Eye Of The Tiger: The Girl That Wrestled…

One of my favorite stories to tell is when I went to state for wrestling in high school. Now this isn’t centered on the bragging aspect. This was one of the moments in life that tested me and I fought hard to persevere. First things first, yes, I was a girl wrestler. My first two years I wrestled mainly boys and one of those years I was the only girl on the team. Second, no I am not lesbian. Last but not least, no, I did not wrestle to get dudes. Actually to me, the guys on the team were like the brothers I never had.

Moving on, my third year wrestling I had just moved to Texas from Washington State. It was like a week before my 18th birthday so that kind of sucked but hey that’s what the life of a military brat is like. Though I missed my friends, I was also excited to be somewhere new.  So anyways in Texas, there were enough girls in the state wrestling that I actually was on a legit girls’ team. So after wrestling boys, girls were a piece of cake. No offense.

So I met the wrestling coach and I told him upfront, “Hi, I’m Crissy. I’m your new varsity 148.” He laughed at me amused and said “Well you know we already have a good 148, she’s pretty good so you might have to fight for your spot.” No problem. That’s just how much confidence I had. In fact, my first match of the season was in a tournament where I pinned the girl in like 30 seconds. I just had so much adrenaline in me. I remember just grabbing her and throwing her down. One, two, three, ding ding match over. There was no video footage, it happened so fast.

So for the rest of the season I continued my winning streak. I was beginning to get a little paranoid. The dreaded “undefeated” paranoia. The pressure to keep my record pristine was growing heavier and heavier on me. It would only take one loss to blemish my record. As the numbers of my matches grew, I began to sike myself out. Fast forward to regionals where I was still undefeated. I was in the semi-final round and somewhere in my head I completely shut down. I had wrestled this girl already several times that season and somewhere I just loss my confidence. I lost by points. In a way, I felt relieved because then the pressure of keeping an undefeated record was off me. I won my last match and took 3rd in the region.

Then I went to state. Now the first match of state me and this girl were in the last seconds of the match and we both roll. The ref had the audacity to call it a pin. I lose. WHAT?!?!? I have never been so mad in my life. He cheated me. Not only did he cheat me out of a match, he cheated me out of a gold medal. A medal I was fighting to get. I was livid. I wanted to quit. I wanted to leave. I half-way wanted to storm out the arena and go find the refs car to key it up. I was on auto-pilot for my next few matches which I won and was just coasting. My mind was completely shut down. Off. I stopped caring. I had missed taking the science version of the Texas assessment test which I had needed to graduate just so I could be there. (I moved to Texas in the middle of my senior year.)

Well finally we get to the final match of the night. I was going to wrestle for 3rd in state. Now I don’t know how the girl I had to wrestle managed to make weight because that girl was big. Like I wouldn’t have been surprised if she told me she wrestled cows for a living. She was like a refrigerator. Seriously. I knew that I couldn’t pin that her. Keeping her down . . . naw . . . lol . . . So I had to figure out how to win by points. I was back in it. We were tied and it was the last round. My only thoughts were that fourth place doesn’t get a medal. I didn’t want to walk away without my medal. I refused to quit. Now I don’t know why but a popular move for chicks was a hip toss. Like I said before, I wrestled dudes for two years before this. I knew how to wrestle and my coach then told me that the hip toss was a cheap move. Not only that but I was taught how to counter that move. Change the elevation of my hips by dropping them, get behind them, pull your head out of their arms and then you are behind them. You have the advantage. This girl was beginning to get really desperate too. I could sense it. She really wanted to hip toss me. So I let her try. She grabbed me hard and tried to throw me with all the power she could muster. I countered and she was so off balanced she fell onto her stomach on the mat with me on top and behind her.  2 points to Crissy. YES! 30 seconds left in the mat. She knew it was over. She couldn’t take me down or keep me down and vice versa. I could see the tears well up in her eyes as she knew that this was it. The last bell rang and the ref lifted my hand. I did it. I rode the mental rollercoaster and came out with the bronze medal. I cried. I was elated. I was cheated out the gold medal but somehow I mustered up enough fortitude and I walked away still feeling like a champion.

My season record: 31 wins, 2 losses

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