A fond memory of my childhood was watching wrestling. Every week it when it came on, we would gather around the television and watch our favorite wrestlers get in the ring to fight it out. At my friend’s house was where the most excitement occurred. Weeks would pass that led up to some pay-per-view that his grandfather ordered. If you have ever seen wrestling, it’s almost like watching a male soap opera. It’s much more than just fighting! It is filled with drama, clashes of character, and loads of hype. The excitement builds each week, with everything leading up to the main event.
Other family and friends would join in and crowd his entire living room with an audience of viewers, hanging on to every scene acted out. Underdogs were cheered for. Our heroes, the good guys, would hang in the balance by a narrow thread. At times it didn’t look good. They got pummeled and were down on one knee. The live audience cheered them on, and their knee got to moving and soon the whole leg shook. The excitement in the audience was like a spark that ignited strength from deep inside the wrestler and they would make a comeback. First, an elbow to their opponent’s side, and then they rose to their feet and grabbed on to the ropes. They were struck again in an attempt to beat them down once more, but it no longer worked. Each blow seemed to have a trivial effect as they shook the rope with a crazy look in their eyes. They stared the other person down and reached out. Whap!!! An enormous slap crossed the chest of their foe, which turned the skin bright red. Soon they issued their finishing move and the referee slid across the mat and counted. One! Two! Three! The audience roared with excitement as the winner was given the Title Belt and held it proudly for all to see.
Of course, after getting a glimpse of this world, my brother, friends, and I had to try it out for ourselves. There was no resisting it. We didn’t have a wrestling ring, so we had to make one up. It didn’t take long to realize that padding was a necessity if we were going to continue in this endeavor. Unfortunately, being the smallest, I think I was among the first to discover this after a few hard falls. We added several more blankets to pad our falls. However, I still felt pain after they tried some of the wrestling moves on me.
Being the puny one of our group was never fun. The fact that I got thrown around so easily made me mad. One time, my older brother suplexed me. I remember being so mad that I refused to stay down. Through eyes filled with so many tears that I couldn’t see through them, I got back up. He kept pushing me and told me to stay down. But I refused and kept coming at him. I don’t remember what he finally did to put me down for the remainder of the night but after it, I no longer got back up. My body racked with pain. While lying there, defeated, I couldn’t help but think how I saw my heroes lose fights too. The important thing was, they always kept at it and got back in the fight. Of course, it wasn’t long before I got back in the fight too. Whether the fights were real or not, I felt the effects as though they were. After all, they inspired me to get up after I got knocked down. There is nothing fake about that!