I am a nobody, a third year high school
wrestler for a team which lacks of intensity. You couldn’t get people to stand up so you could MAYBE do SOMETHING but it really didn’t matter. In 2days I would depart for a 17hour bus ride to the pinicle of high school wrestling. The ontario high school provincials, OFSAA. Unforunately on that 17 hour ride, I would take 5 months of the same repetetive pathetic training from an unknown city in northern ontario to chalenge the provinces best.
I sat there on the bus, in my sweats having not eating more then a few fruits in the past 24hours and I thought to myself I bust my ass every single day, I’ve beaten almost everyone on this bus and yet no one expects me to do well at all. 17hours had passed and I fell on the bed of the hotel room, soaked in sweat my roomate looked at me he was wrestling a much higher weight class where the seperation beetween weights was much larger. He unpacked his bags which consisted of his clothes, wine gums, skittles, chocolate, bags of chips, pop, peanuts, and other assortments of tasty candy. He sat down, looked at me and began to chow down. Never before have I felt the need to bust someones ass like I did then. Every single bite, every little sound of him eating a piece of candy, I hated him…I hated him, I hated not eating, I hated getting up at 6am to run only to go to school, practice and then run again but I was a nobody, it didn’t matter.
Finally I had made it to the weigh ins. I looked around at the people standing in line. The 6time provincial champ was standing in line and despite the fact I had cut about 10lbs to make my weight class, I was still smaller then most. I stepped on the scale at 63kg and had made weight. Over the next 3days I would be paired up against 32 of ontarios best in the hardest weight class there. I had pinned my first oppenent and wrestled sloppy, my second match was against the provincial bronze medalist. I had lost by one point and was sent to the consilation side meaning I would have to go thru 6more matches to place on the podium. The day was done.
My second day would contain 4matches at the most, if I had made it through. I woke up exausted and sore from the war I had the day before. I had faced one of the provinces best lost by only one point and I felt as though I could take on the world despite my bruises and bumps.
Reality is a funny thing though, it strikes you down just when you think you’ve gotten past it. I looked at my bout sheet at the quarterfinal bracket. All 8 were provincial and ofsaa medalists. This meant had I pulled a few upsets. I had to go thru 2 top ranked oppenents just to get to podium. My brain told me to give up, but my heart wouldn’t…I trained to hard and this took me through 4 matches. I had beaten the same man who i faced last year and lost to, 2 others and an absolute giant. I was one match away from doing the undo-able…
The third day I woke up immensely sore, I had nothing in me, I knew I would be facing a top ranked oppenent and my body had given up. I was warming up for my match, staring at the giant screen which said i had 5matches before mine, about 30minutes to warm up. “Hey you!, we’re up!” … Hey you, he didn’t even know my name and it turned out the bout numbers on the screen were not being updated. So this was it, the final match before podium. He was too quick, too strong. His shots were like lightning and although my defence was alright he would score. He scored 4points to my 0, when he took another shot, i realized something…his head wasnt where it should be and i threw him for 3points, unforunately i had lost the first round. The second round of a possible 3 came up and he continued, he pummeled on me, i fought back hard it was 2-0 for him and with 20seconds left he lifted me off the ground. Both my feet were a few inches off the ground, I was blocking hard and everyone in my corner gasped like it was over…but his head wasn’t where it shouldve been. I popped my hips and threw him as hard as i could, he landed on the mat and was pinned. I had done it, a nobody from NWOSSAA, the weakest region in ontario had cracked the podium.
I was pumped and time was nearing, the people in charge of the tournament called all athletes 1-6th place to line up for the parade of champions. Weightclasses from lighest to heaviest would line up go down the hall walking beside their oppenent. Girls would go to the left, boys to the right and they would face the crowd, shaking the hands of their oppenents. In front of thousands of people these were the best 6 in ontario. I was misplaced however, somewhere they had made a mistake. The top 5 people in my weight class were talking about matches, about people, and my oppenent was the junior provincial champ, he was the best under 20 wrestler in ontario for 60kg but something was massively wrong, he was 5’5 and twice my size. I had met him earlier, he had cut from 72kg. And as we walked down the hall, he spoke so rudely and arrogantly about his previous matches. He looked at me as though I was not in his league, like I did not deserve to face him.
2hours later it was the biggest match of my life. That whistle blew and we began. He pushed me around like a rag doll, he was the strongest thing I had ever wrestled but my heart I knew I wouldn’t give up, I would fight until the very last second and he would leave that mat exausted and unable to stand even if he did pummel me. He beat me the first round 3-0. He had taken me down and turned me on the ground, he was so strong, i tried to reverse and any other man wouldve been caught, but not him. The second round began and i stuck him in double underhooks I tripped him and took him down and both his shoulders hit the mat, I had pinned him I thought for sure…but the refs did not call the pin and after those few seconds he exploded out of the pin, i didnt believe it.
He fired out and as we got up again he took me down. He turned me on the ground and covered my airway, he was being dirty and he knew it. He did this twice. I grunted in pain and frustrating being unable to breathe , the ref had called us up because of this and he had the match won, 7-4 with 20seconds left. He came at me and tossed me with 20 seconds left…he shouldve made sure I couldnt breathe. As he tossed me I countered and threw him on his back, with 12seconds left he tried to throw me off, but i held one of his arms down, posted and readjusted.
With 2seconds left the slam of a hand on the mat came down and the place went nuts. With 2 seconds left I had pinned junior provincial champ, a man who was twice my size. He couldn’t believe it, he wouldnt get up.
He had been talking shit all day and got stuck by a nobody.
And there I was, a nobody from thunder bay on podium but in my books. My will ranked #1.