12 February, 2017

Adrenaline-filled day

Moments before the end as our son (on top) tipped his opponent over onto
his back and pinned him chest-to-chest.
Well yesterday proved to be even more adrenaline filled than I'd anticipated. 

I'd started the day reasonably calm (for me on a wrestling day), but my digestive system was telling me otherwise.

I know that anything can happen at these events. Anyone can be beaten, but then it was happening before my eyes. The first surprise was seeing our son's usual main rival beaten by another guy late morning in his semi-final, meaning the final would be different to what I'd envisaged. Adrenaline built from there and I really hardly ate all day.

The Outstanding Wrestler trophy is huge. Six kilos!
Then around 4pm they turned the main lights down and put the spotlights on the main mat. Loud, heart-thumping music played as they dramatically introduced the guys who'd be competing in the final bouts of the thirteen weight classes. 

I got very restless and couldn't sit in the stands. I stood on the side, in the shadows. Our son, at 158 pounds (~72kg), is in the fifth-heaviest weight category and therefore had to wait a while as they started from the lightest wrestlers (101 pounds/ ~45kg).

Many of the finals before his were dramatic, hard-fought bouts. Most of them between the two top schools: St Mary's International (also hosts and with a large amount of loud, home support) and Kinnick High School (Yokosuka US Air Base) who also were very loud in their support. 

Our son's bout was against a St. Mary's wrestler. The rivalry is great between St Mary's and Kinnick, and I suspect that we had some from Kinnick shouting for our son as a win by our team was in their favour (we aren't a threat to them in the team-stakes).

In any case, I was very nervous. I mentioned to my two wrestler-mum friends who sat with me beside the mat that I was worried I would embarrass myself.

It really is a bit of a blur now. But he came "out of the blocks" blazing and it was all over in under two minutes. I yelled. I screamed. After it was over I jumped. I cried. I hugged. 

I also managed to get my finger stuck on the shutter button of my iPhone and took 29 photos of nothing but blur.

Our school's other wrestler in the finals was straight after our son, so I sat by and cheered him. He was also victorious. More celebrations.

Then I went and found my son. He stood on his own in the shadows, all sweaty and smelly and damp. I hugged him around his torso and wetly told him . . . something. I can't remember.

But there was more. After all had wrestled. They turned the lights on and rolled up the mats. Then they presented medals, lots of medals. Medals for all the Junior Varsity rounds (the B-level), the three female brackets, and then the Varsity weight classes (A-level).

After that was the team results. The hosts were pipped by Kinnick, but our team got third.

And then there was one last trophy to present. The Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament award. Our son has already won this once this season. Surely he wouldn't win it again. I held my breath. And the name that I am so familiar with, the name I gave this boy of mine nearly 18 years ago in a hospital in Brisbane, was called out to a gym full of people.

I gasped. Then I jumped up and yelled again.

This was a day with plenty of emotions. Lots of fun getting back together with a lot of the regular wrestling parents. I also enjoyed relating to the female members of the team over dinner on the way home, especially after an emotional moment with one of them after a loss earlier in the day. We travelled home in the school bus with most of the team (David was the driver, as he's been all season). As we crept along in Saturday-night Tokyo traffic, it was fun chatting with the coach, and two other parents, plus some of the team members (but most were further back in the bus and having their own fun).

The adrenaline from all of that hasn't not worn off yet. My digestion isn't back to normal yet. 

I also struggled to get to sleep. Then I woke again early morning and it took longer than an hour to get back to sleep.

I lay down again this afternoon for a few hours, but no sleep came. I read, and played word and card games on my phone. Trying to relax, and knowing that the next week will test my endurance.

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