Friday, February 12, 2010

i've seen the future and i'm still sitting on bleachers in it

I've mentioned that Mr. T has begun wrestling. The kid loves it. I mean loves it. Last night was his first match. It was also my first match because I've never seen one live (despite demure and tame liasons with a few wrestlers back in the day--as I explained to Mr. D, I was in Forensics all through high school and had meets on Saturdays while the wrestlers were competing. And I had no interest. And basketball was cooler. Anyway...) I ran into many people I knew. Wrestling begets a tight-knit clan of fans, but I suspect the egos don't grow as big as they might on basketball courts due to the individual nature of this sport. Money doesn't buy you a spot on a wrestling team--your weight, strength and endurance aren't commodities for sale. I remember boys from every sort of background wrestling--basketball, conversely, has become an expensive sport between requisite tournament teams and camps, a sport increasingly reserved for more affluent and resourceful families. Mr. T lacks skill and training but these things can be learned on a mat in a very hot and smelly room above our high school's gymnasium.

His first match (I think that's what they're called--I have much to learn if he stays with this sport) resulted in him pinned on his back pretty quickly. I think he was stunned and overwhelmed and he got in a bad position just a couple seconds after the referee blew the whistle.

Go, Mr. T! Don't let him get you on your back!

The second match lasted the full 3 minutes without a pin. My whole body tensed up while watching him fight through it, a visceral reaction that shocked me--my hands were clenched into fists, I shifted my weight while watching him writhe on the ground. A draw and he did well.

The third match lasted less than 3 minutes, but Mr. T put up a good fight. He has much to learn but didn't leave that gym discouraged. He still loves wrestling, even if he doesn't love the singlet (which, his younger brothers have observed, make him look like a "sexy man").

And speaking of his younger brothers, last night they stood beside me watching all of this unfold enthralled. "When will I be old enough to wrestle?" "When I'm big like Mr. T, I'm going to be in wrestling, too."

It strikes me as odd that a kid as lazy as my firstborn would be drawn to the most physically demanding sport out there. It would be less effort to stand out in right field on a sunny day in a grassy field and wait for the occasional ball to drop from the sky. But he has declared his undying devotion to wrestling for now and in a show of support I shall find a copy of Wrestling For Dummies so I can get behind him with a more extensive vocabulary.

Here is another gratuitous photo of my second born son, Mr. B, playing basketball. I do like basketball and don't think it's all snobbery and cliquery. I'm much better cheering for it, too, because I know what I'm talking about.

Get your hands up, Mr. B! Rebound! Rebound!

Somehow I have a gut feeling I won't see any of my boys competing in Forensics...


  1. I love watching them find a new interest. I've never seen a wrestling match either. Can't wait to hear more

  2. Oh, you never know. Are forensics and wrestling/basketball that incompatible? I hope not.
    My 2 older boys (ages 9 and 6) did a little wrestling club thru our Y this past winter and they both LOVED it. No matches, although we did go and check out a UW mens' match at the Field House a couple of weekends ago. It was quite interesting, though, like you, I know NOTHING about wrestling. I don't know if that's very convenient for you, but you may want to check it out. It's something else - watching people wrestle who know what they are doing. There's some beauty and grace in that sport, after all.
    Let me know if Wrestling for Dummies is helpful. I may have to get a copy for myself too!

  3. I love that he's so happy.

    One of my brothers wrestled and one of the hardest things for my mother to do was watch guys flip him over and grab in ways that seemed painful. But, she felt that it was better than football, for which he was being actively recruited. At least with wrestling, she didn't have to watch great big guys tackling her son over and over again.

  4. Well, as you know J3's wrestling career just ended last week. So sad. Girlfriend, you are in the heart of wrestling country. Every school in the Big 10 has a wrestling team and it is the hotbed as far as large D1 universities are concerned (the Big 12 has the same 5 teams as when it was still the Big 8). If you get the Big 10 network, there are college duals on nearly every night. I admire wrestlers more than any other sport (perhaps because I dated one who won a National Championship?) because it is just can't blame it on somebody else, nobody can hold you back by favortism, daddyball, etc. because the winner is the winner and that's that. And, you are participating in one of the oldest sports known to mankind from the original Olympic games. I love it, but find watching my own child compete extremely difficult....I can watch other people's kids all day long. And the parents are, in general, much nicer than parents of any other sport. The only way to learn to wrestle is by wrestling, so as many matches as he can get, the better. Enjoy....and buy one of those really comfy bleacher seats with the back (a really good one costs about fifty bucks). You'll thank me when you don't have a numb butt and slumped shoulders in about ten years.

