I was going through some pictures from my Dad’s house tonight and I stumbled across this little piece of history. This is the bracket from my first year of wrestling, which would have been third grade. As you can see, I was pretty dominant. Or as dominant as a fifty pound nine year old can be.
You may be asking yourself how I did at Junior Olympics, which I believe was a few weeks later. Well I did not get to wrestle because I did not make weight. I ballooned up to a whopping 52 lbs. and could not find a way to get it off in time. I think at the final weigh-in, I was about a quarter pound over and they would not allow me to slide. Rules are rules.
I remember my Dad being so mad at me. He made feel pretty bad about not making weight. He said I let everyone in the family down. He named a bunch of cousins who were all good wrestlers and said that if I wanted to be like them, I had to do a better job. I think he was trying to teach me a lesson about something, but even to this day, I still feel like he was being a bit of a jerk. The thing I remember most though, he said that I let my grandparents down. I remember that made me cry.
I do not want this to seem like some kind of attack on my Dad. Later on he came to me and said he was sorry for yelling at me. He told me that I didn’t let anyone down, minus myself. He said that he was proud of me for trying to hard to get down to weight and that it was ridiculous that they would not allow me to slide on a quarter pound.
I am pretty sure this is the only time in my life I was ever the champion at something as an individual. I know, that is really sad to admit.