I'm moving pretty slowly this morning. Although my neck moves ok in some ways there are specific pain points that when you reach them it quickly reminds you that you're hurt. There's one place in particular that's very sore. The closest thing I can compare this to is probably a car accident although in this case my opponent specifically put pressure on my neck so it took the brunt of the impact. Ouch.
After the exertion of the past few days I got a good night sleep which was much needed. Part of the issue with how I was feeling by last night was physical but part of it was certainly mental and emotional. Having worked as hard as I felt I did and have it end up like that was a bitter pill to swallow. I certainly didn't expect to win but I didn't expect for it to end like that, either. I can be very hard on myself. I'll also admit that it was some combination of resentment mixed with embarrassment/frustration/disappointment to be forced to confront my own physical frailty but I suppose things happen in our lives for reasons. However, the reality of my situation is that I like to think I'm wiser than I was at earlier stages of my life and I had nothing more to prove.
As I mentioned yesterday my first opponent in the day was the US Olympian in my weight class in 2008. I went to her website to look at some of the photos from her Olympic experience (see it here). It looks like it was quite the wonderful time. I was talking with one of the coaches of one of the women's teams about the fact that recognition of women's wrestling as a legitimate sport all its own is a fairly recent thing. Oh - I so wish that I was 25 years younger than I am.
The name of the woman who won my weight class is Stephany. She also won at the Nationals and I can't imagine anyone beating her except herself. Watching her wrestle is to watch her approach it in a very workmanlike, direct way. She gets herself into trouble but has an uncanny way of getting out of it, or better yet of turning a challenge into an opportunity. One second it'll look like she's in trouble because she's given up a leg or seems to be in a bind but the next she's somehow on top. It's really extraordinary and seems like a good way to approach life in general. Here's an interview with her last year (see it here).
I like her style.
I know friends who would have wanted to get into ballet or gymnastics or other more "traditional" girly things had they had the opportunity while growing up. I doubt that I would have been a girly girl even if I had been born that way. I can attest first hand that I've competed against the best athletes in this country in this sport and they are tremendous, well-trained, focused competitors in every sense of the word.
There is more wrestling today over in Council Bluffs but I'm done. I watched the finals last night and will spend today resting. My friends are in the other room watching World Cup soccer - I'll admit to having little or no interest. I may go for a walk or for a drive to see some of the local sights but that'll be the extent of my exertion today.
Tomorrow we're planning to get a group of local friends together for brunch, and then I fly back to Phoenix later in the day. When I wake up on Monday I'll start to make decisions about what comes next - I've got several things a-brewing. I approach life in bite size chunks these days so it's time to start considering what that next bite will be.