LOL, Swimmers

Posted September 14, 2006 by girlwrestler
Categories: Uncategorized

I was on the swim team in the spring. The girls were funny and the guys were weirdo’s. I change in the swimmer’s locker aisle, they have big comfy couches (!!).

Usually after practice I come into the locker room right as the swimmer’s (waterpolo season) get out of practice, and I’m as soaked as they are. One day I came into the lockerroom and Michelle, the Full Back Bull of the waterpolo team, saw me and just started laughing!

I was changing yesterday before practice while the waterpolo girls were sitting down chilling and they were talking about shaving legs (those are the kind of weird topics that come up in a girls lockerroom while everyone’s half naked and screwing around). I related my story about how I got called on shaving my legs in the second week of practice.

“MY GOD Nicole, do they know you’re a girl?”

“YES! Now they do!”

And then I ran out of the lockerroom and left them busting up because I was late to practice.

Advertisements

By the way, his name is Jareth

Posted September 13, 2006 by girlwrestler
Categories: Uncategorized

And he elbowed me in the face! All in play of course.

My partner, the guy who said he doesn’t go easy and doesn’t care that I’m a girl, finally has a name. Dunno why I didn’t just listen to the roll call earlier to hear it. His name is Jareth.

He usually partner’s up with Sean now, and I usually go with either the 145lber or the tall 165lber (gosh what a team player I am, don’t even know my own teammates names). But if Sean’s not there, I’m his partner by default. And nope, I don’t have much say in the matter (lol).

So, today we’re going over more granby rolls (shoulder rolls from bottom). Everyone’s just screwing around wrestling and doing weird stuff and getting into strange pinning combo’s that end up pinning themselves. Jared hits a Granby on me and I throw my leg over his head. That little leg over the head thing is responsible for tapping half a dozen blue belts, love it. So I’m pulling Jared’s head back with my leg when all of the sudden WHAK! HE ELBOWS ME IN THE FACE!!!

“OW HEY!”

“I don’t see a ref!”

Punk! LoL.

You’re not going to do it, it’s just not going to happen

Posted September 12, 2006 by girlwrestler
Categories: Uncategorized

Why is anything that goes against the status quo automatically wrong? It’s strange how people have the right to be wrong as long as they are wrong in numbers. Greater numbers defines what is right and wrong I guess, and one person doesn’t count as a minority.

So today I had a good practice. I hit a Granby roll off a guy and we got to our feet, my escape. I walked back with a big smile on my face and Sean started laughing. We had to beat our time for the school loop again today too. I found out it’s about 1.7 miles, and I ran it in 12:11, an improvement from 12:24. That’s respectable I guess, about a 13 minute 2 mile, somewhere around there. I guess it’s not like I’m slow, but it’s not like I’ll be making the track team anytime soon.

So it turns out a lot of the first year guys are copping out and deciding to redshirt instead of compete. Even Sean is redshirting. Seeing as my whole justification for going out for the team was if Sean had a right to get his ass kicked I had a right to get my ass kicked too, should I be redshirting aswell? I talked to Coach Garriot and asked him for his advice. He pretty much said he wasn’t a big fan of redshirting but that it depended on what my goals were. He told me how I could get a scholarship to a college with a woman’s team, and when I told him I didn’t care about women’s teams, he told me something I had to just take and walk away…

“Well you’re not going to get a sholarship to a men’s team, no matter what you do that’s just not going to happen.”

I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and take it when people say these sort of things, but there’s no way to just brush these sort of things off, they don’t just brush off that easily. They stay like salt in a wound that doesn’t wash out with water.

Why do people do that? Put limitations on people that they really have no right to give. He might be a great coach and a great wrestler and he might not have meant it exactly the way it sounded, but he still can’t predict the future, and even though I could care less about a scholarship, he still has no right to tell me what I am and am not capable of. It doesn’t matter how unlikely something is, you just don’t kill it before it starts growing. Jeez!

I’ve gotten very tired of that, of walking around and finding only people who just can’t go that far with their beliefs. They look at me and they just can’t picture me suceeding in what I’m doing. A girl, on a men’s wrestling team, hitting it up with men and hanging. I understand it’s not like I’m Chyna and bench 300lbs, but why can’t people just be brave and believe in me? It’s only making it harder for me if people keep telling me “my money’s not on you.” I just don’t understand.

