Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Because That's How It Works With The Guys That Work

“It seems to me I could live my life
A lot better than I think I am
I guess that's why they call me
They call me the working man…”

—Rush


The social notification popped up on my phone.

Craig R kettlebellied

I'm sorry, what? I thought.

Wait, that's not quite right. I squinted and read again.

Craig R kettlebelled

What?

I opened up the MapMyRun app to make sure I got it right. Then I made a sarcastic comment on my friend Craig's MapMyRun feed. Then he responded. And then I did again. And so it goes.

And I still didn't get what kettlebelled was, until we got together and talked workout shop that help us old guys fight the effects of age and gravity's depravity.

Because that's how it works. Between friends that work. When you've known each other a long time you're rightfully comfortable in calling each other out, calling each other names and calling the kettlebelly black, all the while like big brothers (although sometimes like stepsisters) who always have the other's back, practicing the lifestyle of true friendship.

For nearly 40 years we’ve collectively been the guys that work. Some of us are childhood friends, some of us meeting later in high school or right after high school, all who in adulthood continue making an annual trek to hangout for a rest day like we did again recently.

Men of a certain age, an unremarkable age, who continue to invest in a friendship that’s seen many ups and downs, ins and outs, and others who have come and gone over the years. Men who have had varying careers, varying relationships, some with children and some without, who have experienced hardship and loss as well as success and enduring love. Men who have created an inclusive culture from a shared collective of unique behaviors and experiences that extend well beyond the bounds of their own inner drum circle, affecting many others in their lives – family, friends, colleagues and today even passerby on social networks.

The guys that work. But it’s not all unconditional bromance love-fest because there’s a valuable return for us all – the catch phrases, the sounding boards, the support networks, the referrals and all the memories that keep us motivated, working hard to keep working together and reinvesting in our mutual friendships.

Just like the guys at work reference that Geddy Lee makes about his bandmates and long-time friends in Rush, a progressive rock band that’s been playing together for over 40 years and my favorite band. But the “guys at work” include everyone who works for, in and around Rush, and their extended families and friends. (Yes, they make fun of me for always fitting in the Rush reference. Hey, I'm only a fan, not a fanatic.)

But the guys at work that work isn't usually the norm, since women still having older and longer-lasting friendships than men. But we've been an exceptional footnote to that data, one that I hope my girls are proud of someday when they look back over 40 years of their friendships.

Because that's how it works with the guys that work. Amen. Let's do a little kettlebellying, my Brothers.



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