I have been a little behind in writing my blog so time to catch up! Most of my content until now has centred on the theme of Pride, and Anzac Day recently was such a moment. It is at this time of the year that I appreciate that as a sports person, the fear and nervousness we feel performing at the Olympics is nothing compared to what these men would have experienced in the heat of battle.
I remember in the Olympic year feeling like it was the biggest turning point in my life, first was one direction, second was another very different direction in life. It is the biggest pressure I have ever faced. My coping mechanism was perspective. Whether I won or lost the race, I still had other things in life that I could enjoy and I was still going to be alive.
Imagine sitting in a trench surrounded by death and having none of that perspective. I don’t think any of us can. My wife, Sonia's Grandfather served in the Second World War. As a younger generation we were fascinated with any stories he might tell. We romanticised about his bravery and the adventure. He must have too initially, he forged his mothers signature to enlist a year earlier than allowed.
However when he returned he rarely wanted to speak about what he faced. I can only respect that what he saw and did was so hard on a man, only another veteran could really appreciate it for the horror that it was. It’s because of a whole generation of great New Zealanders like him who were prepared to give the ultimate, that we can enjoy the freedom we all have. We live in a better world because of their efforts.
I am proud that on Anzac Day, so many New Zealanders remember them and continue to show their respect.