It hurts. I have to admit it really hurts. I doubt myself whenever I hear someone say, as if it were common knowledge, “well I mean you’ll never be as strong as a guy.” And it also doesn’t matter how many guys I beat, it will always be that THEY sucked (on that day or in general), not that I’m actually any good. I start to doubt myself so much because all I’m hearing is negative feedback. My confidence shakes and I become weak. How do you just brush it off when people say “you’re going to fail?”

Supposedly what Coach meant was that it’s not that I’m not capable of getting good enough to take a guy’s spot at the University level (dreams someday), it’s that other people would get in my way. Other teams would forfeit to me which would hurt my team, little problems like no open lockerroom and other people just flat out insisting that girls shouldn’t wrestle would get in my way.

Firstly, I think that if I’m good enough, coaches will be begging me to be on their team. Sarah Mcmann, the Olympic Silver Medalist, got a full ride scholarship out of high school to Lehigh University to start on their men’s varsity team. As long as I beat the guy in my weight class I don’t see a problem. I don’t understand why the rest of the world does.

People have told me that they don’t understand why this sport means so much to me. Their assumption is that I know I don’t belong here and that I’m doing it because I have something to prove. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone, I do this because I love to wrestle and I want to win. I don’t want to be a “girl wrestler,” I want to be a wrestler, against guys. It’s harder, and I do belong here. There’s no one that can say I don’t belong here, they don’t have the right to say that!

But they do anyway, and who am I to stop them from saying what they want. This wonderful country gives us the freedom of speech, and I wouldn’t take someone’s right to speak freely away from them if it would solve all of my problems…but sometimes I’d like to take away their right to their opinions.

It’s not like I haven’t found anything harder than wrestling either. I started out in football, went to wrestling because it was harder and got hooked. If there were a Lacrosse team at Cerritos, I’d probably go out for that too. The reason I’m not a boxer is because ironically women’s boxing is more prevelant than women’s wrestling. I can still fight guys in this sport. I can’t do judo because no one will train me, and jiu jitsu is too expensive to do if you’re not part of a club or a team (all of the BJJ gyms are expensive as hell, that’s why it takes 8 years to get your black belt).

It just hurts. Whenever anyone states the “obvious” of a girl will never beat a guy. I do it all the time, and yet it means shit. In my mind when I think I’ve achieved equality status, some other idiot comes along and pushes me down again.

I belong here, I’m no different than any other guy on that team, physically, mentally, whatever. If I suck it’s because I’m a lousy wrestler, not because I’m a girl. I wish I could find someone else who agree’s with that.

The Only Person Who Can Beat You Is You

Posted September 10, 2006 by girlwrestler
Categories: Uncategorized

And oh how good at that I am.

Match day again. I got pinned twice, once in the first period and the other 18 seconds into the second period after spending half of the first period on my back.

It’s not like I don’t know why though. It wasn’t even all of my fault. I’ve beaten the second guy before, believe it or not it was my singlet.

I tried to tell myself it was my singlet too, I mean I was wearing the one I bought for the NAGA, the one with the really cool Tiger design on it which made me self-concious and nervous because I thought I looked cockey wearing it. Plus I wasn’t wearing any underarmour underneath, my bare skin was exposed and usually I wear underarmour in practice. I mean I did great during my warmup match because I had a Tshirt on, then when tshirt came off, I realized I had a subcouncious fear of getting mat burn (??). Then again, I have a subconcious fear of just about everything, so it’s not too suprising.
This was why too, I knew this was why, but still I couldn’t bring myself to not blame myself. Afterwards, the coach called us all together and told us not to worry if we lost 8-0 or got pinned, the only person who can defeat us is ourselves. If we walk off the mat knowing that we gave it our all, we’re not beaten.

But I was beaten because I beat myself. I can’t beat up other’s so I beat up myself. When coach say’s not to worry, that its not life or death…what do you think I start thinking about?

