... on Parents' Love for their Wrestlers
Wrestlers! If you haven't realized it yet, don't ever forget the plight of your parents.
Young gentlemen, I'm afraid that during this time in your lives, you have no idea of what your parents go through because of their love for you. I know what I am talking about because I never thought about it, myself, until I stopped competing and had time to mature and think back to those days.
For example, I can now remember the time my father fell off the bleachers--due to his gyrating movements to help my brother when he was wrestling. Mom, on the other hand, often had to leave the gym when we wrestled because it was too hard on her nerves to watch us. And get this, my dad did not even come to witness my state championship match in 1963, not because he didn't love or support me with all his heart--but because he couldn't take the pressure any longer. (He instructed Mom to call him right after the match.)
If you still don't understand what I am talking about, I can assure you that your parents know what I am getting at--because many of them have experienced similar feelings. Like my parents, they, too, have often demonstrated the same mannerisms while you wrestled. There's no doubt about it; this is not only one of the toughest individual athletic events for the participant, but also for his parents. As a matter of fact, there are some people I know who have been involved in wrestling themselves, but would rather not have their own kids wrestle. You see, they don't want to be exposed to the kinds of stress to which I am referring. Well, true wrestling parents are quite special. They are willing to accept the sacrifices their sons have to make. These parents know how the mat sport teaches individual responsibility -- a trait that will follow their boys throughout the rest of their lives.
So, young men of the mats, listen to what I am saying. And take a moment to thank God for the wonderful parents with whom you have been blessed. Oh, and especially take the time to sincerely thank your mom and dad for their dedication to you and your athletic endeavors. They truly are your best friends in life.
Updated November 6, 1997