You never really outgrow (well, I used to believe this) being the un-athletic, awkward kid. My whole life I have always been the slow, sickly, snot-nosed, picked-last-for-dodgeball kid.
This reputation was not easy to cultivate. Starting from kindergarden, I made serious efforts at flinching every time a ball flew at my head, I made sure to run much slower than everyone else, and went through great pains to strike out every time I was at bat. I even went as far as developing asthma by age ten to ensure no one would surpass my athletic awkwardness.
Ok, not really!
Any who, by the time I reached middle school I was reaping the rewards of my awkwardness. I usually ate lunch alone, bullies would steal from me (one girl wore my stolen shirt to school with no remorse), kids would pick on me, and one very mean boy in band class even suggested I kill myself. (I sometimes wonder if he jacks off to my porn now… If you do and you’re reading this, I hope you’ve gotten over whatever issue made you a dick towards others. Seriously dude, life is better when you’re nice to others. Try it sometime!)
During these confrontations my legs used to become like putty while my mind went blank (think, deer-in-headlights). I stood no chance at defending myself!
Well all of this came back to haunt me late last year. That is when I got asked to wrestle for Ultimate Surrender. All the locker-room insecurities I had built up my entire life sort of bubbled to the surface when I agreed to my match against Holly “The HoneyBadger” Heart. I even cried after my match (no joke- ask Holly Heart).
Overall, my first wrestling experience was amazing; tears, fears and all! A portion of my post-match tears were not owed to the terror pulsing through my veins but were caused by a sense of joy. Really! I was joyful for overcoming such a huge insecurity. I honestly – cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die – never thought I’d be able to do any sort of competitive sport, let alone, one-on-one (or bijective – tee hee hee) competitive sport.
Now that I train consistently and wrestle competitively fairly often* I feel more fulfilled in life (I know it sounds crazy but I do). I know I’m not the best wrestler and I know I still have some lingering awkward-kid insecurities but I don’t sweat it as much any more. I am fulfilled knowing that if I can grapple with someone and come out ok, I can do any physical activity I set my heart to! (Well, obviously, almost anything. I can’t flap my wings and fly!)
So overall, wrestling has improved my confidence, my stamina, my physical appearance, and my health (I rarely get asthma attacks these days).