Brandon has Herpes

Brandon, our Heavyweight and Team Captain, got herpes this weekend at the Mt. SAC tournament. He came in today with red splotches of warts and sores all over his face. He was the guy that held the team together, the guy that threw parties and let guys stay at his house before matches, and now his wrestling career is over.

Mine could be over too. I hate saying that, but he didn’t get impetaigo or ringworm, he got HERPES! And herpes is lifelong, it doesn’t go away, ever. If I were to get herpes, it literally would be the end of the world. I would never be able to wrestle again, or do judo, I’d have to stop jiujitsu at the Y which would alienate me from the only friends I have and training with Peter would be out of the question. But that’s not even half of the reason why my life would be over…if I get herpes, so much for the military.

So maybe I’m being a little paranoid, and maybe I’m a heck of a hypochondriac, but herpes is a disqualifying condition for the military, and if I get DQ’d, the whole reason I got into football and wrestling and extreme sports will have been for nothing. I want to be a Diver in the Army, Dive school is harder than Ranger school. I love wrestling more than anything, it feels like who I am and it makes me special, but would I give my life to keep wrestling?

Wrestling is taboo for girls, its not the same as a girl saying she she’s a judoka or a jiujitsuka or even a submission grappler, when a girl says she’s a wrestler, she is business. Girl wrestlers are literally the toughest athletes in the world. I’m saying with absolute certainty that they are tougher than people who run ultramarathons, who play football or lacrosse, or who box and fight bare-knuckle. Female wrestlers are tough because unlike all the other sports where all you have to do is be strong, girl wrestlers aren’t welcome. The other sports are some of the toughest in the world, but it’s open to anyone brave enough to accept the challenge…girl wrestlers have to fight just for their right to accept the challenge in most cases. Maybe the people who do the Ecochallenge are on parr with girl wrestlers, but that’s just because that race in and of itself is unnatrual and unwelcoming.

Wrestling has made me a fighter, and it makes me special. I say I’m a wrestler and it automatically gets me respect among guys. Navy SEALs have given me props and the greatest fighters in the world have let me train with them. But respect is not the reason I wrestle. Far from it. I wrestle because I like it. It feels right. I feel like wrestling is where I belong, and no one can take that away from me. Even if they made girls wrestling illegal like it is in some states and in most of the world still today, I would still be a wrestler and I would still belong there. It doesn’t matter if I don’t go to the Olympics or to State or even if I lose more matches than I win, I’m still a wrestler and I can still fight. I love wrestling.

But wrestling is not what I want to do with my life. There’s very little that any wrestler can do with the sport of wrestling besides get a scholarship with it and quit. Swimming, at least you can be a lifeguard or a rescue diver or join the Coast Guard or the Navy SEALs, but as much as I love wrestling, I don’t know if I can risk my life over it. If I get herpes, I can’t work for the county, so so much for being a lifeguard. I can’t join the military, I couldn’t get on any other college team, I couldn’t work with animals because my skin condition would kill some species, and not to mention that my social life would be non-existent (as if it isn’t now).

But basically, I’m concidering quitting wrestlng because I’m scared? Brandon’s off the team! I’ve never wrestled him or even touched him. I could wrestle in sweats and wear layers of underarmour to tournaments, its not like I didn’t know about the risks when I joined the team. Though the odds of getting a condition increase dramatically when someone one the team has already had it, ultimately I’m thinking of quitting because I’m scared.

Mother Theresa kissed the wounds of leppers, and never got sick herself. She wasn’t afraid, fear shuts down the immune system and makes you suseptable to illness. In my life I thought I was just cursed with bad luck because every time something good starts to happen something bad always comes up and just fucks it up. I’ve realized that that’s just life.

If life were easy, everyone would do it.

Life is also dangerous and hard, and part of life being hard is not just accepting the challenge. I think if life were all about accepting challenges, it would be easy because it would follow the program, but I guess sometimes the program gets a little messed up. Sometimes life takes us to places where it’s not just our integrity on the line, or our pride or our namesake, sometimes there’s a lot more on the line. I have to decide whether what the risk of staying on the team, despite the fact that skin conditions among wrestlers spreads like wild fire, is worth the gain I would recieve from staying on the team and perservering.

I’m scared, I’ll admit, but I knew that other wrestlers got herpes, its just when it walked onto my team’s mat that I freaked. If someone would have said that someone over at Moorpark got herpes, I would have been at practice right now. I have no fear in the face of a challenge, but danger is something else. I’m going to the army to get shot at, that’s dangerous, that could end my life, but I think I’d rather end my life getting shot than getting herpes, I don’t know.

I have never run when something has gotten hard, but if I run every time something gets a little dangerous, I’ll be running from everything. There are people who claim to have cures for herpes, they’re in the process of sueing the Food and Drug Administration and the Medical Corporations. I have their contact information, and Coach gave me until tommorrow to make a decision.

I feel horrible for Brandon.

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One Comment on “Brandon has Herpes”

  1. zaphodfreek Says:

    Better safe than sorry.
    But sorry I am.


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