I get disappointed easily, I went into the girls lockerroom and (I admit) cried. I kept getting flashbacks of Coach Brogden and the Warren Wrestlers making jokes and pushing me around because I wasn’t allowed to push back. I’m never allowed to push back, I’ll get kicked off the team if I push back, and I still feel like Coach Brogden is standing outside the Cerritos Wrestling room waiting for me to screw up like he was waiting in high school. I stick out, everyone see’s my actions. Now I’ve convinced myself that even if I were allowed to push back, I couldn’t.

“You’re just not strong enough, not tough enough, not good enough, you never will be.”

These are my words. I hear them constantly from myself. There are times where I hate everything about me, and the only time it seems to go away is when I’m doing good, or when I’m winning, or improving. And even then, the only reward is silence, when I do bad, the consequence is loud screaming in my head telling me I’m a screwup. Never “Nicole you did a good job today,” I can’t bring myself to say that to me.

I hate that the opinions of people saying I can’t do it matter more than my own opinions. I guess its that I doubt myself more than I doubt other people. When you doubt other people, you’re looking for a fight, when you doubt yourself, it’s an easy victory…cut off your nose to spite your face, because you won’t fight back. I’m a looser and I forgot what positive was.

Why couldn’t I just brush it off? I knew it was the singlet. I mean no, I wasn’t about to beat Sean, but I knew I wouldn’t have frozen up like that if my body weren’t subcounciously afraid of getting burned all the way up to the elbows. I shot anyway, I wrestled anyway, I didn’t know I was afraid of that. I would have shot a lot better if my body would have known it was protected. It’s nobody’s fault for not wanting to get hurt, that’s just normal. I’m just not trained.

But no matter what I say, it all feels like an excuse. I lost, period. There’s no justifying anything I do because there’s no such thing as an excuse. If I came late to practice in High School by one minute because my lockerroom was clear acrossed campus from the wrestling room as opposed to the boy’s lockerroom which was right next to it, we were still sprawling. Anything I did wrong, everyone was sprawling. It got to the point where I stopped trying to stop, I knew it would be all my fault anyway and we’d all still be doing sprawls regardless. Learned helplessness I believe is the term.

So eventually everything that happened and everytime coach would ask me for an explanation, I’d just hang my head and appologize and go in my corner to start sprawling either alone or with the team. Explanations are excuses.

I still feel like I’m making excuses. I’m a looser.

Why am I still intimidated by Coach Garriot though? It’s not like he’s Brogden, Brogden doesn’t exist anymore! He’s out of my life! Why can’t I let go? Coach Garriot doesn’t mark us absent if we don’t say “here SIR” during role call. Coach Garriot only asks that we respectfully call him “Coach,” and most of the guys still only call him “Garriot,” and he still answers. It’s not like Coach Garriot laughs at our own inovations of moves, he encourages them. When Coach Garriot says “Aight Boys,” he doesn’t sound a thing like Brogden.

I would seldom look at Coach if he walked by for the first few weeks of practice, and I only spoke if absolutely necesarry. When I did speak to him, it was always ” ‘scuseme sir…” “yes sir,” “thank you sir,” even though he always talks with a smile. It’s getting a lot better because of the little things this coach does that make me relax around him.

For instance, I had a by the first round, and coach told me “you got a by this time kid okay?” I dunno, something about the way he called me kid made me relax. It’s probably me being girly and reading into things, but it just kinda put me at ease.

Other things like when I improved my school loop time from 13:51 to 12:24, he told me good job. That sounds stupid, but Brogden never told me good job about anything, he only berrated boys who got beat by me.

Hopefully I’ll relax as season goes on, hopefully I’ll learn to stop being so negative and beating myself up so much, and hopefully I’ll do better next friday.

No Politics, Just Wrestling

Posted September 8, 2006 by girlwrestler
Categories: Uncategorized

*note about post-dates, most of the dates are a day ahead seeing as the posts themselves were most likely written after midnight.

Yesterday’s practice was pretty tough. We drilled leg-turks and wrestled 3 rounds live. In a way its easier than high school seeing as we don’t have a heater and we don’t just pair up and wrestle rounds for 2 hours. We learn techniques and we drill constantly, so in a way we get more milage out of our practices than if we were to just bash each other all day.

After practice was the tough part though.

“Aight, remember the school loop you guys did yesterday?….You’re going to run that again BUT this time you have to beat your time or you run it over again until you do.”

