anybody can prove, nobody was killed. Although I want it put on the record, I’m glad I wasn’t on the same playground as Will…… “Hey Will, that’s my Go-Bot!” SMACK!!! 🙂
Dude, did you ever make the hand grenades out of empty CO2 cartidges? Those things will mess stuff up! Tater guns are sweet too. I had one that was pneumatic… We called it the “tater-ought 6.”
Great article, really compliments today’s wod. Dodgeball was awesome, and along with the article and Will’s, Kevin’s and Slade’s comments, this brought back a lot of child memories!
Sounds like we all grew up in the same neighborhood, and don’t forget…
-stealing wood from a home construction site and building forts
-finding the steepest hill and surfing down it on top of your bmx(thank you Cru Jones from Rad)
-charging the same hill on your skateboard feet first…or head first if you had the balls
-getting pulled behind a car or your friend’s bike on your skateboard
-wall ball before school (for those who went to Mt. Gap middle you know what I’m talking about) with a tennis ball and sometimes a racket ball
-sliding down the playground slide feet first
-launching yourself out of the swing at it’s apex
-full contact 21, we called it hooka ball
on and on…
Hell yeah, jumping out of swings should still be considered for the olympics. Or when you got older, you would swing crazy and crash into each other. Let us not forget 4-square (I know I’m not the only one who played this.)
Have we really become the grumpy old men spouting off, “Back in my day we didn’t have it easy like these nambie pambie kids today!!”?
Aaron…..What’s a neighborhood?? Us Marshall County girls grew up in the COUNTRY….dirt road back to my house at the edge of the woods!!
haha…yes Kerri…us Marshall County folks know what is up 🙂
My friend lived in the woods behind our house and he didn’t even have a front door until I was like 8.
I’m pretty sure we hung out in the same hood. Wall Ball in the AM at Mtn. Gap was required….and yes, racketballs sucked much more than the tennis balls.
My dad built our swingset….it was HUGE. Jumping at the apex was a right of passage in our hood. We had the record distances marked. So yeah…..we were ahead of our time with measurable fitness : )
I grew up in the boondocks with NO female friends at all…I had an older brother and all of his friends so I was a major tom boy.
-bottle rocket wars were normal…..most of the time they made me shoot them straight from my hand…when we weren’t aiming them at each other we were putting them in each others pants and setting them off.
-trips to the “waterfall” near our house where we would see who could climb to the top without breaking anything.
-BB gun wars were a must….my brother loved to shoot me in the arse and watch me scream
-I rode the entire trip to Ole Miss to visit my aunt in the floor board of my grandpa’s truck 🙂 and when I was really little I did ride in the back window of my dad’s pinto (oh yeah…it was brown!) or my mom’s mustang.
-Seat belts??? never heard of them until I was 15 or so.
-sledding down “suicide” hill in Guntersville head first in a plastic planter when it did ice over…and hitting the stop sign at the bottom…shaking it off and doing it 50 more times.
-building forts and bridges in the woods behind my house and falling in the creek and watching my brother and his friends laugh as I almost died 🙂
-sitting in my crab apple tree and shooting anything that landed in it…including any friends that decided to join in
-regular games of tackle football…no pads and no whining when the fat kid in the hood tackled me and sat on me
-ripping off my shoes and socks and trekking through a disgusting swamp near a friend’s house and chasing cows that were wading through it….and then eating soon after and not bothering to wash the funk off our hands
-making homemade “swings” in our willow tree and them breaking (yes KLowe…gravity SUCKS)
-and I can’t even count the number of cats I had that I saw squashed on the road or that got tangled up in the fan belt of my dad’s car….and yes…I scooped them up with my dad, buried them somewhere in the yard, and moved on.
-moving the trampoline closer to my friends “play house” and jumping off onto it….or jumping off of my friend’s roof into her pool.
*sigh* man….to be a kid again!!!! When we did get hurt my grandmother would tell us “to rub some ‘tussin on it” or “put some salve on it” and all would be well. We left when the sun came up and didn’t come back home until it got dark. We played my bro’s Sega only on stormy days and we couldn’t really go outside.
