Wrestling times


Mario brought home a wrestling flyer a couple of weeks ago. One of his friends was trying it out and he wanted to, also. The problem was that he had basketball on Tuesday nights and wrestling practice was Tuesdays and Thursdays. I tucked the flyer under some workbooks and forgot about it. Then Mario questioned me for the third time “can I try wrestling?” I emailed the coach who informed me that Mario was welcome to just attend on Thursdays.
Great.
I am not a big wrestling fan.
But we went last Thursday and Mario enjoyed it. He didn’t walk away yelling “I want to be a wrestler” but he enjoyed doing wrestling moves on his buddy and running around on the mat. Towards the end of the first practice, Ri joined in the fun. She ran around with the group of boys. There were two fourth grade boys who were practicing and Ri and they were teasing each other.
When we left that night, Ri said “I would like to try wrestling.” Nothing more came about it until this past Thursday night. I came home from work and Mario proclaimed “Ri is going to try wrestling!” I looked at Ri and she shrugged her shoulders like “no big deal.”
I fed them some chicken and grapes and we were off.
Ri participated in the warm-ups and gave all the moves a shot. However, some of the moves like where she had to tuck her hand in the boy’s armpit and grab his leg made her uncomfortable. And when they did it to her, I could tell she had experienced enough.

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She leaned against the wall while the coach explained to the group that they were going to try out a “real” wrestling match. Ri looked straight over to me, eyes wide open, and shook her head no. She mouthed “I don’t want to do this.”
I waved her over to me. And that was that. No wrestling for my girl. Jon and I were relieved. She thanked the coach for letting her try it out. I was proud of her for giving it a try. A lot of girls her age may have never fathomed the But Ri didn’t flinch going out on the mat. She gave it a go and realized it wasn’t for her. Pretty simple. No pomp and circumstance; no tears; no excuses.
Meanwhile, Mario didn’t want to leave. Practice ended and he continued to climb the wall to try and reach the metal chin up bar. He finally reached it and did a chin up. The coach praised him. He looked over at me with that cool smile on his face, trying not to look excited about the compliment but not hiding his excitement to well. I gave him a thumbs up and Ri yelled “good job, Mario!” She’s his number one advocate.

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We finally were able to pull him out of the wrestling room and get his shoes on him. Another reason I’m happy that Ri decided it wasn’t for her: the smell of sweat and heat on the two of them was nearly unbearable as we drove home.
Ugh!

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