There have been many times in life when I’ve noted the amazing benefit to female friendships. I was introduced to this as a child by observing my mom’s bridge club. When these ladies gathered at our house, I sensed the energy of their friendships as they laughed, chatted, and genuinely took interest in each others’ lives and families. Later, when my mom had breast cancer, I felt that support again, in the form of cards, notes, dinners, and rides. They stepped up for her, as did my mom in the following years when the bridge club ladies went through their own challenges.
In high school, I got to experience a similar group when I joined the girls golf team. Here was a group of girls who I saw pretty much every day of the golf season throughout high school. We shared secrets, counseled each other through break ups and the woes of high school, and generally just supported each other in golf and life. As an adult, I replicated this group in the form of a wonderful group of friends I met during marathon training ten years ago. Like my mom’s bridge club, we laugh together, and support each other through all types of life scenarios – marriages, divorces, death of loved ones, illnesses, injuries, naughty kids… you name it, we’ve been through it together. We still run, but have added golf, wine drinking and travel to the mix.
And what better way to forge a bond than through golf! Perhaps you’re part of a twosome, foursome, or league, and you look forward to seeing these gals each week to bring your life into balance. Perhaps you’ve got a bestie that you sometimes golf with, but definitely connect with regularly. Or maybe, you’ve been dying to learn how to golf, and you convince a friend to do it with you. The details aren’t important- what’s important is that you have found a support system for your golf game, and better yet, your life game. Because the truth of the matter is, they tend to spill into each other.
You know how it goes. It’s hard not to share details of your life with your golfing pals. There’s some down time between shots where life problems make a guest appearance on the course, and having a bestie by your side gives you a much needed outlet. Before you know it, not only are you having a good round, but a good therapy session as well.
According to a Mayo Clinic report, “Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health.” There’s a magic in meeting regularly with friends. As we get more comfortable with them, we consequently share the things that are on our minds, perhaps things not shared with others. Not only does this help with stress, it also offers valuable outside perspectives to help solve problems. Plus, the camaraderie, laughs, and general knowing that these women “get you” just make us feel good, period. In the stressful world we live in, it’s important to spend time with the people that make us happy.
Let me just say that my friends and I talk about #everything. This includes body talk for sure. Golfing with women is the perfect chance to get anything off your chest that’s been worrying you. These conversations are so beneficial because they make scary topics – mammogram scares, surgery, and other issues – seem not so scary. Plus talking about these important topics encourages us to keep up with yearly check ups (like mammograms) that we may be putting off.
October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a powerful month to be aware of the benefits to forming a strong group of women friends. Whether it’s the woman in your foursome who hasn’t taken the time to have that mammogram, the friend who received a bad report and needs support as she negotiates her next steps, or the friend who has been recently diagnosed. The bottom line is, we must be in this together because together, we are a FORCE… on and off the course. Here’s to all of us and our besties – let’s remember we’ve got each others’ backs!