I once saw a shirt that stated My Heart is on the Mat.
To any mother who has watched three periods of sweat, endurance, and passion in their wrestler’s eyes, you know exactly what that shirt means.
Win or lose, the young men and women shake hands, give it their all, and often times leave the mat with raw emotion on their faces. It is a mental battle and a sport that creates mental toughness.
Mental toughness can be difficult to achieve. Few activities create or work on mental toughness in 2018. Wrestling, however, is all about the heart and soul of small failures leading to great victories and tough losses that challenge the competitor to work harder. Stamina, sportsmanship, and pride are developed and fostered with every passing week.
Though my typically weekly thoughts express my worry and serve as attempt to gain clarity, share hope, educate, and raise awareness, today my gratitude is for a sport that helps my family focus and my son escape. It is the sport that gives my son an outlet for all that I know he cannot understand in this world and all that he questions about what he sees.
On the mat, it is him against the world. He stands there strong and tall, ready for battle.
It is a time for him to shine, focus, and I watch as he places his heart on the mat, minute after minute, period after period. Win or lose, there is always something gained.
To all the mothers who watch their sons on the mat, I support you, and I understand you.
My son does not always win, though I kiss him and tell him how proud of him I am each time he gets out there. I am so proud of his progress, his intensity, and his effort. The truth is that no matter what the score at the end of the match, he has gained a new skill, level of confidence, or insight on a skill or position to work on in the future. Each match helps him to grow and better himself as a person and as an athlete.