Gold Medal Bocce

“All I have to do is to work on transition and technique.” — Usain Bolt, six time Gold Medal winner and fastest man in the world

“Those who don’t feel this Love pulling them like a river, those who don’t drink dawn like a cup of spring water or take in sunset like supper, those who don’t want to change, let them sleep.” –Rumi

Requiring greater endurance than the marathon, greater lung capacity than the 50 free, agility and versatility superior to the decathlon, better teamwork than synchronized swimming, more guts than the balance beam, more sophisticated strategy than cycling, and even more exciting to cheer on than beach volleyball — managing life change and transition – men’s, women’s, singles, doubles, and mixed doubles — gets my vote for best Olympic coverage of 2012 and the sport I’m most looking forward to in the Rio games of 2016.

Many bocce regulars, like me, are in the midst of starting new chapters: Falconer and Val have made The Birdcage their official shared dwelling; Bruce will be driving out Route 66 to begin life post-retirement in Albuquerque, New Mexico; early September will see the whimsical nuptials of Liz and Emily, who got engaged at the final bocce party of the 2011 season. And, shockingly enough, BOCCE in the AFTERNOON will enter a new chapter in 2013 when the Archstone Building rips up our court to make way for a new putting green.

Each of these exciting beginnings also represent an ending: giving up one’s own cherished closet space, or leaving beloved Greenwich Village and Ronnybrook Milk for Western vistas, to giving up the freedoms afforded by no finger bling to TEE TIME in the AFTERNOON?! Regardless of how exciting the future may be, letting go takes courage and a couple of tissues for grieving as each of us experiences change in our own way and in our own time. From my experience, after many tough months, the endings seem to be magically giving way to a time rich in creativity, hope, opportunity, and learning, en route to my new beginning. To make the most of it, I’ve planned a 2 1/2 week solo adventure to Bali, Indonesia. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious. I am. But ultimately, I want to be a woman who is fearless, unafraid to head out and see the world even without a partner. So, I’m doing it. I’m just hoping that I’ll enjoy the company.

I’m sure that Falconer, Val, Bruce, Liz and Emily would agree, managing these transitions takes work, planning, organization, and a propensity for action. And maybe most of all, cheerleaders, good listeners, an occasional asskicker, comics, and fans along the way. It was heartwarming to see the reunion of Falconer’s college gang, including Abbe, Jason, and Donnie in person, and Guy, Jim, and Toast in spirit, who have seen him through many transitions since graduating together several decades ago.

While bocce has not yet been declared an Olympic sport, I will always think of the August 10th BOCCE in the AFTERNOON party affectionately as Gold Medal Bocce, where many were awarded for working on, surviving, and/or even thriving through personal transition, and all were treated to a spectacular sunset.

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