15 January, 2017

The lowdown on yesterday's day of wrestling

Sorry for the poor quality of these photos, I've pretty much
given up on taking photo. These are screen shots of the videos.
This feels like a retro photo. Our youngest son pinning his
opponent, something his big brother has done many times
before. Of course our eldest is much bigger now, so seeing
a younger, smaller version of the same thing takes me back.
The coach in the background is the same too: Coach Rudd
who patiently answered all our questions in those early years
of attending those meets.
Well yesterday, as expected, was a big day. We all left between 6.10 and 7am and got back between 4pm and 6pm. 

We didn't go so far distance-wise. 11km for David and our two oldest boys to the high school meet at the American School in Japan (ASIJ), about 45 minutes drive to get there. 22km for myself and our youngest to the middle school meet at  Yokota US Air Force Base. It took us about an hour to get there (longer to get home, because I missed a turn and took a while to figure that out).

Our school is at the top right in this map. These weren't our exact routes,
but are close enough to give you an idea.
This was the first time I'd seen our youngest son wrestle live in Japan. And one of the few times I've missed our eldest son wrestle in Japan. 
Our eldest son piling on the points in his second match
yesterday. These two have opposed one another many times
in the last two seasons. They've both won, so the outcome
is never certain. However our son has not been beaten by
him yet this season.
It was like going back in time, just a little. We cut our teeth in wrestling on two seasons of middle school meets. Going back to that was indeed interesting. Middle school meets are less intense and slower paced. 

But I missed sharing the day with my veteran-high-school-wrestling-parent-friends. We had a lot of parents at the middle school meet (eight parents for seven kids plus the coach), but most were at their first or second meet watching their brand-new young wrestlers. But it was fun to help them understand some of what was going on, like how a ref decided who won in the case of a match finishing in a tie. Or why a wrestler might do the move you can see our eldest doing in the lower photo here: grabbing the opponents legs and flipping them over.

However, those same high-school-parent friends were messaging me with regular updates from the high school meet. One even did a Live video on Facebook with our son's most challenging bout (the lower photo is a screenshot from that bout) and I watched it in the foodcourt at the air base just before we left for home. So encouraging to have friends do that!

The surprise for me yesterday were the girls. This is the first time we've had a female middle school team and only the third year we've had them in the high school team. They added so much life to the team yesterday. The boys were all pretty quiet and keeping to themselves, but the girls were interactive and bubbly. I've often felt a bit lonely as one of the few females around (though having enthusiastic mum-friends coming in the last year has been wonderful). I'm okay with hanging with "the guys" but yesterday was delightful.

Not just joy and personality, but they were so intelligent about their wrestling. They were asking questions, analysing the bouts gone, and planning ahead for the coming ones. Always learning. And they were good. They've impressed others too. I talked to some of the female wrestlers from another school who expressed their admiration (and fear). Additionally on the end of one of the videos we heard (presumably) a coach tell his wrestlers: "If you guys wrestled half as hard as the CAJ girls do, you'd be really good. I'm not kidding'. They're mean!" They are very intense, but there are smiles as soon as the bout is over. They have great on-off switches. And they really enjoy their wrestling to boot!

I enjoyed the status of being the mum of one of the wrestlers that these new wrestlers admire (our eldest seems to be a bit of a hero...), but I could encourage them in the knowledge that his early seasons weren't spectacular. They could barely imagine that he was once 12 and in grade seven, skinny and lanky, and not winning like he does today!

If you're wondering, our girls don't train with the boys, nor do they wrestle boys in competition. I think that is something that's quite appealing to them (this clear line is not generally drawn at other schools). Not only is it not that fun for a girl to wrestle a boy, it's not that great the other way either. 

The lowdown on the results from yesterday are this:

17 y.o. son: There were three "duels" (see Friday's post), but one school didn't have someone in our son's weight category, so he school full points for the team by just turning up. He won his other two matches too.
11 y.o. son: He had a round robin competition and was in a four-"man"-bracket. He won two of his three bouts and got a silver. 

This afternoon I'm trying to rest in preparation for getting back into "real life" tomorrow. Though my body has finally succumbed to a cold, after three days of a scratchy throat and slightly drippy nose. Perhaps yesterday was the last straw? Unfortunately it isn't a slow week, but if things continue to go south (especially with my inevitable asthma), I may have to cancel some things.

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