Friday, November 21, 2008

A wrestling Mom relieved...

I have a few confessions.
1) Before Dane decided to wrestle in 7th grade, I had NEVER been to a wrestling meet. Ever.
2) If my boys did not wrestle, I would have been happy to hold the status quo on #1 forever and ever.
3) I'm catching on, but I still don't really understand the sport of wrestling like I do basketball (which I played) and football (which I didn't play, but enjoy anyway).

I blame all of the above from the fact that when I was in high school, wrestlers were, for the most part, disgusting! They were obsessed with their weight to such an extreme that they spit in a cup all day at school. They wore plastic under their clothing to sweat all day, with the hope of losing another pound or two. They ate little and exercised like crazy people. And then they spit some more. And then they obsessed about their weight some more. To "normal" non-wrestling people, wrestlers were an odd "club". To this day, I can look back in my high school annuals and know the time of year that certain photos were taken of certain boys, as they had the gaunt, anorexic look of a die-hard wrestler in the height of the season.

So I sort of blamed it on God's sense of humor when Dane announced in 7th grade that he was going to wrestle. In our school, you can do BOTH basketball and wrestle during 7th and 8th grades, so I rolled my eyes and allowed him the experience......always greedily hoping that he would choose basketball as a freshman. It was not meant to be, and Dane is now a freshman wrestler. Grant, of course, is following Dane's pattern and will wrestle until Christmas as a 7th grader, and then play basketball from January-February. Dane, as a freshman, will wrestle now until roughly President's Day. Its a long season for the high school wrestling team.

I have to admit that I was relieved two years ago to find out that, in Junior High, the boys are not encouraged to lose weight for wrestling. But it was always with dread that I looked ahead to high school, knowing that self-induced hunger would come with time, if Dane stuck it out. At 5'9" and 162 pounds, he is a healthy and tough football lineman. Its a good weight for him at age 15, and I have not looked forward to him spitting in a cup to reach some ridiculously low number on a scale.

So......I braced myself as he headed into this season as a HIGH SCHOOL wrestler. But much to my pleasant surprise, drastic weight loss is no longer allowable in high school wrestling! In fact, they test EVERY athlete before EVERY meet for proper hydration on three parts of their body. If they fail to meet a certain level of hydration, they don't wrestle that meet. Period. WOW! What a pleasant change!! There will be no spit cups, no kid wrapped in saran wrap, and any other insane weight loss program that makes Jenny Craig look like a calorie fest.

Suddenly, wrestling season is looking "up" for this Mom. If I don't have to watch my sons get gaunt and anorexic for this sport, maybe I can learn to figure out the scoring system. And maybe I can even learn to call that thingy they wear a singlet rather than a "one-sie". :)

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