I WAS listening to an article on the modern epidemic of male loneliness. Males, when young, have huge friendship circles. Then, as they get older, those circles get smaller and smaller until for many there is no one left in them at all.
This happens for a number of reasons. There are big periods of transition in many people’s lives which prompt the narrowing down of social groups and it only makes sense when there are less people in your day to day world you’ll have less opportunity to make meaningful friendships.
The first big cull is after high school. They say your capacity for friendship peaks at 18.
You’re in the infancy of adulthood and responsibilities are minimal, at this point, life is for living.
Then as you get older, get a job, maybe meet your partner and have a family, the second bell tolls.
The time that you once had in abundance has seemingly disappeared, replaced by work and family time.
The death blow for so many, and the final reason why so many men are feeling increasingly lonely, is retirement.
The retirement in this instance is from their career, but I think retirement from sport is just as important in this instance.
Without going into too much of the social sciences and psychology of genders, males and females experience friendship differently. A simple way to look at it is this – men view connection as shoulder to shoulder, women as face to face.
And when you’ve been shoulder to shoulder with a group of friends for literal decades, stepping away from that can leave you feeling incredibly lonely.
It isn’t easy, but just like everything else I speak about in this article there is one major positive – you can do something about it.
One of the main reasons we created our Reignite Coaching Programme was so that people who are retired from team sport but still want to live fit, healthy,
purposeful lives had somewhere to turn to.
It’s why every two months we get together and go to the well. That shared experience of emptying the tank for someone who’s been doing the training and walking the path along with you is massive.
It’s what separates how we operate to every other online coaching programme you’ll come across when you’re scrolling your socials.
We recognise what retired athletes are missing, because we’ve lived it, and we build it into our programme.
So a take home for you this week is three very simple action points.
1. Go through your phone and pick out 1-3 people who you know share a similar enjoyment of training as you.
2. Pick a mountain.
3. Arrange to climb it next weekend.
Aligning your actions with your values is one thing, and that in itself will yield major results, but doing it with a band of brothers is a multiplier.
That will not only cut down the time it’ll take you to reach your goals but enables you to push further than you first thought capable.