My Very First Dual Meet
I would write about my very first competition wrestling match, but honestly I don’t remember it at all. I remember that I wrestled my first competition wrestling match at a tournament at Skyline High School in Utah, and that I won the tournament. In the finals I wrestled a pretty strong kid, which I myself was pretty strong. Years of cleaning horse stalls, hoisting hay bales, as well as being an early bloomer helped to provide me with some physical tools that most jr. high kids in my weight class did not have. I also remember that after the conclusion of my final match that my lungs burned more than I thought was humanly possible. In fact had I not won that match, I may have quit the sport altogether because it was so physically painful, but the sense of accomplishment that came with the victory helped to fuel the fire that would keep me going until the present day. But, back to my very first dual meet.
The very first dual meet that I wrestled in was a home meet, which you think most people would be happy about. You get to wrestle at home with all of your friends and family there cheering you on in a comfortable and familiar location. I hated the fact that we were going to be wrestling at home in front of people that knew me. I had to squeeze into a tight singlet that made me feel uncomfortable and self conscious. Even though I was starting to grow out of my fat stage I still looked a little soft, but luckily for me every body at that age at that weight class did too. The worst part about wrestling a home meet was that I was scared to death of facing my opponent for that match. It wasn’t that he was some well known wrestler that had won any big tournaments, but it was something that I thought was much worse. You see he was the coach’s son, and I thought that meant instant death for me the moment that I were to shake hands with him in the center of the mat before we started to wrestle. To add to my discomfort I had met a couple of the wrestlers from his Bennion Jr. High team. Chad and Adam had both been wrestling for a while and they looked like wrestlers. They had won plenty of tournaments, and they were a grade above me. Adam had huge muscular legs, and I thought that for sure the coach’s son would outshine every one on his team mates in every possible combination of athleticism, strength, speed and technique. I was so nervous and so scared that I became physically ill. I went into the locker room, which luckily for me was empty, and I started throwing up. As I vomited, I tried to calm myself down by thinking that there really wasn’t a possibility that he could actually kill me on the mat, but my body didn’t believe the trickery that I was trying to use against it and I kept puking.
When I had successfully finished emptying my guts, I went back out into the gymnasium to await the horrible fate that must be coming. Luckily for me though, the monster that I had created in my head wasn’t quite so intimidating as I had made him out to be. Actually after I did see him, I was pretty confident that I was going to win the match. He was pretty chubby and when he was warming up he looked pretty inexperienced from what I could tell, and with that being said with me being a novice and thinking someone else looked awkward that was really saying something. Even though he wasn’t quite the wrestler that I had imagined I was still a little nervous before we wrestled. I really wanted to be able to win especially in front of all of my friends that had come to the meet. Most of you know how mean kids can be when they are making fun of their friends or even worse making fun of kids who aren’t their friends. I didn’t want to go through that.
Finally it was my turn to wrestle. I stepped out onto the wrestling mat, shook my opponents hand, and we started to wrestle. There wasn’t a very wide variety of techniques that I had at my disposal at the time so I used the first of the two techniques that I had learned, a double leg. I changed levels and tackled my opponent. He didn’t put up much of a fight which quickly made me leading the match by two points. Then I started to use the second move that I had learned, a barbed wire turn. From the top position I reached across his body so that I had both of his arms wrapped up in mine, and I started to walk around his head. Slowly the lock got tighter and tighter until eventually he was on his back, and the referee was slapping the mat signaling a pin. I had won the match! I was so happy that not only had I cheated death, but I had actually beaten the coach’s son as well. The anxiety that I had once had was replaced with a spike of adrenaline and endorphins, and I was extremely glad that I hadn’t given up the match before it had even taken place.
Sometimes the demons that we make up in our head are exponentially greater in size to us than they actually are if we would just actually face them. Sometimes you just have to punch the bully in the mouth to realize that. After that match I was never worried about wrestling the coach’s kid ever again.