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Cry Week: Greatness gets me Every Time

I cry when I watch someone accomplish their greatness

Winner of Track Event Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

I have a lot of water in my eyes. Crying comes fairly easy for me. I cry when I laugh hard. I cry when something means a lot to me. I cry when I watch someone accomplish their greatness, and this happens most often (at least visibly) in the sports world.

When I watch a game, race, bout or match and when, during that competition, a person does the thing they have been training to do for the last five or ten or fifteen years or their whole life, I cry. When you know an athlete has trained, tried and most likely failed repeatedly, previously, but now in the moment you are watching, they are doing the thing they have been trying so hard to do, it is moving. It is a moment of greatness; their greatness.

I feel so happy for them. I usually clap along with my tears even if I am in my living room. I feel like yelling “YOU ARE DOING IT, CONGRATULATIONS!”. There are so many hard moments before this great moment happens—I have a catalogue of hard moments that I, myself, have lived that come flooding back.

The small mental battles an athlete has to overcome happen before the great moment. The tough, tough training days that happen before the great moment. The hopeful dreaming late at night and all day long about what might be accomplished happen before the great moment. I get emotional thinking about so much effort, hope, belief and hard work coming together, culminating, to get to the great moment when this person or team accomplishes something great. Gosh! Those moments make me cry happy, excited amazed and inspired tears.

We are already on the edge of emotions while watching sports. We are simply excited to see a good match. Maybe nervous about the outcome or how the team will play. There is often high anticipation leading up to a match. I think of the Olympics when we learn the story of so many of the athletes and become invested. We follow a team through March Madness and learn about the team dynamic or a particular player’ s story. So when the moment happens we are already prepped for emotion. We...okay I, am ready to cry inspired, amazed and happy tears.

Other Amazing moments that make me cry

-Derek Redmond and his Dad finish the 1992 Olympic 400m race after he injured his leg

-Kerri Strug sticking the landing of her vault in the 1996 Olympics with an ankle injury

-Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech