Real Sports

You may know that I am trying to get back in shape. I’m not a big resolution maker, but I think I may make a resolution this year. Not necessarily to lose weight, but to become more active—to get some exercise every day. Because I want to be healthy and I want to set a good example for my kids.

The Wii Fit is part of that. I’m hoping to use that to get into good enough shape to be able to do more strenuous exercise, including training for and possibly running a half marathon later this spring.

Another part of my more active/good example resolution is that I got my kids a tetherball set for Christmas. When I was a kid, my family had a tetherball set and I remember playing that thing to death. My sister and I would run and jump and laugh hysterically around that tetherball pole. I want the same for my kids.

First, though, we had to set the thing up. And by “we,” I mean “Alex, with a little help from Sam.” Here were the steps he followed:

Step 1: Pound the pole into the ground and assemble the pieces.


Step 2: Unknot noose-like knot on the string.


Step 3: Respond to wife’s question about if you’re excited about tetherball with, “Well, it involves everything I like: Hammering things into the ground. Knots.” [Roll eyes.]

Best photo since this.

Step 4: Attach ball to pole and drop it on the ground. Ask sarcastically, “Is this really what it’s supposed to look like?”


Step 5: Adjust the length of the string and play an awesome trial game.


Step 6: Determine that the pole is too wobbly and needs to be pounded in more. Enlist sledgehammer help from 7-year-old.


Step 7: Whack on the pole with a sledgehammer.


Step 8: Notice that pole is now deformed and will no longer assemble correctly. Mutter “I need…” Glare when after your wife suggests “Pliers?” your son suggests “Strength?”


Step 9: Fix the problem.

Step 10: Watch your children happily play a sport outside. Watch your youngest child get wonked by the ball and fall over.


Step 11: Realize that this tetherball set might bring your family a lot of joy.


Now we’re going to go get our tetherball groove on.

16 thoughts on “Real Sports

  1. What an awesome, awesome gift idea. Love it and our yard is definitely big enough for tetherball. The other game I can’t wait to play with my girls? Boxball, also called 4Square. I don’t remember playing it but David does and I love playing it with his family, including my 78 year old MIL.

  2. Oh, I love the “alex does a project” posts. I still chuckle over the painting of the bathroom. Your photos always capture the best parts! Tetherball would cause bruising, head injury, and strangulation here… maybe we’ll try in a couple more years. Until then, we’ll watch and learn from you guys. :)

  3. The joy realization came right after Quinn was knocked to the ground? Yeah, everybody loves to knock their kids around and call it a sport. Lol! Actually I remember playing tether ball, a lot. But I’ll be damned if I remember where!

  4. My childhood memory of tetherball is mostly fear of being wacked in the face, and frustration watching the opponent wrap it up in front of me. It is really popular at our pool now, where my daughters play.

  5. I had a tetherball set when I was a kid and it was the most awesome thing ever. It’s a great thing for kids to have. Also, “strength” might be the best smarty pants answer to a question that I’ve ever heard.

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