Life in snippets
I had my annual visit to the accountant yesterday. He’s a friend, but one I only see 45 minutes a year managing to catch-up on our lives in between questions about expenditures and dividends.
Those kinds of snippets of conversation; however, can be very affecting. This year’s catch-up was no exception. He’s gone through the break-up of a long-term relationship and I’m in still in that one year period following my mother’s death. That’s a lot of momentous change for one year, and yet I observed that he was happily going about transforming his life in wonderful new directions — just as I have found new outlets for expression.
It got me to thinking that gym life is kind of similar. We make friends and share wonderful emotional moments, but only in small intervals. Life in a boxing gym is no exception, yet the pursuit is often solitary. Sure in a boxing class, their may be a circle of a few people all warming up together; but the majority of time for a boxer is spent moving in and out of contact.
Shadow boxing, pounding on a heavy bag, bobbing and weaving around the double-ended bag, and moving along the slip rope are all fairly solitary experiences. The interactions tend to have to do with keeping out of each other’s way as on a busy evening, four, five or even six boxers shadow box in the ring, each carving out a bit of solitary space while dancing around without colliding or impeding the others.
And yet those conversations happen. In the locker room; in the intervals between rounds; and in the occasional acknowledgment in the mirror as both boxers bang away at imaginary opponents. It’s one of the things I have come to love about going to Gleason’s Gym. The chance to feel embraced by a community of friends I may or may not see for periods of time, and yet are always there in my corner as I am in theirs.
Through the years, my definition of friend has expanded. When I was younger, I was always attached at the hip with one friend or another, but life gets busy and I find myself enjoying some solitary time as well. I can understand how you feel about the Gleason’s crew. I have some friends I see once a month for lunch and it’s always a delightful visit. Then there are the blog friends whose lives are revealed in snippets in posts and comments. You get into a rhythm with them and pick up on their moods. If they go missing for a few days you worry and hope they are well and vacationing. Like you with the Gleason’s friends, I have writer friends; we know little about each other’s home lives but there is a bond there based on our common interests. And really, isn’t it nice to have some friends with whom you don’t just discuss kids? 😉