Who knew that reflecting took so much time? Not to mention that today I've been hit with all work that's built up while I was away. So I'm still working on writing my reflections, but here are some pictorial reflections, first of my week away and second just a few from our son's six years of wrestling.
This photo represents one aspect of what I love about wrestling. Our son is in the middle here, talking to a guy from a rival school. Both of them won their weight class, the other guy's brother lost to Callum several times during the season. He came second in the Kanto finals, and third in the Far East competition, but is two years younger.
I love the camaraderie that develops between rivals. It is a combat sport, but the competition generally remains on the mat. I have another photo that I don't want to put up here, because I don't put my kids faces on my blog, but it is a photo of our son with his Outstanding Wrestler's award from the Kanto finals, with his main rival who's got his arm around our son's shoulders and a big smile. I love it.
These are the other parents I travelled with and generally spent all of the five days with. Thankfully they put up with me!
I generally try to avoid caffeinated coffee at breakfast time because it causes headaches later in the day, but exhaustion on the last morning meant it was the wiser thing to do. I loved these cup and saucer sets that they had at the hotel. In fact the breakfast room had a large farm-kitchen feel to it, very comfortable.
Now on to some older wrestling memories. Here was one of the matches that stands out in our memory, our son pinning only 2 seconds from the end of a colossal dual in grade nine.
And a year in Australia gave him the chance to represent Queensland in wrestling.
Yes, a family affair. Always sitting by the mat and videoing, often by a little brother. The technology has improved and this year we've mostly used school iPads, rather than our own video camera and tripod. It's wonderful to be able to give all the wrestlers a recording of their bouts, and also family, especially those family who couldn't be there. We've found that our Australian extended family have enjoyed following along with our son's wrestling journey via watching videos too.
I didn't get to know these ladies very well, because their sons were seniors when our son had just begun high school. It was a pleasure to watch their sons wrestle in the Far East competition in 2014. Just the beginning of many years of enjoying sitting in the stands with other wrestling-mums.
And various coaches along the way. This is Coach Kumate when our son wasn't taller than him yet.
And Bob, one of the Queensland coaches.
Coach Yaegashi, the current CAJ coach.
Not a great photo, but this is the wrestling club in Brisbane where our boys all trained for a year. Our son is looking forward to going back there next year.
The silver medalist in our son's weight and age class at the first Australian national competition he went to came from this club on the west coast. When we were over there for work a month or two later, we dropped in on them and our boys all joined in a training session.
And this: one of my favourite wrestling photos. Two mums supporting one another mat-side.