I like to think that my childhood has helped me in Crossfit…oh your hands are ripped and bleeding? suck it up buttercup and keep on moving 🙂
Pharmacist at CVS told me to get some good workout gloves when I paid for the tape, gause, and Vit E oil after Eva…. I told him if I bought gloves it would hurt his business and my grip strength. Not sure he found any humor in it.
Emily, are you talking about ‘sack swings’ made out of multiple feed sacks, somehow tied up with a chain that was slung over a huge tree branch?!?!
I LOVED those things…..
Well, I grew up on a farm with 100+ cows over 250 acres……
So, we won’t go into detail about everything that this ‘country girl’ learned to do…..Let’s just say weekends on the farm weren’t always just fun speeding around on the 4 wheeler corraling cattle….Some would say it was akin to animal cruelty…..
“Put some purple medicine on it.” My Grandfather was certain this bovine treatment would heal any human injury, too. Seemed to work though.
What’s the technical name for that stuff, KLowe? Is it Ivomec?
Robert….that purple medicine wasn’t called “Bigeloil” was it? An old lady on our dock tells you to use Bigeloil for EVERYTHING….hangover? bigeloil. Rash of some sorts? Bigeloil. I know she has it because she has a ton of horses. Old people crack me up. My grandma used to try to give you a muscle relaxer for everything…..if I had a headache…oh Emily…you want a muscle relaxer? sheesh!
Robert, Ivomec is cattle wormer….but, I know what purple stuff you’re talking about…..
You can take the girl out of the country, but, you can’t take the country out of the girl…..=o)
That’s right, Kerri. The stuff I’m thinking about is called Blue Lotion. It’s a topical antiseptic for livestock.
Who could forget perhaps the most fun and maybe the most dangerous game? For those of yall that grew up around Green Mountain…I know you played.
Find very steep part of mountain. Find young sappling tree, run, jump, grab tree (pray that it didn’t break), and “ride” the tree down the mountainside.
It was a bumpy ride down when you missed the tree or it broke : (
and after all of those near death experiences/fun times…..you went and drank STRAIGHT from the hose right? 🙂 I can smell when a hose has been turned on in the middle of the summer and it brings me back to the good times.
Definitely tree swings! Free climbing wreck point on Green mountain was also a blast.
Dodge ball was a blast. We should definitely repeat this WOD often. My apologies to the recipients of my wild shots that went higher than intended. It’s been a few years……
Am I the only one with a bruised heel from sudden heel stops with pose shoes? That was much more of a workout than I expected.
Double unders weren’t great today but they were better than they have been in a while. Round of 50 was atrocious and then picked it up for the rest. Sit-ups is where I made up most of my time. The only reason I PR’d was because I did this one with Russell. He started 30 seconds behind me and still whipped my tail.
Yall sound like the two old dudes in the balconey on the Muppet Show. I had a bottle rocket war with my “older” brother last summer. Nailed him between the B and O of his Kubota cap. We sometimes make it into at drinking game, gotta drink if you flinch.
I don’t remember “wall ball” we pitched pennies and had pencil fights.
Back in Evil Knievel’s heyday, I jumped my mother’s canary yellow 1972 Corvette Sting Ray on a Honda 50. (Cross wise, not length wise. Still haven’t lived that one down.)
My mother knocked out Bremen’s head football coach out with an umbrella in the melee that broke out after the last game of my junior year. (She still hasn’t lived that one down.)
lol… I thought I WAS Evel Knievel…. I always wore a football helmet with shiny star stickers and a superman cape from halloween. I pulled my bike to the peak of the roof with a rope, then proceeded to ride it off of the edge of the house attempting a flawless trampoline landing. The front wheel hit first driving the handle bar area right through the ballsack area and launched me groin first about 15 ft through the air then I landed face first into some dog shit.
That wasn’t a good day. It’s probably also the reason I haven’t got anybody pregnant yet 😀 … so… some blessings come in a disguise 😀
75 MPH in a pickup then pulling the e-brake and cutting the wheel equals disaster. Fun ride though…
Bottle Rocket wars became boring in the backwoods of Southern TN, so we used roman candles. I have a good friend how still wears a battle scar from the roman candle shot getting lodged under the shoulder of his basketball jersey.
