I knew boys that were involved in wrestling when I was in High School. I got the impression they were fairly extreme. They were always working out and starving themselves. I even went to a match or two. I did NOT love the outfits. Singlets, funny headgear... I just didn't really get it.
Flash forward to a week and a half ago. Gabe's football season had just ended and the coaches convinced him to go out for wrestling. I was not excited. John, on the other hand, seemed WAY excited. He offered to take Gabe that very night to go buy some wrestling shoes. Crud. I wanted to mull it over for a few days before we committed. I wanted a break from sports, at least a few weeks until basketball started up. But as any sports mom would recognize, when you buy the shoes, you are in for the season. So I did what any mature mother of 5 would do. I refused to talk about it. I put on a chilly smile anytime the subject came up. I picked Gabe up from practice and all, but I was not one bit fun or pleasant when my husband would try to chat me up about it.
I was still asleep when John delivered Gabe to the bus at 6:15am. Today was Gabe's first ever wrestling match, and it happened to be a multi-school tournament in Ignacio. Gabe had only been practicing for 4 days, so I wasn't expecting much, but he called us after his first match and had won. He was pretty excited. This Saturday also happens to be the DHS Homecoming football game so John took Seth and Elise to that. It was up to me to take the little guys out to John's old stomping grounds to cheer for Gabe. As we were preparing to leave, Gabe called again. He had wrestled again, and once again, he had won!
I thought I'd better hustle before we missed the whole thing. We cruised out to Ignacio and after Jebb rode the Bobcat out front of the HS,
we went in to see this:
What in the world?! There were lots of football parents that I recognized in the crowd and several of the fathers came over to me excitedly to see what I thought of the whole wrestling thing. I was like a deer in the headlights. They told me how terrific wrestling was for the boys and gave their hearty approval with Gabe's decision to compete. I smiled and tried to cheer for our team, but I still felt quite disoriented.
I learned that wrestling has 3 periods in each match. The boys wrestle and earn points for different things throughout the match. If you 'pin' your opponent at any point in the match, you win. Gabe won a couple of matches by points, but managed to pin 2 boys. I was amazed. He went on to win 4 and lose 1 match throughout the day. John, Seth, and Elise managed to catch his last match and it was a good one-he pinned his opponent in about 20 seconds!
Gabe ended up winning second place in his weight class! How fun! I certainly felt proud of seeing him work so hard.
When John was watching all of the team wrestle, he told me how much he loved wrestling. He kinda laughed and said he was getting emotional watching those boys work so hard. He just loves the idea that it is a sport where 'it's all you' and there is no one there to help you. You just have to dig deep. I guess John wrestled from a very young age up until 9th grade and he says he was pretty good. :) It is certainly very manly-- even if they do have to wear weird outfits.