<<< the mostly reverend said...
your 9th grader is a wrestler? good for you and him!! i wrestled in junior high and high school, and coached the year that i taught school.
other than cycling, it is the most demanding, unappreciated sport a kid can do. long hours of training--year-round--of hard, thankless work. sacrifice, sweat, and all that.
Yep, Erik wrestled for a season when he was 7, then developed a condescending attitude towards organized athletics across the board till he went to high school, where on the invitation of a boy who was told to find all the big kids, asked Erik to go out for football.
"I think I'll just do it," he said.
Erik said he did it because of the cognitive conflict it gave his academically oriented friends who generally considered jocks as both jerks and dumb. He also thought it might be a way to get that extra muscle he needed to wrench the alpha spot from his big bro.
He didn't get to play all season but for a couple of minutes, but practice and lift he did, day after day. Then, at the close of the season and having a lot of respect for his freshman football coach, who is also the head wrestling coach, Erik signed up to wrestle and may have found a certain calling.
Of course, Big Bro takes the credit. Without all those years of abuse, how would Lil Bro have become mean and tough?
In a week and a half, one of the varsity boys will drop out of Erik's weight class, and Erik will step onto the varsity mat. Despite knowing he'll likely be seeing a lot of the gym lights, he says it's the only way to get better, b/c he'll go to triple the meets and face opponents who'll push him to his limit.
Of course, I'm thrilled, but Erik's always had a warrior spirit and a high pain tolerance, so it's a good fit. Nonetheless, developing the willingness and ability to step into the pain and deliver is something I want for all three of my boys and only they can give it to themselves.
Oh, and football and a few weeks of wrestling did indeed put an end to the regular clashes of titans around the house. Two days before Erik's 15th birthday last month, Big Bro admitted he was outmatched and conceded; however, there was an arm wrestling contest after dinner Monday, and Big Bro won the left handed challenge.
"It's not over yet!" he exclaimed, immediately pulling his phone and tapping away.
"oooo, gotta tell the the girlfriend, huh?" Erik teased.
Such is the life among boys.