I wonder how many of today’s children will ever pick up a square bale? I suppose they will just ride on the hey ride and never think about how it got on the trailer.
Hell, we even got to box in PE class.
Oh yeah, it was unusual around here, but getting pulled on a metal trash can lid behind a truck on ice or snow was the bomb!
Dodgeball was awesome! I felt myself getting more aggressive with it toward the end! Totally wiped!
I made up Annie today – 7:21 (pr) – big improvement on time, mostly from being able to link 20-30 double unders at a time.
My rope broke during the 30’s… suck… took some time to get a new one. I think I can get a sub 7 next time.
Awesome Katie!!!!!!!! We will catch up to the boys next time 🙂
5 rounds of WU complex with 75# bar:
Power Snatch 5 reps
Back Squat 5 reps
Good Morning 5 reps
Behind neck power jerk 5 reps
Rest 1 min.
KB/ Pull up ladder: 4 rounds (used 1.5pd KB)
left 1 KB clean and press
right 1 KB clean and press
1 pull up
left 2 KB clean and press
right 2 KB clean and press
2 pull ups
left 3 KB clean and press
right 3 KB clean and press
3 pull ups
Rest 1 min.
Ab/Rotation: 3 sets of 8 reps
75# barbell rollouts
left KB bench press (used 1pd KB)
right KB bench press
The finisher was going to be Death by Farmers Walk. But I was pooped, so called it a day.
Ran 400-800-1600m splits today behind the firehouse. Rest twice as long as the split took between each run.
Dodgeball was a blast!!! Holy leg cramps 🙂
I would like to thank Kevin for pegging me like 1,000 times. That siver ball was dangerous!! 🙂
Ready for some rematches already!!!
And Joe is a dodgeball beast!!!!!
Sorry I missed Dodgeball. I’ve been practicing all year against the youth in our church every Sunday night. I have mad skilz.
Crossfit Reston (Jeff Tincher’s new gym)
15 hang squat cleans @ 115 lbs
Beat everyone in their 5pm class, a few minutes off of their best time of the day at 13:30. Great wod.
About the article:
Great memories and commentary. Seeing Kevin riding his bike with fire wheels (news paper weaved in the spokes and set on fire) is one of my best memories growing up.
Will, The same comments were made from the generation returning from WWII about the Baby Boomers. The present generation always thinks the next generation is a bunch of pansies that can’t do anything. We will end up just fine.
Parents need to get a sack. I love the Free-Range-Children concept. Get them away from media screens (which is difficult) and give them a stick to play with. At my house we occasionally break the TV for a week. Lot’s of complaining the first 24 hours, but after that they actually read books, play with legos, and go outside to play. Amazing. Matter of fact, it’s about time to break the TV again… when i get home.
Dodge Ball– hadn’t played in over 25 years until today. Very fun! And yes, I’ll be very sore tomorrow due to my extreme twisting and turning while dodging. And like Will, I also lost count of the burpees (which sucked WAAAYY less than the 10 burpee pullups we initially had to do for the first 3 games!!!)
About the article… You guys pretty much said it all. And no Will, you couldn’t have been Evel Knievel… because I WAS!!! My own little “Ceasar’s Palace Jump” episode was trying to jump my Schwinn over a ramp that consisted of plywood supported by another free-standing, unbraced piece of plywood. Built by my “friends”. I almost cleared the ramp when it slipped and the forward piece caught my rear wheel causing me to careen over the handlebars and to try and rupture my spleen on the way. I DID get the award for “Best Wipe Out” that day, and you know what? I felt proud…
A little risk is worth it. Kids inherently know and crave it. We need to loosen the reins. They’ll be better off if we do.
Hellova lot of fun with burpee dodgeball. Made doing 100+ burpees not all that bad. Just a hellova lot of FUN!
I hope these Fun (but brutal) WODS continue throughout the summer. Maybe some swimming WODS? Marco/Polo? Sharks Across?
I’m going to STAY AWAY from the gym for the next few days. I need to take resting more seriously.