Get Out and Play: The most important marathon in life

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Some weeks there’s a smorgasbord of LGBT sports events to work with, and other times just one big thing takes center stage. Sometimes, like this week, I got nuttin’.

 

Last year around this time, when the sports calendar was thin and I had already written about everything going on, I would defer to the Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, which provided endless topics. Paris was awarded host status for Gay Games X in 2018, but it’s a little early to consider writing on that topic. I’m sure the planning is underway, but they are likely still on a white board and Post-Its stuck all over a wall. I never had much desire to go to Paris, although I hear the words “beautiful” and “romantic” quite often associated with the city.

As for romance here, on Feb. 16 I’ll be going out to eat with my boyfriend, Micheal, to celebrate the third anniversary of our first date. We’d met six months before and then called and texted long-distance through holidays and snowstorms. He had just left Philadelphia to work in Richmond two weeks before we met, but I finally took a train to Richmond to visit him for a long weekend in February 2012.

He showed me around the neighborhood he lived in first, walking along the canal and up past the Edgar Allen Poe Museum and onto Cary Street, where most of the local restaurants are. We ate at a Chinese restaurant that first night, so now we go out for Chinese every year.

What does this have to do with sports?

Love is a marathon. It calls for endurance, strength, energy, stamina, flexibility and passion. You must be able to use all of these talents and many, many more to stay in the long haul. It can leave you breathless. It can also be as exhausting as it is rewarding. Love is never a sprint and sometimes it’s not a walk in the park either.

Love is also an obstacle course, complete with hurdles, obstructions, detours and challenges. The longer you go on the course, the easier some of the challenges become. And sometimes obstacles seem almost insurmountable, but perseverance pays off in the end.

Love requires teamwork. Planning together, sharing ideas, helping each other out and changing directions and priorities are all part of being on this two-person team. There is room for individual accomplishment too, as long as when one partner is working towards a goal, the other is supporting the dream. Love doesn’t mean doing everything together, but understanding each others’ personalities, needs and quirks.

Love makes a lot of things more fun. It also requires dedication, commitment and compromise. Athletes are much the same. The more you want something, the more you’re willing to give, the harder you will work and the reward is a goal set by two. Winners never quit, quitters never win; lovers never quit and quitters never love.

If you give up, you will never even finish the marathon, let alone succeed. This Valentine’s Day (even though it is a made-up holiday that excludes many people), make an extra effort to continue the race. Just remember: It’s best if this race ends in a tie. And don’t forget to get out and play.

Short Stops

• Gryphons Rugby Football Club holds its annual spring boot camp Feb. 21 at George Pepper Middle School, 2901 S. 84th St. Camp begins at noon; show up early for stretches and to get into gear.

• Sports and recreation info can be found inside the back page of the PGN every fourth Friday of the month or any time at epgn.com.

Got something sporty to share? Email [email protected].