I believe in brotherhoods, more specifically, I believe in the brotherhood of men with a common purpose or goal. Whatever it is that we decide to do, a pickup game of parking lot football, wrestling with a friend, or a more extreme version of an actual fist fight, we usually seem to come out of it with a deeper understanding of ourselves and a greater respect for those who went through the activity with us.
When I was in high school, I was a member of a men’s choir. It was the only high school men’s choir in the state, and one of the best choirs in the northwest. We didn’t work very hard in the classroom in order to be as good as we were. What made us good was the brotherhood and camaraderie that we had developed as a choir. We became close through the physical things that we went through together. Every Friday, when the weather permitted, we would get out of class a half hour early, and we would go to the football field and play ultimate frisbee for the remainder of the class period. This is what brought us closer and turned us into brothers, our simple game of ultimate frisbee.
During my senior year of high school, I made more new friends than I have at any other time in my life. One of my good friends and I decided that we were going to step out of our comfort zone that year. We would hang out with different people than what we normally hung out with. We made some awesome friends. One of our new friends was in love with the sport of boxing and boxed in an amateur league and had never lost a fight. We decided that we would all go out to his house and have a boxing night. This was fairly early in the school year so we still didn’t know each other all that well. That night is one of the most memorable nights of my high school pursuit. Not because one of our buddies got brain damage or anything, but because we all grew closer to each other that night than I would have with anyone else if we had known each other for five or more years. When you fight someone, the entire world seems to fade away. It’s just you, and the other person across from you. When this kind of occurrence happens you both grow closer and faster than words can describe.
This winter, I joined a hockey league. This league has been an amazing blessing in my life. My teammates have helped me through rough patches in my life and we have all helped to lift each other up and to help each other grow. My favorite part of hockey isn’t the chalk talks that we have in the locker room after practice, or the discussions about how we can win the championship, it is when we are out there playing hockey. Encouraging our teammates to try again after they lose the puck and looking out for each other when we are off of the ice has helped us all grow substantially. All physical activity, I believe, strengthens the bond between men faster, stronger, and better than anything else can.
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