Celebrations in the Locker Room

17 Jan

Celebrations don’t always happen in restaurants and ballrooms and at grassy picnics and around the dinner table. In fact, celebrations don’t always include food and gifts and partying.

They can even happen in the locker room.

This week, two in one day.

I asked a woman I frequently see at the gym, and who once handed me a race bib at a run, how her Marine Corp marathon went. Her entire face lit up. It was her third marathon and she finally achieved the time goal she had been striving for. It was a time goal that I would be horrified if I ever met – its very slow. But it was her goal and she made it and she was delighted to tell me. And I was delighted to hear it.

We had a celebratory talk, our backs to each other, slipping back into work clothes after sweaty runs and showers. We chatted about the pain and the pleasure of a good long run, the time outdoors, the delight of running in different weather, hilly Newton, how “short” runs take on different meanings when you train for a marathon (I only have to run 8 miles today!).

The second celebration took place that evening, grabbing my stuff from a locker after lifting. Realized a friend was at the locker next to mine (always a fun treat!).  In fact, it was the day before she was handing in her PhD Dissertation. Seven years of work, and finally, one day away from the end! We stared at each other dumbfounded: 3 years of friendship and one MBA and one Doctorate later, we are both emerging from the tunnel of papers and grades and classes. A celebratory evening was planned, cell phone calendars were updated with plans, and then we let out a little penultimate excitement.

At the end of the day, party clothes and finger foods and cute decorations are fun. Setting the scene for a celebration is meaningful. But a celebration can happen anywhere with a friend. Even in the smelly locker room with puddles of waters and sneakers and spandex and used towels. Even if Martha Stewart wouldn’t approve.

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One Response to “Celebrations in the Locker Room”

  1. Sarah Hussey January 17, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Hey Liz! That’s a great way to look at it. I’m so glad that you were there to ask that woman about her run, and to be there to celebrate with your friend. I cannot imagine the feeling you must have after completing your MBA and/or PhD! WOW! That must be such a wight lifted off your shoulder! I hope you are doing well, and I hope to see you soon!!!

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