I’ve Never… played Red Rover as an adult.


With those words shouted across the lawn at us, my cousin and teammate, Shawn Van Osch, readied himself. It was Easter Sunday and the Dalton Clan had gathered for this epic battle.

In front of Shawn was a human chain made up of other members of our family. Each player held the hands of the players next to them as tightly as they could. Shawn’s mission: break through that chain. Should he fail to plough through the chain, he would be caught and join their team.

Though a children’s game, Shawn comes from an extremely competitive family and was rightfully taking his mission very seriously. Capture was not an option.

And so, shirtless and bellowing like a crazed Spartan, my 25-year old cousin charged across the battlefield. Try though they may to hold the line, there was no withstanding this human juggernaut. Shawn tore through their ranks like a hot knife through butter.

His bull rush charge, while effective, had an unintended consequence. Shawn’s meteoric velocity carried him past the opposing team and straight into a giant spruce tree behind them.

Crashing headfirst into the prickly branches, Shawn’s turn ended with him sprawled on his back atop a giant bough that cradled his mangled body.

Once sure he was moving and not seriously injured, the rest of us, teammates and opponents alike, laughed ourselves stupid.

There’s a reason this game is banned at schools. Here’s a video that shows why:

The game continued. Arms wrenched, fingers twisted, bodies slammed to the ground and heads bounced off the not-soft-enough lawn. As usual however, the game didn’t end until real blood was shed. Shawn’s little sister, Ria, split her chin open pretty good and we grudgingly agreed that it was perhaps time to call it a game.

We kicked things off with some Dodge Ball action first, before moving on to Red Rover.

Besides, Easter dinner was just about ready.

I was hobbling pretty good at the office the next day. In fact, my right shoulder still feels a bit sore even as I write this today, a full week later.

So here’s the question: are we all just a bunch of immature morons, or is there anything more to our asinine behaviour?

It’d be a losing argument if I tried to say we weren’t morons (I think I proved that we are in my post about shooting each other with fireworks). But I like to think that there is some actual merit and value to engaging in “childish” behaviour.

Life can be pretty serious. People get sick, people die, we have children to raise and our jobs can be very stressful. The news is filled with wars, famines, natural disasters and Stephen Harper. So there’s plenty to be serious about.

But that’s why I think these “immature” outlets are important. They help to balance things out and let us lighten up. Cutting loose and embracing our inner child now and again is as therapeutic as it is fun.

So I say don’t be afraid to take a break from “acting your age”. It doesn’t have to be something as violent and bloody as Adult Red Rover. In fact, it really shouldn’t be. But don’t forget to have some good ol’ fashion childish fun from time to time.

Duane Elgin, author of “Voluntary Simplicity”, talked about the “invisible wealth of experiential riches.” My “I’ve Never Club” is inspired by this idea and chronicles my reflections on the novel things I’ve done recently.


Funny stories. Good advice. Josh Martin is the author of the book “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.

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2 Responses to I’ve Never… played Red Rover as an adult.

  1. Pingback: A frugal inheritence: How Mom is making this Buy Nothing New challenge easy | Josh Martin Ink

  2. Pingback: Blind, deaf… and pretty dumb: Failing (and feeling) your way to success | Josh Martin Ink

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