The Back Story Behind The Inspiration For Claiming The Prize...........
For the first time, I missed a check-in for A Round Of Words in 80 yesterday..... Not something I normally allow to happen when I make a commitment. However, yesterday was a big day here.
My fourteen year old son had his wrestling banquet, and as the secretary of the club I had quite a busy day in preparation. The event came off without a hitch (thank goodness). The banquet marks the official end to the wrestling season, and I, along with fellow board members heaved a sigh of relief. I love wrestling....really. It is the most intense sport I've encountered with my sons. We've been through football, baseball, soccer, and basketball seasons, which were perfectly agreeable, but nothing compares to wrestling....at least for this family. We've yet to watch him compete in his MMA career, so I reserve the right to amend my above statement. (He is currently begging us to enter him in his first jiu-jitsu tournament....we're still considering)
Freshman don't always move up to the varsity team. Competition for limited weight slots is fierce, and often freshman struggle to compete against older, stronger upperclassmen. Add in that our son is a very young freshman, and the odds go down further. But, his coaches brought him up to the varsity squad after he won his wrestle off against a returning senior. He was over the moon....and so were we. Soon, however, he began to learn just how tough it was to compete on this entirely new level.
He ended the year with a .500 win stat and a 3.82 GPA, earning a spot on the District II Academic All-Star First Team for 2011. He earned an Iron-Man after attending every team practice (Mon.-Fri from 3:30-5:30pm, Saturday practice or tournament), every team meeting, and not missing a match for the season. He was also awarded the Varsity Rookie of the Year for 2011. The 2011 Team Season Statistics revealed that he placed second on his team for Most Takedowns and Most Technical Falls, and third in the categories for Most Escapes, Most Near Fall Points, and Most Pins.
Forgive my gushing .......(mothers are allowed), but the reason I bore you all to tears with my recitations is this. The world of gymnasiums, wrestling, weightlifting, singlets, jiu-jitsu, Maui Thai kickboxing, boxing, takedowns, reversals, pins, wins, losses........that's my life! It inspired me to write the theme into my first novel.
Certainly I've never wrestled, kick boxed, or submitted anyone in my life, but I've watched my sons do all these. The wins fill you with pride for the hard work they've had to put in to have that moment of glory, and your heart breaks when they come off the mat full of emotion after a tough loss. They push themselves to get 'one more rep' on the bench press, one more takedown, one more pound off, one more 'A' in the classroom, one more win. They deny the urge to 'hang out', like so many other high school students. They get up at 4:30 a.m. to spend the day sitting in a gymnasium (and so do you) to watch them wrestle for 18 minutes total. They sometimes say, "Mom, you're the best! Thanks for coming to all my matches. Lot's of my teammates don't have anyone there for them."
The intense emotions surrounding this world are what I've set out to capture in Claiming The Prize. With only twenty to thirty pages remaining to write the novel to it's conclusion, I sure hope I succeeded. ~ Nadja