OH CRAP!

I ran that thing in 12:24. It’s probably not a full 2 miles but it feels like 4 when you’re tired.

Coach Garriot told me that as long as I keep showing up and working hard like I’ve been doing, that he’ll take me to tournaments. Brogden took me to 3 tournaments in 2 years…I mean 2 tournaments, my bad. He also found some people who are willing to employ the wrestlers for temporary grunt work, and even though I could get better jobs, I asked for the number so that I could make friends on the wrestling team.

Gosh Coach Garriot is funny. Today after practice he sat us down for another one of his inspirational speeches in which he had previously instructed us to learn how to just nod and smile and tune him out (lol). He talked to us about our health, and how we need to take care of our bodies, eat the right foods and stuff.

“Guys, I know you’re broke!” he said with a smile, “I’ve been there, living with 9 guys in two bedroom where we had to have parties in the winter just to stay warm!”

His advice: get like 15 guys together, pitch in a couple bucks a piece and get some pasta and catchup.

“Jesus fed a whole crowd with a loaf of bread and two little fish, imagine what you could do with some pasta and catchup!”

That got some chuckles, but right then, the KOTC fighter who was sitting on the side interupted, “wow Donnie, you’re very inspirational! Just for that, I’m going to go to church AND buy pasta!” LOLOLOLOLOL!!
On a sidenote, I had the honor of wrestling Steven, a 2 time CIF champion, at Alondra pool on Monday. Steven and Daniel are former North High School wrestlers, and we’re all Lifeguards at Alondra Pool. We didn’t have any mats and Alondra Pool has a beach entry, so we wrestled in 2 1/2 feet of water on cement (yeah, really safe, right). I got beat good, but that’s the point, it was good. At one point I had Steven in a front-headlock (which was the only thing resembling a move that I got on him) but didn’t know what to do with it. So yeah I got taken down and reversed and a whole mess of stuff, but everyone was shocked because no one expected me to do very well. Can’t imagine why. So screw Nick Huizar, as far as I’m concerned I got my match.

“Kick His Ass Nicole!”

Posted September 6, 2006 by girlwrestler
Categories: Uncategorized

I go to school in my wrestling clothes. Athletes should always be in athletic attire, but its not that I’m taking to a jock, it’s that I literally have no reason to wear anything else. I get up, go to class, go wrestle, go to sleep, the rest is just details. Today I wore my grappling shorts that I got at the NAGA submission wrestling tournament last year and a rash guard that everyone who trained at Erik Paulson’s Shootfighting Gym wore. It’s funny how I despise women’s form-fitting clothing but yet relish it when its in the form of men’s athletic attire (??).

Today we went over crossface cradles and half-nelsons. The guy I was drilling with was a walk-on like me, most of the people on the team are like me…walk-on’s I mean. So we’re talking and drilling and in the middle of running the half he asks “so what do you feel like being the only girl on the team and all?” I got flipped to my back and then threw my arm under his leg and flipped him over me, then said with ironic conviction as if I were contemplating how he sailed over me in much the same way that a refrigerator wouldn’t,

“I do not know. Guess I just kinda got used to it.”

“Yeah that’s the way it was in high school wasn’t it.”

“Yeah I forgot I was the only girl after my first season.”

I did good when I wrestled him live today. I beat him twice, he beat me twice. I might have beaten him once more but I let go of the hold. I was doing really good and in a way I was afraid that if I beat him he’d stop talking to me. I mean you don’t run through someone you want to keep talking to you. I sorta thought that if he kept getting beat by a girl, he’d pair up with me less because he wouldn’t want others in the room to see him get beat. So he beat me first, then I beat him twice in a row, then he beat me again. There were times where I was pinning him, but I was also in side-control, and man did I want to do an armbar so bad! It was right there, so easy to just sweep into, but this is wrestling, a little different style.

What I hated was when I had to wrestle Mario Bros. again. I’m the lightest walk-on (unfortunately), so coach puts him with me even though he’s like 175. Guess he can’t hang in his own weight. I was pissed, I didn’t want to wrestle this guy, I already kicked his ass in the mock tournament! I asked Coach if I could have a different partner, he asked me if I didn’t like wrestling that guy, I said no, and he said “then you’re going to love this next round.” Mario Bros. went to get some water.

