is a 6-month period, roughly between mid-April and mid-October,
when nothing much is happening. At least thatís the way it seems
to a fan of high school wrestling.
We have, of course had action. The Goodwill Games, National Junior
Olympics, World Team trials, Asics Tiger Junior National
Championships and other events have kept wrestling interest alive
during the summer.
But as I write this (early September), the first coloring of the
leaves signals once again the impending return of special people
weíve missed: the local amateur wrestler.
Special? Well, letís look at the evidence.
Wrestling is demanding. You need strength, technique, quickness,
condition, motivation, resolve, and coachability. And you canít
carry any extra pounds, which means you wonít be able to enjoy
the two most important meals of the year: Thanksgiving dinner
(because thatís when the season starts) and Christmas dinner
(because thatís tournament time).
Wrestling is open to all. You canít be a jockey if you weigh 200
pounds. You canít be a defensive tackle if you weight 100. You
canít be a strong forward if youíre skinny and five feet six.
You canít ski if you live on the plains. You canít be a golfer
if you canít afford the equipment or the green fees. But all you
need to wrestle is that voice inside you. (note: you could quarrel
with that last point if you live in a school district which has
imposed ďpay to participateĒ restriction due to financial
Wrestling is the oldest sport. It has to be far older than the
5,000 years or so cited by some historians. Surely itís as old
as man himself. Guys must have been grappling with each other
since they competed for the first carcass. Or cave. Or cavewoman.
Wrestling is lonely. You step on the mat and youíre alone. You
canít run or hide. . . Or blame a teammate for your mistakes. .
. Or throw a spitball (or a tantrum). . . Or take a cheap shot. .
. Or call a timeout to plan your next move. What you can do is be
your own man, with the emphasis on man.
So take a bow, wrestler. In your sport there are no real losers.
The worst you can do is finish second. Remember the avis
rent-a-car slogan, ďwe try harder. . . Weíre only number 2.Ē
That was one of the most successful marketing ideas in history
because it eloquently expressed the prime importance of effort.
This article also lacks an
author. If anyone knows the origin of this essay please
email me and I'll see that credit is given.