Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On wrestling

Stevie and I have come out to Portland, Oregon for one of her friend's weddings.  The wedding is on New Year's Eve, but we decided to come out a little early to see some of Portland.  Before going out tonight, I visited our hotel's fitness center.

I did an easy 5k on the treadmill in roughly 26 minutes, then spent some time using barbells and doing pushups and situps.

Not long after I finished running, the fitness center was taken over by a wrestling team in town for a tournament.  They all wore sweatsuits with the hoods up as they worked the cardio machines, all in an effort to cut weight, and my first thought was, "God wrestling is stupid."

Given my size and build, I'm frequently mistaken for a wrestler.  When I was in high school, the wrestling coach tried on more than one occasion to recruit me, but I wasn't having it.  First of all, I had no desire to roll around on a mat with sweaty guys.  Second, I'd heard horror stories of the team working out while wearing trashbags with the temperature cranked up to 90 degrees, all while near starving themselves to make their weight class.  I wanted no part in such insanity.

But when I take a look at my own sport, I realize people could say the same exact thing. "Marathoning? I want no part in such insanity!"  It reminds me of a conversation I had with a co-worker a few weeks ago.  I was telling him about the need for a tapering period at the end of a marathon training schedule.

Me: Loss of libido and general fatigue are two symptoms of extreme weekly mileage.  It's almost like the body is slowly breaking down, and the taper allows the mind and body to rebuild.  The body gets a chance to recover from the stress it's been put under.
Co-worker: (long pause for dramatic effect) So... why would you want to do this?

Most things in life worth accomplishing require some degree of sacrifice.  There is an amount of misery associated with sports while in training, but the chance of it paying off is what keeps us going.  While I may not agree with the weight cutting tactics associated with wrestling, I can certainly understand the desire to do anything it takes to become the best version of yourself, no matter how crazy it may seem to outsiders.

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