It’s been quite some time since Quack The Duck has checked in with a blog post. But the timing just seems right today. Yesterday, a very good friend of Quack reached out and expressed interest in getting together. Not for any super important reason, but to “grab a drink” and to discuss an article that he recently read. That article was published in The Boston Globe on March 9, 2017 and was written by Billy Baker.
After reading “The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness,” I felt like it was the right time to write another Blog entry. I will state, that after a text conversation (that’s how guys and ducks communicate in 2017) with my friend (before I read the article), he told me that the information was perfect for SFAC. It was about how people feel isolated or alone if they don’t have scheduled recurring interactions. During our conversation, he stated that it sounded like I’d already read the article. After reading the article, I understand why he felt that way.
For those of you reading this that already participate in weekly SFAC events, you’ve already figured it out. For those of you reading this that are aware of SFAC, but have never attended an event, maybe now is the time for the change in your life. And for all you readers that are brand new to the concept of SFAC, you’re welcome 😉
It’s not just theory. There is plenty of data that backs up what I’m about to say. As men grow older, they place their priorities on their jobs, their families, their children, their responsibilities and everything else that “needs” attention. What gets left behind, is the time dedicated to maintain friendships. And I’m not talking about with “Phil from work.” I’m talking about real friendships. People that you see on a regular basis, not because of work or an obligation, but by choice.
Everyone committed to a season of an SFAC sport makes a commitment to themselves, their teammates, and also to their opponents. You are telling your teammates “you can count on me to be there.” Not just to play the game, but to have fun with. To laugh with, and give high fives. To go out with afterwards and play board games and laugh about what happened on the court or field earlier in the night. When we go out, it’s not just with teammates, it’s also with opponents. It’s a very common occurrence at an SFAC after party, to see colors of every team shirt sitting at the same table. At SFAC, we get it. It’s not at all about winning on the court. The real winning takes place afterwards with the new friends you make, regardless of the color of their shirt.
I’m not sure whether you’ve taken the time to read the story by Billy Baker, but one point he makes is extremely relevant to how adults interact and set priorities in their lives. There are some adults that make it a priority to spend regular time with their friends. And there are those that keep it vague and won’t commit to a schedule. I see the same exact thing with SFAC. There are some people that say “Yep! I’m in!” And they show up every week. They get exercise. They laugh and they have fun. And they’ve made many new friends (something that isn’t easy as we get older in life). And then there are the people that say “I’m interested but I can’t commit to being here every week. Can I do it sometimes?” Let me tell you, that “sometimes” means “I do enjoy it. And when I’m here, I have a blast. But I’m afraid of committing to pretty much anything and you’ll never see me again. Nobody is counting on me being here. So I’ll find a reason to not come every week until eventually I forget about it and slip into a terrible cycle of doing only the things I need to do in life. But never doing things for myself. Never taking the initiative to make and maintain friendships in adult life.”
HERE’S A SOLUTION
SFAC currently offers sports leagues 5 days a week. SFAC offers social events on a regular basis. Are you willing to commit to developing and maintaining meaningful friendships in your adult life? Take that first step and get involved today. Show a commitment to yourself!