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My top five manliest moments

BY NICK CHURCHOUSE
Last updated 10:33 04/06/2009

There are times in this office-bound, suburban, overly-pedestrian life that you wonder where your life force went.

Good old Ranulph. One tough mother. His life force has been tested repeatedly.Call it what you want, I'm talking about your mojo, the animal inside, your man power, the human spirit. Every guy has a different way of looking at it, but it's essentially the same thing.

I ran my first marathon on Sunday, and the sense of power and purpose I put into finishing that puppy off roused a little magma within. Every now and then if you step outside of yourself, you'll be slightly ashamed to see something a little softer than you might have hoped. I know I do.

Not everyone can be a mountain man, an astronaut, Ranulph Fiennes, or run an orphanage in Sierra Leone. We mould into the lives we live, and if that means air conditioning and moisturiser, that's what we become. But pushing outside of those comfort zones reminds you that once upon a time men had to fight, hunt, run, protect, plough, provide and build.

A day when men were men.

So I thought I'd give my lily white desk-bound arse a wee pep-talk and dredge up the five most manly moments of my life.

1. Let's start with the marathon. It was up there. The last 15 minutes of that run sent me inside to search for strength I had somewhere, but hadn't tapped for a while. I was no record getter or champion runner, but to make the line took a lot more than I dredge up everyday. It felt good, I felt alive and my legs are almost back to walking unimpeded.

2. Boxing the bully who made my little sister cry when I was eight. I punched him in the nose. It probably wasn't a very good punch, and I was damn nervous at the time, but it was one of the times my protective instinct came to the fore and I chased him off. To be honest my sister was probably about to tear him limb from limb, but I got in first with my finest eight-year-old's right The way out of the Riwaka caves. A welcome sight.jab. Didn't draw blood but got the bugger on the back foot.

3. Hauling three panicked divers out of an underwater cave in Nelson.

Diving the Riwaka resurgence proved a little much for three intermediate divers I was helping lead through the cave system. Being tail end charlie, when they freaked out I had to step up. One girl was jabbering and weeping in fear, another was silent but had run out of air in her tank and the other was completely buggered from swimming into the current. Getting sharp with Ms Jabberlot to get her to focus and calm down was the first step. With the first two under my arm and on my spare air we swam the pitch black 30m submerged tunnel to the entrance of the cave, only to find the third girl behind me had not made it. I found her stuck halfway back down the tunnel, freaked beyond comprehension and nearly out of air. Suffice to say we got her unstuck and out in short order. They bought me dinner.

4. Running down a Spanish bag thief. After having my backpack stolen from me in a subway station I chased the thief for 15 minutes through Barcelona, eventually catching up with him as he took refuge in a huddle with his fellow artful dodgers. Flying on adrenaline and fury (and the thought of having to replace some of my fave CDs) I forgot to think that I might get knifed, and turned into a human puffer fish, making myself as big, tough and ugly as possible to staunch these Catalan bandits out. It worked, one of them gave up and handed me my bag, and I managed to get around the corner to a cafe before my knees gave out (not so manly).Here's the woodshed I wanted to build.

5. Building my woodshed. It's not much to look at. I'm no Corbusier, but the simple process of designing, measuring, sawing, hoisting, nailing, screwing, and roofing Island Bay's most recent woodshed gave me immense pleasure, particularly because I could wear a tool belt. There is something intensely rewarding about creating a new structure, one that serves a purpose well, and one that needs a magnetic level, a drill and corrugated iron.

There's bound to be a few other testosterone-fuelled moments in my life I've left out, but the main point is that at times, I've been the provider, the protector, the rescuer, and the hunter. That's a reassuring thought as I ponder whether to get a soy flat white or a peppermint tea for morning tea.

What are your most manly moments?  

- The Dominion Post

75 comments
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Lovefoxxx   #1   10:58 am Jun 04 2009

I think I just got pregnant reading that.

m   #2   11:18 am Jun 04 2009

Lovefoxx - brilliant!

Being a female, I can't say I've had many but I did build a fence with my carpenter friend on the edge of a very steep backyard in Owhiro Bay...yeeep felt pretty hardy doin that in the blistering sun one day and raining the next!