“AIGHT LISTEN UP!” yelled coach, “I want you guys FIGHTING!” and he meant fighting. “I want to see you guys jammin’ elbows, slamming, strait-out dog-fighting, one knuckle punch isn’t going to kill anyone but try not to hurt each other.” The point was to leave everything we have on the mat and to not take it out of that room. Coach was ready to blow the whistle when whaddya know, partner dude was still over getting water.

Coach yelled at that guy big time to get his ass over here, and then he came over to me…

“Kick his ass Nicole, really beat him up.”

I wish I knew that coach meant actually beat him up. I would have gone strait up MMA on his ass. My problem is that its been hardwired in me from years of useless psychotherapy to “never fight” “fighting is wrong” “fighting get’s you in trouble” and the little kid in me doesn’t want to get in trouble. Dammit, I want to get in trouble.

Wrestle! I clubbed him, pushed him, suplexed him and jammed his head into the mat. I threw my hooks in and hipped-down hard cracking his back and I sunk a brazillian jiu jitsu rear-naked choke on him (very illegal in wrestling) and he just stopped wrestling! I had it in good, and he didn’t know how to tap, so his whole body just stopped moving and his arms even stopped flailing. If I would have had another 10 seconds, he would have been out cold. I hope that guy quits.

We went to get our running shoes on and we did a school loop, about 2 miles, for time. I did mine in 13:50, but some of the bigger guys were finishing faster than me, so I’m not sure if it’s exactly two miles or not because 13:13 was my best time for the two mile and I felt like I was running a lot slower today than I was when I ran those times.

I was spent though, today was a good practice.

1-1 at Mock Tournament (That Means I Won A Match!)

Posted September 2, 2006 by girlwrestler
Categories: Uncategorized

I went 1-1 at today’s mock wrestling tournament. That means I won one match and lost one. Every Friday the team has a mock wrestling tournament where they simulate an actual wrestling meet. We bring our singlets and headgear and everything like we’re going to a meet and we have a wrestling tournament against our teammates. It’s mental preperation and is used to cure competition anxiety, which I suffer from chronically.

There were three mats with score cards and everything. Coach drew up weight pools and we all had bout sheets. Before we started the tournament, coach ran us through the warmup procedure of what we would do at tournaments to warm up. We partnered up and wrestled a live match, 1-1-1 (one minute periods). I took him down with a leg trip but he had me in a wizzer so he was able to get behind me even though practically my entire body was behind him except for my shoulder. Must remember that move. I got pretty worked but your first match is always supposed to be your worse.

Everyone was getting paired up and I was anxious to find out who my first match was, I was excited all the way up until I heard who my guy was. You know that one guy on your sports team who just came out on walk-on’s looking for some self esteem, is kinda funny looking and kinda gross at the same time? The slow guy who stands too close to you when he talks (which is only when you’re by yourself) and breaths too hard when he’s tired? Every team has one, and I had to wrestle that guy. Nothing against him but this guy looks like Mario from Super Mario Brothers. Short, dumpy, with the mustache and everything. Gross.

I was wearing a singlet underneath my shirt and shorts (the one that Coach gave me from high school that he’s never getting back), but like hell I was going to wrestle this harry weirdo in tights, he might like…enjoy it or something. So I kept my “clothes” on and went out to the middle of the ring to wrestle. The whistle blew and it was live.

This stocky guy started jerking and circling around like he’s getting ready to shoot or do something. We lock up and he stands up high since I’m taller than him. For some reason, I feel a move there and I fall back and flip him over me and he goes flying halfway across the mat before he circles to his feet. A pretty useless move since it didn’t really get us anywhere and didn’t score any points, but hey it looked pretty and it was there. Anything to get the other guy moving around or psych him out a little. First period ends, I go top.

