Wrestling Wreturn

I’ve put it off long enough. I’ve been hemming and hawing and doing everything I can to avoid writing about wrestling. But here we are. But first, let me procrastinate a little longer by setting the table a bit.

Things are opening up fairly rapidly, perhaps too quick for my personal tastes but we can all go at our own rate. I’m fully vaccinated and, as of this writing, 66% of King County is fully vaccinated and 42% of the United States is fully vaccinated. But – and it’s a fairly substantial “but” – only 29 doses have been administered per every 100 people worldwide. There is still a long way to go before everyone can be considered “safe”, and the longer we go with people being vulnerable, the more chance we have of a variant surfacing that can bypass the vaccine. Now, I’m an anxious worrier and the numbers look promising…for the U.S. but the rest of the world needs to be vaccinated much quicker than they are, and there are a lot of terrible factors that are going into the vaccination shortage worldwide, but that’s not what I’m here to discuss. I want to think globally and act locally.

Locally, things are going pretty well, all things considered. With ⅔ of the county fully vaccinated, people are walking around unmasked, restaurants are dang near fully open, and my anxiety is staying steady. I don’t plan to unmask any time soon, not fully anyway. I’ve started running outside with my mask off, but I mostly stick to trails anyway so I don’t encounter many people. I still wear one walking to my car in the morning and such. Another thing I’ve started doing without a mask is wrestling training. Look at that transition!

That’s right, I’ve returned to the Buddy Wayne Academy to step in the ring again after over a year away. It’s been about a month and a half since my return, almost half of which were just me, training on my own (because nobody else was vaccinated or our schedules didn’t match up at the time. But now I have at least one regular training partner…that’s right! The Academy is back together! I’ve been stepping in the ring and rolling around with “The Educated Enforcer” Thom Alman! (He’s not the only one, lest I forget to give credit to The Academy’s official fitness guru, Coach Black!)

Two men in a wrestling ring performing a series of wrestling moves. One man jumps over the other in the corner, runs and bounces off the ropes, ducks a clothesline from the other man and shoulder tackles him to the ground
Hey look, I figured out how to put gifs in my blog!

We’re going pretty strong and, while we still have a way to go before we’re back to where we were a year and a half ago, I’m honestly happy I can even do some of the stuff. I was super worried that I’d come back and not even be able to move around in a ring, but so far my experience is that I can pretty much do everything, just much slower and needing to take more breaks in between. Ring shape/movement/cardio is truly unlike any other kind of workout. I’m no fitness expert, and I would NEVER call myself an athlete, but since I’m all but required to work out in order to survive wrestling – and after going over a year doing only non-wrestling workouts – I feel like I can accurately state that it’s incredibly hard to replicate the kind of muscle activation and breathing patterns that wrestling requires without actually doing the wrestling. Actual, real-life athletes in wrestling can back up my claims.

Anyway, we’re making progress and it honestly feels really good to be back in the ring. Similar to what I just said about how “there’s no workout quite like wrestling”, there’s also no creative expression quite like it. I’ve started dabbling in a bunch of different art forms since the pandemic started – podcasting, blogging, poetry, live-streaming – but none of them quite scratch the itch. There’s a part in Steven Universe where Steven teaches Peridot about music (she’s an alien, he’s half-alien and they live on Earth, I’m not gonna explain the whole show to you – just watch it, it’s all on HBO Max) and she tries to understand why making music is satisfying, from a scientific perspective. She explains it as “satisfying because you’re bringing the pattern to completion.” That’s kind of how I feel about wrestling. It’s really fun to figure out the puzzle of wrestling and putting things together that make sense and/or accomplish the goal you set out to achieve. That’s why I love wrestling. There are obviously other reasons, but the mathematical and puzzle aspect are what keep me hooked.



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