Bradys Play Hurt

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Dear Lindsey,

I have decided I know why it is called, “roughhousing”: because it is rough on my HOUSE! Boys are boys! When our oldest was barely one-year-old, “wrestling with dad” became the most exciting activity of the day. It progressed well into toddlerhood and became training ground for toughness with each of our three boys.  Chris and Casey spent hours tumbling on the floor and showed such a different relationship than my own with my son (or my relationship with my husband, for that matter!). The game always seemed to come to a halt in tears, as the toddler would succumb to exhaustion, realizing he was “whooped.”  Chris wanted to raise our boys to be tough though, and he would never let their game end with crying.

“Brady’s play hurt!” Chris (knowing that his son was not really injured) would egg a four-year-old Casey on – never rewarding his sniveling.  Making it fun so the toddler would continue playing, Chris would then let enough time pass that tears were forgotten, and he could end the game on a good note.

This game was daily, no maybe hourly! Wrestling with Daddy still occurs in this house with teenagers…only louder!

One particular day of toddlerhood, though, the game was declared “over,” and Chris rested his eyes, lying down on the couch in our playroom while Casey played with Legos. After some time, the four-year-old suddenly ran and jumped on the couch, landing on Chris’s mid-section, startling Chris from sleep to a shout: “Owwww! Get off of me!”

Casey got a cute twinkle in his eye and said,

“Come on, Dad! Bradys play hurt!”

I laughed out loud!

And the wrestling continued.

Oh my! The number of times the saying goes through my head outnumbers the wrestling events where it was created.

When I want to give up in tears,

when I want to make excuses for my mood,

when I want to scream in exhaustion, “I can’t get it all done!”

I go back to the moment with my four-year-old and am reminded: “Bradys play hurt,” and I stay in the game …just one more day.



Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

Hebrews 12:1:  Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,…

1 Corinthians 9:27:  but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

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10 thoughts on “Bradys Play Hurt

  1. Wow, what a great message! To cultivate endurance and fortitude in our children by playing hurt gives this generation a “leg up” in a world that loves to operate through a victim mentality. Like apples of gold in settings of silver, boy did we need to hear that! (O.K. I confess, I needed to hear that!) Thanks Terri!

  2. Terri,
    Thanks so much for this reminder. Sometimes, its even a matter of staying in the game another moment or three . . .
    One of our kids tried to quit a family game we were playing one night when they were children. My husband Bob looked at the erring one and said, “We don’t quit around here. We might lose, but we NEVER quit.”

  3. Terri, I enjoy that story every time I hear it! I’ve borrowed that principle from your husband. My son just turned three, and when he was younger, whenever he would hurt himself, we would always cheer and say, “you’re okay, buddy” so it wouldn’t turn into a crying fest. When he started talking, whenever he would hurt himself, I’d say, “You’re okay. You’re tough! Say ‘I’m tough,'” and I’d make him say it. So now, when he gets hurt, all I have to ask is, “Are you okay? Are you tough?” And in a somewhat hurt tone, he’ll mutter, “yeah, I’m tough.” And I’ll say, “that’s right, buddy, you’re tough!.”

    Well a funny thing happened the other day as we were ‘roughousing.’ He has a tendency to make sudden jolts as I tickle him or we’re wresting and as he jolted this particular time, he headbutted me in my jaw, and knocked my glasses crooked. To which I responded, “ow, buddy, you gotta be careful.” His response was great! He said (remember he just turned 3!), “Are you okay, daddy? You’re tough! Say, ‘I tough!'” Obviously, I couldn’t help but laugh!

    Anyway, all that said…I appreciate the influence you and Chris are having on me and my family.

    God bless,

    Hans Widener

  4. Thanks Terri for more awesome posts! I am so grateful that you guys also taught this lesson to us who are blessed to be part of your Brady Team! I just told a gentleman who, with a painful health situation, pushed himself to hit his goal, a few days back how proud we are of him for “Playing Hurt” as “Brady’s” do. Thank you for consistently teaching and being that example for us all! Luv ya!

  5. This post was a perfectly timed for me to read today. For last night I was tempted to fall into despair as I looked at all the areas of my life where I see unfinished or failing projects. Yet this morning rereading Proverbs 31 I was reminded that she “laughs without fear of the future”. If I pray to do Gods will today and everyday, who am I to despair over what is not accomplished. Instead look to Him for strength and wisdom and know that He will take care of the future.

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