There were no pile-drivers. No men jumping twenty feet into the air off of flimsy ropes and then pretending to land with all of their force on top of their overly muscular opponent. No one smashed anyone else over the head with a chair. It was just good, ole' fashion "wrastlin'." The Greek way, baby!! (except the guys we watched were wearing clothes....the Greeks and Romans didn't. Good improvment on our part, I think).
Let me tell you: wrestling is tough work!! It hurt just to watch those guys go at it for three, two-minute periods. It takes incredible strength, technique, strategy, and patience to wrestle well. And it's not all about who is the strongest. Sometimes, it's a lot more about endurance and waiting patiently for your opponent to make a mistake that you are able to exploit.
Despite the incredible personal nature of the competition, the students from all three schools showed great sportsmanship and kindness to one another, even though one guy had just finished physically dominating the other. That was the best part, for me: watching the guy who technically lost show a humble, undiminished, and congratulatory spirit towards the winner, whose unrelenting body had just been used to smash him against the mat only seconds before. It takes grace to have such an attitude.
All three of our wrestling men were very good at what they did. The Janzen brothers have been wrestling since first grade and kindegarten. Shawn just started last year, but showed incredible skill despite his short career. It was enjoyable for Ellen and I just to watch one of the oldest sports in the world being played so well. It was intense and fun.
I wanted to throw out a public "great job, guys" to these three students who pursue a sport that largely goes unnoticed in our culture. In their honor, I want to request my own plastic Travis, Clint, and Shawn wrestling action figures modeled after those shown below. If anyone reading this knows how to make them, call me. Let's git 'er done.
I'm not sure why these guys are holding hands. Kind of weird. But I like their boots.