Saturday, March 9, 2019

Pursuit of Champions

As I write this blog, Austin is going to the last wrestling practice of the season. I have to say that I have been almost in tears multiple times thinking about this. Austin has participated in wrestling for the last three years, kindergarten, first and second grade. The first year was a lot of fun just watching him play around. Last year was even better as he competed in a lot of team tournaments and team events and had a really strong half Nelson which is what gave him a lot of wins. But then this year we decided to put him in a wrestling club, Pursuit of Champions with a strong commitment. He had two practices a week with this club and then went to once a week with the Byron Center team. He also had to weigh in on Friday nights typically 30 minutes away. And he competed in 8 MYWAY tournaments (all individual) on Sundays.   It was on these Friday nights that we ended up having family dinner after, which made for a nice weekly tradition.  Out of the 8 MYWAY tournaments Austin was able to achieve four second-place medals and three first-place metals.

 I remember the first, first place medal, Jason was at National Guard and I just didn’t think I would be able to take Austin without him. His coach was there and he was very clearly listening to his coach that day. I remember the feeling when he won and thought to myself I don’t care if he quits after today, we have made it to where we wanted. He had achieved the highest peak and I was on cloud nine and I could tell so was Austin. That day other dads and coaches were watching him, telling me how aggressive and strong he was. I never really saw Austin as 'aggressive'. Its hard to instill the grit factor in a young kid. But that day, he had it. 

The season continued to push Austin to work hard in fact, going into it he has always been a very poor sport when it comes to losing. There was a specific Sunday where Austin wasn’t feeling good and he was not on top of his game and despite after winning the first match he lost every match after that and would not speak or talk to anyone including his coach or us and continued to treat us poorly the rest of the day. We had a very big lesson to learn that day and it was a horrible Sunday filled with lots of tears, and poor behavior, but in the end it was worth it.  Austin was able to talk through his loss, recognizing that the next time he were to lose, he would change his actions and words. In between that time and his last tournament we went to Florida as a family and had one of the best vacations I’ve had thus far with the kids  After a full solid week off from wrestling and practices Austin went into his last two practices before his final tournament. Going into this last tournament I was trying to fill Austin’s head with lots of positivity and trying to get him ready to do his very best. That day it was very clear Austin was going to be on top of his game and we just kept telling him no matter what we love him and that he had done so well that season. Every time he got second place it seems like it was because of this one kid that seemed just slightly better than Austin., Going into this match I could tell Austin had it in him to beat this kid this day. And he did it. The very first match he pinned, then the next bout was against this 'better kid' and Austin actually won by major and it was amazing. Such a good feeling to not let the idea of someone or something scare you from overcoming.  The final match was still a tough one, but in the end, Austin took home 1st place. It felt awesome to have Jason there, since Jason was gone the other two times Austin took first because he was at national guard. 

I have found myself becoming emotional, as Austin spoke of being done with wrestling. Not just this season, but calling it quits. He found the new club to be challenging emotionally and physically. The last thing you want is to burn your kid out on something you think they love. 

I have come to love wrestling and all that it stands for. I knew nothing about this sport before Austin started. It is by far the most stressful sport to watch in my opinion. Watching your child have to go out, prove their strength and ability, completely alone. I found myself getting nervous the night before and becoming a wreck the day of the tournament. I didn't let Austin see or feel my nervous energy, but I couldn't imagine how  he felt.

So far he says that he's going to wrestle the team tournaments next year, but anytime we ask him about the club, he becomes tearful. Despite having learned more in just a few short months with this club, and pushing himself, he clearly didn't enjoy the extra challenge.

I came to love the coaches, the families, and watching the other kids. That last tournament of Austin's season, the club entered as a team to win one of the largest trophies I've seen. In this tournament, they take the top 10 scores from the team that day. Austin had the 2nd highest scoring points for his team and his club won the tournament with the most points.

I hope Austin continues wrestling at whatever level he enjoys, but I'm thankful for the time we had these years. I couldn't be more proud of him. Here are just a few pics from this season.

Here is Austin with Coach Dave after his last big win!

Here he is taking down someone who always beat him, now it was his turn to take him down. the coach of this other kid says to me " he's (Austin) been practicin' huh?"
half is still strong! 

This year's pursuit team …. (mean muggin')
I could always spot him with the bright yellow shoes!
first place gets to take home the bracket !

wearing the Byron center singlet
Austin has never been a big kid, in fact always on the smaller size  but boy does he use his strength! he wrestled all season at the 52 pound weight class, in Novice.
Hopefully this won't be the end but glad he gave it his all while was in it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...