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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

THE WRESTLING TROPHY


THE WRESTLING TROPHY
Kids today get a trophy in every sport just for showing up.  That is fine, especially for the little ones.   It does get them excited, but at some point the accolades become watered down. 

When I was a lad trophies were few and far between, but I cherished the ones I did manage to win.  I think I won a bowling trophy, and two trophies for the football team winning our conference.  That was it, unless you count my wrestling trophy.

My wrestling trophy was really not a trophy, it was a tiny charm.  It could have come from a Cracker Jacks box, but it meant a lot to me.  It meant a lot because of how hard I worked for it, and because in those days awards did not come easy.

This tiny charm was for coming in second place in a wrestling tournament.  It was not even a varsity tournament, it was a JV tourney.

To get into this tourney I had to make weight.  I wrestled at 167 pounds and I was usually around 174 pounds.  I lost 7 pounds in one day by running and sweating, eating only carrots, sweating some more, and for several hours before weigh-in drinking no liquids and spitting into a towel. (I know!)

Anyway.

I made weight and then spent all of a Saturday, from 9 am until 6 pm, either wrestling, or waiting to wrestle.  The day was grueling.  Weak from not eating and sweating just to make weight, I wrestled in three matches.  I won the first two matches, and was destroyed in the finals by a dude that was just stronger and faster than me.  Still, I was awarded that stupid charm for second place, and I was proud of it because it was such a long day and it took such hard work to win it.

That night I had a date, I think it was a date; it may have been a sort-of date, with a very cute little cheerleader, Colleen Vega.  The date was to watch the high school basketball game and then there was a dance or something, I don’t really remember.

I do remember racing home from the wrestling meet, changing, and racing to school for the game where I met up with said cute little cheerleader.  I vaguely remember that the cheerleader had initiated this date so I think she may have had a crush on me.  I remember for sure I had a big time crush on her.

I met her at the game, and she was very flirty.  She asked me about the wrestling meet.  Of course I bragged about coming in second after barely being beaten in the finals due to the referee’s horrible decision.  (I did not mention the horrible decision was counting to three when my back was on the mat one minute into the match.) 

After the basketball game we were walking I don’t remember where, but I was feeling pretty good about this date.  I had told her I won a small charm.  I was about to attempt holding her hand when she asked to see the charm.  I pulled it out and showed it to her.  She looked at it and suddenly she asked,

“Can I have it?”

I did a quick scale balancing thing in my head.   Small stupid charm/ Really cute cheerleader.  Worked hard and sweated all day to win small stupid charm/ Really cute cheerleader.


That was the last I time I ever had a chance with the really cute cheerleader.   She was never flirty with me again.  I never asked her out.

I still have the small stupid charm.

25 comments:

  1. lol I was wondering if you would give it up or not. Good for you. I agree that they give out rewards far to easily now. Had to talk to my youngest as he was disappointing that some other kid answered a question and got a reward but he had his hand up the whole time. Mind you my son comes home weekly with a prize of some kind. I had no idea how spoiled these kids are getting stuff constantly. :0

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  2. That's just one of those decisions that would have left you wondering no matter which choice you made....

    The way they hand out trophies now is ridiculous. It bites the kids in the ass later, though. My little sister was maybe the first generation of getting a trophy for everything, and now at age 19 she still cannot function on her own.
    :/

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  3. lol That's great! My son was a wrestler and the mom end of the dieting, hungry / angry young wrestler is about as much fun as being the hungry, angry dieting wrestler.... You deserve the "little" charm for 2nd. You probably should have given it to your mom, lol. I'm sure she earned it as much as you did for putting up with... again, the dieting, hungry, angry teen age attitude wrestler ;) Just sayin' :)

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  4. You mean to say there might have been yet another Mrs. Cranky? The only award I ever won was for a relay race ending with a balloon pop in the fifth grade. I anchored the team and ran last because everyone was convinced I was well-suited to popping the balloon by sitting on it. And they were right--our team won first place and received a blue ribbon. Our teacher pinned the ribbon on the wall of our classroom and said I could have it on the last day of school, but someone stole it.

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  5. I think I still have my "letters" from high school and college wrestling stored away somewhere. My real trophies are the memories of participating. Glad I'm not the only "old man" cranky or otherwise telling stories in a blog.

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  6. Yeah, you've really gotta watch those charm-digging little cheerleaders. I agree, kids get awards for little more than blowing bubbles these days. It's that "entitlement" thing.

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  7. Well you priorities were way different then. Bwahahahahahahaha. What could have been, if you'd have just given up that little charm.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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  8. ahh, what could have been ......

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  9. You probably had a Great Escape!

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  10. I can't believe she had the nerve to ask for it. Pass on her.

    Wrestling reminds me of anorexia nervosa. Why couldn't you compete at 174?

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  11. You were probably very smart to not let that charming little cheerleader charm you out of your charm.....or very stupid :), but I'm glad you still have it.

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  12. Mrs. Cranky no. 0. Well, it didn't cost you a charm to seal the deal. Sorta fun to still have around. Maybe one of your granddaughters would put it on a bracelet.

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  13. Good choice on your part. She would not have respected that charm. I suppose she was testing her "charms."

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  14. Smart move. Never give away your charm on a first date ( that is a cardinal rule). Now if she had asked for it on the third date----.

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  15. Values, values, Joe. I'm proud of you, you big dope!

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  16. Love this memory and love that you didn't give her the charm! But yet I can see myself having done the same thing in high school....!

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  17. Good riddance! She was just a charm-digger.

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  18. Tough choice but probably the best one, I always wondered about any guy who spent a couple of month's pay on a class ring and then gave it to the first skirt who looked at him--and said skirt then promptly lost the ring or threw it away when they split up.

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  19. You realize, of course, that you very much did the right thing. Any cheerleader, no matter how cute, who would ask you for something on a first date was bound to ask you for bigger things every time after. It would NOT have ended any better than it did by your refusing.

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  20. I remember my husband saying when he got his letterman jacket in high school, all his friends were giving them to their girlfriends but he didn't to his girlfriend at the time, he had earned it, his parents had paid for it, and no girl was going to wear it. I have to tend to agree with keeping something, even if it was a "little" charm instead of giving it to someone who did nothing to earn it. You were better off not handing it over to her in the long run I do think!

    betty

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  21. Maybe she was a kind of trophy hunter. Perhaps she had a collection of other boys' (dumber ones) trophies. Women can be so materialistic even at a young age:) You are so right about how meaningless trophies given out to kids now are. We have dozens of basketball medallions all over the house my boys won for mere participation. They'd probably give them away to a cute cheerleader!

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  22. Awards/rewards mean nothing to kids these days; everyone gets one so they don't feel left out or discriminated against. It's wrong in my opinion, what happens later when they enter the workforce and find they actually have to earn their rewards?
    I didn't know there were weight limits for wrestling. I've seen wrestlers on TV and they're all huge bulky men. Not that I watch wrestling, my younger son is a fan.

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  23. Cheerleader girl sounds a little selfish and vain. I'm glad you still have your "small stupid charm." After all these years, it's value has increased by giving you a memory that led to another blog post. Maybe I'll search my memory box and see if I can come up with a post.

    My brother used to box. I remember that spitting thing.

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