From the Beginning

The wrestling coach pairs a toned 16-year-old against a scrawny 14-year-old whose only thought is to survive. Baseball practice finally starts next week following a long, cold winter (and several weeks of wrestling in gym class).

The thought arises, “Just go down. Give the 16-year-old a handshake and the coach satisfaction.” But then, I hear my friends urging me to compete.

They understand how I feel about wrestling. Compared to baseball … well, there is no comparison in my mind. Baseball features a beautiful outdoor landscape while wrestling takes place in a drafty gym on funky smelling mats. Baseball demonstrates agility; wrestling, brawn.

Competing isn’t an option from this position. However, I continue to hear encouragement and decide that I won’t be pinned.

A three-hour baseball game passes by in an instant for me, but this two-minute wrestling period lasts an eternity. I will not allow my shoulders to give in.

Finally, the whistle blows. I didn’t get pinned. I actually survived.

Now I can focus on a new beginning in the fresh air of baseball season. I think.