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Going for it
As I came in the gym getting ready to weigh in I had a huge knot in my stomach. The gut wrenching fear of not doing well in one of the most important tournaments I’ve ever been in. I have decided that I wasn’t going to drop weight for this tournament. This decision came during the week when I realized that it would take a while to drop that much weight and I might not make it. Most wrestlers like myself decide to try and lose a lot of weight to try right before the tournament just to do better. I have decided that I wasn’t going to do that and I would just go for it and maintain my weight. As I was walking into the gym, I was eyeing up everyone I thought I could wrestle. Staring into their souls, my nerves started to build up. I knew that it was a huge tournament and kids were coming in from all over SouthEastern PA. I knew coming in that I would be satisfied with a top three finish but I always shoot for the top spot. I knew it was going to be difficult but anything is possible, especially in a wrestling match. As I weighed in just about shaking on the scale it read 114.6 pounds. Perfect! I was 0.4 pounds under the weight and I was ready.
I was nervous but I had to clear my system and think about winning. I knew that I couldn’t eat a whole meal because if I made it to tomorrow I would have to weigh in again. Although I probably could eat a whole buffet, I just ate a granola bar and waited for the brackets to come out. It was a dark Friday night and the first 2 rounds would be going on for my weight. The first round was called pigtails. Pigtails are just to see who actually makes the bracket and whoever loses is out. This happens when the bracket just has so many kids at that weight and my weight was common for middle schoolers. Luckily I was the 1st seed coming into the tournament with a decent 10-2 record. Since I was the first seed I didn’t have to wrestle in the pigtails or the round of 32 because I had a bye. Although I couldn’t wrestle I stayed and cheered on my teammates that were and tried to encourage them.
The next morning was a grueling 6:30 departure from my house for a 8:00 weigh in. A long one hour drive to Quakertown high school felt like forever. I made sure to check me weight about 100 times before I left just to make sure there were no surprises. Right when I stepped in the gym of 200 kids ready to weight in and then wrestle my heart started to pound. This weigh in was especially nerve wracking because I was in a group with everyone at my weight instead of my team. Knowing that I could wrestle anyone of the kids, I would say I was just a tad bit nervous. As I stepped on the scale I didn’t breathe and stayed at still as I can, looking like a statue with enormous eyes looking at what my weight was. As I read the 114.2 pounds off the scale, I could finally breathe. Knowing that I could eat whatever I want and not weight in tomorrow, I went right to the cafeteria .
Shoving two bagels and a two granola bars down my throat, I was finally ready to step on the mat. Rolling around on the mat with my two best friends on the team we all were loose and ready to go. We all knew we were nervous but we had to let it go and wrestle. Scrambling around with each other we were ready to go. The announcer was all ready to go, told everyone to get off the mats and put on the National Anthem. As I cruised through the round of 16 and the round of 8 I was feeling good. In the round of 16, I got a pin in the 2nd period. Fighting for the pin, I finally got it after having the kid on his back for a while. In the round of 8 I faced a kid who was really strong but not that technical. I ended up winning that match 14-1.
I was feeling very confident and that was actually a good sign. In the semifinals I had a kid who looked pretty athletic. I got myself ready and we were off. Right off the first whistle I heard my coaches yelling instructions out to me. “ Stay low,” my one coach yelled. “ Be smart and wrestle your stuff,” the other coach screamed. I was ready to go and started the match off really well. Within the first 30 seconds I managed to get him on his back and was trying to get the pin. My coaches were standing as tall as Mount Everest waiting for me to win this match and make it to the finals . Squeezing with all my might I was trying to get his shoulders as flat as a piece of paper. With 10 seconds left in the 1st period the ref blew the whistle and slapped the mat. I had pinned him and was going to the finals! As the nerves started to come back while I was waiting to wrestle in the finals I was just trying to relax. I took deep breaths and just told myself that I could do it. As time went by it got closer and closer to one of the most important matches I have ever wrestled. They started with the lowest weight and I had to start warming up. The knot in my stomach got a little tighter each second closer to my match. I started to warm up and try and shake the nerves off. The time was actually here, I ran up to the table to put my name in and got ready. I didn’t know who I was wrestling so I was prepared for a great match. When the match started it was just a stall between us two. Trying to see what he was like and how I would try and beat him. As things started rolling I got the first takedown for 2 points and then he reversed it into his own 2 points. As I looked at my corner I heard my coach screaming “ Go for it,” with all his might. I knew exactly what he meant in the back of my mind.
As we both stood up I got ready and just did it. “Boom,” his body hit the ground and he was on his back. I caught him with a quick move and was about to do it. “Squeeze, Squeeze, Squeeze,” my coaches were both screaming while they were jumping in the air. They must have knew that the kid I was facing was really really good because I have never seen them jump in the air like that. I was looking at the ref just waiting for him to call it and tell me I got the pin. Squeezing my muscles so hard and trying to get the right position to get the pin. “Weeeeeee,” his whistle blew and I won the match! I started jumping up and down and went and hugged my coaches. “Thank you for everything,” I gulped as the whole gym was yelling and clapping. Making this move to not drop weight really was a wise decision. It caused a lot less stress on me because it was easy to maintain my weight and I ended up winning the most important tournament in my life. I went with it and got 1st place with help from the best coaches in the world.