  5. Yay for Mr. T! I have even less experience with wrestling than you do. I am constantly amused that boys willingly grapple with each other in, let's face it, a rather intimate way when at any other moment most of them would be horrified at even the thought of touching another boy.

    The singlet comment made me giggle and think of one of my fave movies, The Breakfast Club:

    Andrew (the wrestler): You don't have any goals.
    Bender (the "criminal"): Oh but I do.
    Andrew: Yeah?
    Bender: I wanna be just like you. I figure all I need is a lobotomy and some tights.
    Brian (the "brain"): You wear tights?
    Andrew: No I don't wear tights. I wear the required uniform.
    Brian: Tights.
    Andrew: Shut up.

  6. My son has some wrestling buddies and the one thing you need to be careful of is him getting sick--they don't always wipe down the mats well, so lots of antibacterial soap and gel (I'm not usually a big fan of that, but . . .).

    It is so wonderful when they found their niche.

  7. I spent several years on the bleachers while my girls tried out softball, but I confess to being secretly relieved when they both gravitated to artsier hobbies.

    Cute pics!

  8. After one of my daughter's college bball games, I'm the one who's sore. I tense up so much that my muscles ache for days :(

    What a whimp I am.

  9. How wonderful is it to see a new found passion on a kid's face?

  10. Wrestling is very strenuous. I remember my son's wrestling coach said it is the second most strenuous sport after swimming.

  11. Basketball is all snobbery and cliquery? I guess I missed the memo on that one. Congratulations on Mr. T and the wrestling. That looks like a tough sport.

  12. Wrestling would make me so nervous! It sounds like he really enjoys it. :) Good luck with everything.

  13. That's awesome! Good for him. My boys played almost every sport including wrestling...I should say they tried wrestling and decided it was not for them....but at least they tried. They ran cross country, played soccer, baseball and basketball and loved them all. Man I miss those days....when the last college soccer game was played I went into a deep depression and suffered severe spectator withdrawal. It was awful. :) Enjoy each and every match, game and's fantastic!!

  14. You have some budding athletes in your brood - so fun! This post makes me wonder what my boy will participate it. I'm excited to find out!

    Thank you for the consistent commentary on my blog!

  15. Passion wins games and matches. Glad he found something he enjoys.

  16. oh man if i never have to sit in a sweaty screamy echoing gymnasium again it'll be too soon.

    i'm 30 years out of high school and this post brings me right back.

  17. Hello again! I have an award for you at Compost Happens today. Enjoy the sunshine!

  18. I love watching wrestling, which Farmer can't understand. But it's just as you's ALL YOU. The spotlight is literally right on you.

    Have the Bachelors been to a high school wrestling meet? I don't know if the season is still active or if it's now tournament time, but if you can find out, they may enjoy watching the Irish grapple it out on the mats. Especially if it's a big meet where there are two or even three mats going at a time.

    However, if he continues out for the ladies! Wrestlers, if I remember right from high school, had the best toned bodies, especially those in the middle weight classes. Alot of my girlfriends (and perhaps myself) wanted to hold on to one of those well toned wrestlers. :) Look out Mr. T! :)

  19. They're so CUTE!! :)
    Can they get hurt in wrestling? They don't actually hit each other in that I think...My boyfriend does really advance Tae kwon do, and he was at this meet a couple of years ago and some guy screwed up and hit him in the face. He had to go to the hospital-he broke his nose and looked like he had 2 black eyes. It was very difficult for me-especially since it was the one and only meet I didn't go to-figures. BUT- He did have some fun at work-He told his coworkers that I beat him. This one girl actually believed him. He thought it was hilarious. :)
    OH! ANd I watched 'Pride and Prejudice' along with 'Becoming Jane' on tv yesterday and thought of you!! :)

  20. Wow, between the wrestler and the black-belt mama you are one formidable family! I'm very impressed!

  21. Heh, I have several friends who had sons that wrestled. One of them could never remember "singlet" and called it a "onsie". Still makes me laugh!


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