There's something about seeing a man cry

There’s something about seeing a grown man cry that seems to strike an emotional chord that hardly ever gets struck. Maybe it’s because for some of us we have had it instilled that men shouldn’t cry, or maybe it’s just because it’s something we don’t see a lot. But when a man cries due to genuine emotion, it really pulls at the heart strings. 

Recently I experienced watching a man lose the emotional battle inside himself, his face gave in to the overwhelming emotional tension that he felt inside. It was obvious he was fighting it off but in this moment he had lost something that he cared so, so much about. The emotion just took over because he was hurting to his core. I wasn’t the only person who’s heart was breaking as I saw this raw expression of emotion, just about all of New Zealand was. 

Seeing Dean Barker coming in on the boat into the America’s Cup Village after the final race at the America’s Cup was a tough emotional experience for so many New Zealanders. We had signed up with all of our hearts to support him and his team and we had committed to being there right through to the end.  As our grip slowly slipped away from the Cup after each race and our deepest fears started to become a reality we had to accept that this wasn’t going to be our time. It was a tough time to be a supporter, but a much tougher time for the people on the team.

I’m sure everyone within Team NZ are living in the world of ‘what if’ right now. They will look back on many moments where they could have clinched that final win, where everything would have been different. Did they choke? were they unlucky? did the rules work against them? were they underfunded? were they just beaten by a better team? These are questions that will be asked for years to come but if there is one thing that Team NZ can teach all of us in life, it’s that we need to be brave and aim for something that we really care about and it challenges us. 

All of the people on Team NZ had committed to a massive goal. They worked their lives away for years to build up to this one moment where they would test themselves. Unfortunately they didn’t get the reward this time but I’m sure if you got the opportunity to ask them they would tell you that they experienced the highest level of themselves throughout this regatta. They experienced an event in their lives where they had to be at their best and they did everything possible to be just that. 

When was the last time where you had the pressure to be your best, where you had to do everything possible to be at your peak self because you were facing a challenge that seemed bigger than you? Where you were stretched to a place within yourself that you had never experienced which showed you the higher level of you? 

When we open our eyes to the opportunities that are out there for us to be challenged we see that they are everywhere. But these opportunities will only provide the rewards if we are brave enough to stand up and face them front on. To face these scary, doubt inducing, unknown places takes courage so it’s easy to see why we are reluctant to move towards them but when you do your life gains so much. 

Would you rather be a person who puts your stake in the ground and is brave enough to face a challenge which you may not succeed in, or would you rather live in a safe place where you never progress? I know which type of people the crew of Team NZ are and I’m 99% sure that they are better people because of it, even when they don’t have a cup to prove it. Open your eyes to those challenges, stand up and face them and then be prepared to learn so much more about yourself.



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Bevan Eyles