The Bonds Between Brothers and Boyfriends
March 3, 2011 § 7 Comments
How would you feel if mere minutes after your boyfriend said his goodbyes as he drove away from your school, you receive a voicemail saying: “I don’t exactly – we just – we just got into an accident. The car is totaled.” If you’re anything like me, you may chuckle at the absurdity of what was said, more so out of disbelief than actual humor. He must be joking, obviously. Then your mind begins to rationalize the situation and process the fact that he called therefore he must be somewhat unharmed. You hope. Yet even after rationalizing, your stomach turns and you begin immediately to run to the accident site.
Its a peculiar feeling, one of brief internal panic – gut wrenching and tumultuous. It is a feeling I rarely experience and only experience in extremity for the people I care most about: my family, my friends, and my teammates. Admittedly, my teammates have yet to fall prey to car accidents, so the circumstances are different. This past season when a teammate fell in a race, my reactions mimicked what I felt after hearing of my bf’s accident. When I realized my teammate was not getting up, the reaction emerged, feeling like a punch to the gut and an immediate reflex to race towards him.
Now I know what some of you may be thinking: a car accident and a brief trip on the track warrants the same response? My answer to you – of course not! I was by far inmore of a panic when my teammate fell. While I care about my bf, I have not spent the past 7 years of my life training 2-3 hours a day with him. The sweat, blood, and tears my teammates and I have shed allow for a bond which is seemingly unbreakable.
Such a bond is a gift, one which I hope no athlete misses out on for fear of homophobia on the team. In all honesty, I love my team. Many high school guys skirt the “L” word in relationships let alone when describing their team, or their male teammates – but I love my team and I think it’s rather deprecating of oneself to rule out an honest emotion.
An athlete can feel the gut wrenching pain for a teammate and a bf, but the reason behind both is different. I have no attraction to my teammates, they’re far too straight and I feel it is rude to even think about them in such a way. If a guy would not think about his sister in that way, why should a teammate think about his “brother” in that way? His brother in sport that is. My reaction shows how deeply I care about their health, their running, their selves – not how attracted I am to them no matter what others may think.
I hope to prove this fact to my peers. I can love my team and I can like my boyfriend; each emotion emerging from a vastly different faucet. While immaturity may blind some to this truth, the example I set will hopefully enlighten them. I’m not afraid to say that I love my team and neither should any of us. Admitting to love and appreciation is not emasculating. If anything, it is the greatest thing a man can do. For without love and appreciation, what are we?
Do you have a thought on the bond between teammates? Would you agree that you can truly have a “brother” in sport? Tell us in the comment section below!