There was an article in the newspaper this week about friends. I didn’t read it all, but the opening paragraph described two friends, separated by at least a generation.
From childhood onwards we make friends with those with whom we share common interests – schoolmates grow into workmates and so on.
But in later years we keep the friends that matter the most.
Over the past ten or so years many of my friends have been made through a running club. I joined as a beginner and over the years made friends with other runners. There’s something special about runners – there’s no pretence, no falseness.
When it’s the middle of winter and you’re exhausted, covered in mud and have the full force of Mother Nature pushing and pulling you along, no-one has the energy to put on a front.
For whatever reason some of us no longer run – but I’m lucky enough to have remained friends with those people, meeting up several times a week for a walk, a meal or just for a chat.
The common bond transcends many elements and definitely transcends age. One particular friend is almost thirty years older than I am. Sheila began running in her 50s. In her prime she completed several sub-4 hour London Marathons. Now she takes things a little easier…three evenings a week she walks – up to eight miles. One evening she belly dances. Somewhere in between she line dances, visits a gym, walks some more, sews her dance outfits and makes jams and preserves. Her energy is astounding.
That she’s active is great, but there’s more to Sheila than that – she’s always up for a challenge, always ready for life and always ready to be a friend.
Our friendship spans the years in more ways than one.