Day 17 – “SPORTS”

Day 17 – “SPORTS”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.


If you hate sports, I’ll save you some time. Enjoy your day and come back tomorrow.

This post probably isn’t for you, unless you want to better understand your sport-loving friend.


I miss sports. Playing. Watching. Seeing my kids and favorite teams compete.

I know in the whole scheme of things, they wouldn’t normally fall into the “essential” category.

But if you are a sports fan, I think you can agree that this stinks.


Kids sports

As I looked at our family calendar a few days ago and all the track meets that were just crossed off, it was a reminder of what could have been this year.

If you are a parent of a kid who plays sports, I think you’ll agree that it can be one of the most fun things in life to cheer your child on, encourage them and see them doing something they love.

And for the kids, it’s something that they love, that they look forward to.

It teaches them about endurance, teamwork, respect, goals, hard work, integrity.

The cancellation of this years track season is extra tough on Eli, my senior, who was looking forward to a huge leap from last year to this year and had been training for months to get where he was now.

Even when the rec center closed, he kept training, using what he had available.

And as the weeks slip by, it’s just this uneasy feeling as a parent. There isn’t anything I can really offer him or my other sons.

There’s no consolation. Parents of baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis… all in the same boat. No warning. Just done.

Even students who started off still hanging in there and training have to be close to giving up at some point, realizing that their season is possibly just done completely.

As much as it hurts me as a parent to see my kids deal with this, I also know that it’s building character, perseverance and allowing for talks here and there about how to deal with life when things don’t go as planned.



College and Professional Sports

I know this one gets a lot more controversial.

“Why do we need pro sports?”

If you’re not a sports fan, you won’t get this. But for sports fans, there is something that watching sports and cheering for your team and hanging in there even after your team has stunk for most of the last 20 years including a 0-16 and 1-15 season and you still keep cheering for them anyway because you love them and hope that this will be the year….

There’s something that watching our favorite teams compete (or really any teams at this point) that gives us enjoyment, something to look forward to, something to inspire us and spice up our lives.

I can’t imagine games without fans in the stands, but just to be able to watch a game would be amazing right now.

As a Cleveland sports fan, I’ve been through a lot. Cleveland fans are some of the heartiest and most loyal people on earth. And we’re positive that this fall could be when the Browns turn the corner.

And even though the Cavs have been blah this year, it’s still fun to watch them play. And the NBA in general. Any given night.

One other aspect to all of this is that we’re a sports family. We watch games together. It’s a way that we bond and share experiences.

The absence of the games to watch and enjoy has just become more evident as the weeks go by.

No buzzer beaters or big matchups. No “dad, did you see this!!” comments from my son.

It’s just weird.

So, I don’t know what it will look like for sports to get back up and going, but we need to find a way.


Rec Sports

One other way that I’ve felt all of this is missing basketball and volleyball.

My wife, two of my sons and I were all on a church league volleyball team this year and were having so much fun together with our team. Gone.

I would often play basketball at our local rec center on Saturday mornings with guys that I’ve played with for 15 years. Lots of fun. Gone.

I’m sure you have others that you can mention in your own life. Exercise groups, workouts, sports, camaraderie, community. Gone.

I know there have been some things that have gone online, and there will be some positives and new opportunities that come out of that. But it’s just not the same.


Sports. Please come back. We all miss you.


Day 3 – “GAMES”

Day 3 – “GAMES”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.


Today’s post is a little more lighthearted.

Like most families these last several weeks, you may have suddenly found that you have the following:

  • a lot of time on your hands
  • a lot of family members present
  • no idea how to pass the next four weeks, not to mention today

Fear not! Here are four of our family favorites that we created over the years and have come back to in times just like this.

Feel free to adapt these to your own family and available equipment. Be creative but have fun.

Let’s get started…



What is it: A mix of soccer and hockey using Nerf maces. We created this years ago when our boys were little.

Where is it played: Inside or outside

Equipment needed: A nerf mace, broom or other swingable item. A lightweight ball. Two goals (cones will work).

Object: Score goals by getting the ball through the goal


  • You can use your feet to kick the ball or mace to hit the ball but goals can only be scored by hitting the ball with the mace through the goal.
  • If playing in a yard, out of bounds applies.
  • Beginning of game starts as a hockey face-off at center field.
  • After each goal, defending team brings the ball in and opposing team must start behind midfield.




What is it: Like regular volleyball, but with a balloon.

Where is it played: Inside, with furniture dividing sides of the court

Equipment needed: A room, a balloon, and something to divide the room

Object: Score points by hitting balloon on floor of opposing side


  • We determine a place to serve from, based on size of room.
  • Three hits per side. Can hit off walls and land on objects.
  • Can use any part of body to hit.
  • If balloon gets stuck, can blow on it to get it moving again.




What is it: Frisbee golf, played around the house or in the neighborhood

Where is it played: Outside (unless you want to use a plastic lid from a can and play inside).

Equipment needed: Frisbee

Object: Get the frisbee to the “hole” in as few throws as possible.


  • We usually come up with 3-5 holes.
  • They can be anything from just throwing from the driveway, around a tree and hitting a chair to more detailed.
  • If we play out toward the street, we usually use a spotter to make sure we don’t hit a parked car or other objects.
  • Play at your own discretion based on children’s ages.
  • Example hole from the Washburn course: Throw from fire hydrant, slalom around trees and hit back side of a sign in yard. Par: 4.




What is it: Shooting rubber bands across the room (room divided into halves) to knock over all army men set up on other side.

Where is it played: Inside

Equipment needed: Plastic army men or anything else small that can be stood up and knocked over in a room.

Object: Team with last man (or object) standing wins.


  • Divide room up in half. Mark halfway line. Additionally mark lines on either side (we use blankets or rope) to indicate how far players on that side can advance toward other side to shoot.
  • Each side places all of their army men (or objects) wherever they want on their side, trying to be strategic and make them as hard to knock down as possible. They can’t be leaning up against anything though.
  • Each side starts with a certain number of rubber bands (can be small, regular ones or the big guys).
  • Once both sides are ready, begin shooting (don’t shoot at people or eyes), trying to knock down opposing side pieces until one side gets the others all knocked over.