What fucked me up in the Downey vs. Warren match in high school was the fact that in the midst of all the adrenaline and screaming crowd and ref, I lined up on the wrong side. It was the right side according to anyone else because everyone else rides on their opponents left side so they can utalize their strong right side to hold them down. I’ve found that since I suck either way, it makes my life a whole lot easier if I just line up on my opponents right side (the side that they don’t drill all their escapes on). Since I use my right leg more than I use my right arm, it makes it a lot easier for my right leg to be closer to my opponents legs than having to jump all the way acrossed their body to hook the leg in like i would do from my right side. It would throw wrestlers off when they’d be so used to all of their right-handed training partner’s lining up on their left side and here I come and line up on their right side. But for some reason at that Downey/Warren match that the entire school came out to support, I lined up on the left side without realizing it. The guy stood up, reversed me, and I got pinned in front of the entire school.

I almost made the same mistake today for some reason. The liveliness of the match did something and I almost lined up on the wrong side again. Luckily I stopped and remembered and got to the other side, where the guy couldn’t stand up, I hooked my right leg and then my left, got him in a half-nelson and came over the top of him for a pin in the first 10 seconds of the second period. That was pretty cool because I got my hand raised and everything. I won!

After I got up and went off the mat, the guy I warmed up with slapped me five and said sarcastically “I knew you had him.”

At least I won’t have to wrestle that guy again. It’s not like its that big of a deal that I beat him, everyone else beat him pretty quickly. But then again so did I, so what does that say about me I guess.

My next match was, of all people, Sean, who didn’t go as hard as he could have partially because he was bummed from losing his first match. This will be Sean’s fifth year wrestling, this will be barely my third. Whistle blew and Sean and I got after it. Sean’s good, very technical and knows what he’s doing. I’m being aggressive and focusing primarily on keeping my balance while trying not to get taken down. Sean didn’t take me down immidiately either. He attempted some shots which he missed and I reshot and we both scrambled to our feet with no points awarded. I was doing a lot better than I thought I would have. Sean did a leg sweep which I thought wasn’t working because it wasn’t moving me, I thought I was safe, but his persistence paid off and he didn’t let go of the technique, and once I moved he adjusted with me and it ended up working afterall. All the times I went top went to a stalemate because Sean just tripoded up and couldn’t get me off him, yet I couldn’t move him. He rocked me on bottom though, but there was one time where I did get him to go to his back. I couldn’t keep him there though. I lost like 7-3. Pretty bad but at least I didn’t get pinned and at least I didn’t get teched. It’s good to see my cradle escape still works. Sean can go easy or treat me like a girl or do whatever he wants simply because we used to be teammates. Nothing else matters.

When we start going over bottom stuff is when I know I’ll start getting better. I suck at bottom and have a tendancy to use 50% moves that get me reversed a lot (darn it). overall this mock tournament went pretty well and even if I didn’t win much, I think I at least won some people’s respect.

I also learned today that the bigger wrestler isn’t always the better wrestler. I saw tall, skinny guys pin stocky, buff guys and I saw wrestlers with puny arms beat up guys with huge bicepts. I saw little guys get their asses kicked all match and then come back in the end to pin their guy. It really was anyone’s game, the winner was truly unpredictable this time. Proof I guess that the wrestler with the bigger arms doesn’t necisarrily equal the wrestler with the higher score.

I broke a rule though, a cardinal rule today that I feel like an idiot for. I told a guy “good job.” You don’t understand, that’s really bad when someone a lot worse than you tells you good job, especially when you got pinned. The thing is that people who are good tell people who are not as good as them “good job,” commonly winner’s tell the looser good job, but to some scrub who walks on the team and tells a wrestler good job, that’s almost insulting, and I said it to a guy. Dammit! He stopped for a second too, you could tell I broke a rule. It was just one of those awkward things that hung in the air, and I’m afraid he won’t speak to me again.
After all the light guys were done on Mat 3, the assistant coach and the KOTC fighter squared up for a match. Me and one other guy ran it and we were all just dumb freshmen. I was afraid the KOTC fighter was going to come and eat me because I gave the other guy near-fall. It was fun though. The Team Captain, Brandon, is having a party this weekend that the whole team is invited to. Not sure if I’m going to go, I don’t usually do well at social events. But I’m thinking it might not be a bad idea to go out and get to know the team, let them get to know me a little. Worse comes to worse they won’t think any better of me than they already don’t, at best they might just think I’m okay. I’ll see, I need to force myself to go out on limbs.