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Fighting With My Kids

November 19, 2019

Three rules
First, no hanging.
Second, no disconnecting the chain.
Third, you are only allowed to use your hands and feet. No clubs or bats or metal pipes allowed.

We try to have family activities and meetings every week. A few weeks ago we held a meeting where we each shared a goal that we wanted the family to help us accomplish. Some goals were simple. For example, I suggested the family could help me exercise and lose ten pounds.

I think another child picked preparing for a mission. Another wanted help practicing football skills.

My youngest son said, “I want to be a boxer.”

I’d never heard him say that before. At first I was tempted to dismiss it as a joke. He has also talked about wanting to be a stand up comedian. It turned out he was serious. Well, as serious as a 17 year old can be who’s never boxed.

So, for his birthday, we bought him boxing gloves and a punching bag. Simple, right?

I mean, how hard is it to string up a punching bag in the garage? (Actually, harder than you might think.)

First, you have to find a secure location. The bag weighs about 70 lbs. The manufacture recommends that your support be able to withstand 200 lbs. The Youtube videos suggest a beam. You drill a hole through it and put in an eyebolt.

I don’t know about your garage, but mine is very short on open beams. In fact, my entire house is pretty much free from open beams. Ceiling rafters are what keep your roof shingles from falling in on you. They are two feet apart.

I thought of spacing the bag across two rafters, but thought the twisting of the bag might skew the supports and potentially damage the rafters. I decided to use three to support the bag. That puts about 70 lbs on each rafter. My new 52″ long support board is attached with two 5″ lag bolts to each rafter. Thirty-five lbs per bolt. That seems reasonable.

Attaching a board like that isn’t like hanging a picture. You have to drill holes all the way through your board that your bolts will go through. You don’t actually want the screws to grip the board. You only want them to grip the supporting rafters. And even then, with 3/8″ lag bolts going into a 1 1/2″ wide rafter, you need to drill pilot holes to avoid splitting the rafter. And that is after you figure out where on your white ceiling the rafters are hiding.

Getting the holes drilled and the placement right while balancing a 52″ long 2×6 over your head standing on a ladder, is not a task without it’s share of challenges.

Once the board is attached, you then attach the bag with chains. Lots of chains.

You have to position the bag at the right height. What’s the “right” height? You position it so that the top of the bag is about where you would hit someone in the head. (That’s the actual criteria for how high to position it.)

The last step in hanging a bag is to attach it to the floor. You attach it to the floor so that it won’t swing too much and you can practice on your own. I had to drill a hole in the floor and attach a metal support. To drill a hole in a concrete floor you use a masonary bit and a really big drill.

So, there it is. I’m not sure how long my son will be interested in boxing. Who knows, maybe in a couple months I’ll be taking down the bag and grinding down the floor mount.

But, until then I guess I’ll just keep fighting with my kids.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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