Sophie   #3   11:19 am Jun 04 2009

My most manly moment followed a man on the tube in London stealing my phone. He had pushed against me and slipped it out of my bag as we got on the tube. I realised immediately and instinctively turned around and demanded it back. He was more than a foot taller than me and was big and mean. He towered over me in a menacing way and denied taking it. Without even meaning to, I grabbed onto his coat and sort of weakly said "but you must have it". He was staring at me in disbelief and then just went, ok and gave it back! I was dumbfounded, we both stared at each other for a moment kind of not knowing what to do then he got off the tube. It was an incredibly manly moment.

@ Lovefoxx - hahahaha you made me laugh out loud at that

Peter   #4   11:23 am Jun 04 2009

In no particular order:

1. Karapoti MTB races (x2) 2. Punching bag thief on Budapest Metro 3. Asking then GF to marry me on deserted beach in Moorea after a 50k bike ride around the island. 4. Tattoo removal - hurts far more than getting it done in terms of physical and financial pain, and it takes a good year of treatments. 5. Riding bikes around the Valley of the Kings for 7 hours in 40 degree desert heat. My brother got severe sunstroke, I didn't.

I'm well hard, me.

nic   #5   11:28 am Jun 04 2009

Can girls play too??? Okay, so here are my top 'faux-manly' moments :)

1. Finishing the Auckland half marathon with my brother last year: we crossed the finish line at about the same time as the winner of the full marathon came in, so the whole crowd was cheering like crazy. Particularly rewarding for me because 2 yrs ago I couldn't even run one km (let alone 21). I worked damned hard to be able to finish that race. 2. Stepping into the boxing ring this year for my first ever muay thai (kickboxing) novice fight: scary and exhilarating… amazing! I've never felt so fit, healthy and alive in my life. 3. Fixing my car myself last weekend using tools. So, it was only taking the two batteries out; testing and charging them; cleaning up the connections points etc; and putting them back in. Irregardless, I am ridiculously proud of the fact that the car didn't go before -- I fixed it -- and now it does go. I rock.

There are, of course, many other moments in my life that I am proud of. However, they don't really match up to the 'faux-manly' criteria.

PS- congrats on finishing the marathon :)

tyrrell   #6   11:31 am Jun 04 2009

I'm no Graham Dingle but I've climbed a few (medium sized) mountains on my own, and crossed the Two Thumb Range on my own that's up there. Something about being in touch with all your senses and only having yourself to depend upon.

Endurance events do it as well.

And surfing very big waves - although I haven't done that for a while.

But then, just replacing the oil in my scooter gives me a pretty manly sense of virtue :)

Katie P   #7   11:36 am Jun 04 2009

My manliest moment to date was when I had a fight with my boss on a mango farm in the N.T., jumped in a uber bogan low-slung v8 holden ute, and did a massive 360, which emitted a huge circular spray of red dirt and sped off up the farm driveway, overtaking some shareholders who were down from Brisbane to view the property.

xLeahx   #8   11:40 am Jun 04 2009

Hmm, I agree with Lovefoxxx. Your manly moments make you sound hot.

My 5 manly moments are listed below. I am particularly impressed with them because I am female and still having better 'manly moments' than some of the guys I know.

1. Winning a fishing competition in May 2008 by catching a 7.1kg trevally and beating a bunch of hardened, dedicated, old male fishos. I got the fish taxidermied and now admire it every day.

2. Removing a white tailed spider from my living room by picking it up in my bare hand and releasing it outside, while my fiance danced around, practically squawking in panic. I didn't actually believe they were that poisonous, but as I didn't get bitten, I guess I will never find out.

3. Getting pissed off with a stump sticking out of my lawn last September, so getting a rope and tying it to the stump and also to the truck, and then pulling the stump out. That was very fun and I had a lot to explain about why the lawn had a huge hole in it when my fiance got home. Still - mission was completed!

4. Beating all the guys at poker. Consistently.

Okay, looks like I end at 4, because I have run out of moments I can recall.

Ryan Holland   #9   11:44 am Jun 04 2009

...was in Chch last weekend to play footy, popped into couplands and polished off a dozen donuts... but here's the kicker... i got man of the match an hour later against Linwood scoring and converting two tries...

then downed speights in 3 degree weather..

haaard!

MT   #10   11:44 am Jun 04 2009

I had sex with two girls at once.


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