Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A need for combat

<<< 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.

"Duh."

Such is the life among boys.

7 comments:

sorel top said...

I remember us girls getting in some tussles too.

oldmanandhisbike said...

I wrestled in 10th grade for about 2 months. I basically went out for it after getting cut from the basketball team. I sucked at basketball and was not much better at wrestling. Basically a tackling dummy for the talented guys.
Good luck to Erik.
P.S. Try to convince him to go out for soccer; that is a real Man's game! :^)

sydney said...

hmm. Really?! No way. I'm sure that kitchen knife you buried into my door was meant as a show of appreciation for my nyah nyah dancing. And that chair over your head, a punctuation mark for my request, not attempted sista-cide.

I'm still amazed we made it to adulthood. :D

sydney said...

@oldman, soccer!? Heavens no. Wrestling and Basketball are wonderful indoor sports since they run Jan-Feb/Mar. Sitting on a bleacher bench watching players run back and forth with hardly any scoring when the weather's bike ride perfect... are you crazy?

oldmanandhisbike said...

You can play soccer indoors in warm comfort in the winter with plenty of slam banging, hockey like fun as well as much scoring.
It is a fall sport in high school so it would only interfere with CX racing and football.
I played football in high school; football is for wussy's! :^)

Dad said...

Oldmanandhisbike...NOooooooo Soccer!!! If that grandkid thinks soccer I will personally take him to the mat and really put the hurt on him. *LOL*

Football, Wrestling, Track, Rodeo...all fine, but no soccer...that's about as exciting as watching paint dry...and if I gotta go watch, I want to be excited.

the mostly reverend said...

when erik gets out of school, whether high school or college, and realizes he can't wrestle anymore, he'll remember bicycles.

syd, when he gets a little older, take him to some races, and let him see the hot women. thankfully, he's still too young.

good luck in k.c. i'm not going to be able to make it down--long story. i'll try to get hold of you for sunday's show, okay?
866.333.5966, in case you forget.