Last year my son decided to take up wrestling. At first I had the question maybe most parents have when their child first springs their desire to wrestle and then proceeds to ask for large monetary donations for it. "What?" and then closely followed with, "Why?"
Jake had friends who had been playing football in middle school with the same coach that pulled them into wrestling when they reached high school. Then the next year they pulled Jake into wrestling with them.
I wasn't so sure about this. Jake had tried wrestling when he was younger, I would say at about age 8 because I remember bringing his little baby brother to watch him practice. He never stuck with it.
This time he did. He had a difficult season, his first season. No pins, one take down. YIKES! This year he got 7 pins and at least 10-12 take downs. That's a 700% improvement! Or as he says, "Incalculable".
Last year Joshua expressed an interest in wrestling when we took him to a meet. He watched with wild amazement at the boys on the mat. This January he got a chance to try it for himself. He's a natural. He's small, wiry, quick and smart.
I got to spend a few of the days the high schoolers wrestled, taking pictures of the boys. I put about 1300 of them into galleries for the parents to download as they wish. I'm amazed to see how many people have visited the site today, since getting the link at the banquet last night. Yesterday the site got 327 hits, today so far 2007 hits.
I love how I gain new perspective with my photography. So often I feel a bond form when I work on a family pictures. I'm able to see more clearly the big picture of Heavenly Father's plan for families. It often ends up being a very spiritual experience for me.
In the case of the wrestlers I was so blessed to be able to see bonds with these boys form, where they became like brothers with each other. They would play with, support, comfort and teach each other. When one boy was broken, the team felt it. It was great to see them rooting for each other. One of the first meets I went to had me nearly in tears when our newest Varsity Heavyweight took the mat and as the match progressed the crowd began chanting, "Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!"
Charlie after his first big win, being congratulated as he left the mat
TWO!!! The boys cheering for two points on a move.
I think these boys learned a lot more about life than they did about wrestling this wrestling season.
Like the coach said last night about why a boy who has friends that won't understand why they wrestle, "They'll never understand it, until they do it".