― Danny Kaye
It was the late winter of 2013. I entered the massive gymnasium that stank of sweat and of bodily odors. I advanced towards the mats in the center of the room. In the middle of the mat were two wrestlers darting and dodging in towards another and stepping back in turn. Suddenly they collapsed to the mat. One was on top of the other. He quickly spun around so he was behind his opponent. Then the thrashing and scrambling continued, until --WHAM!!!-- one of the wrestlers was held on his back, the referee counted a few seconds out loud and then slapped his hand against the mat. It seemed that one wrestler had won, but I was unsure because I had no familiarity with the sport. I was going to see my cousin Peter wrestle. Peter had played baseball for most of his life but was cut from the team at Saint Johns Prep his sophomore year. Looking for a new sport, he decided to give wrestling a shot and he became fantastic at it. Peter was a senior now and I was only now going to see one of his matches. This was the state semi-finals. Though I forget how his matches went, Peter ended up winning enough to advance onward to the state finals.
Two weeks later I walked into the same red brick building that held within a massive gym. This time the majority of my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents were there. This was it, today Peter would be competing for the state championship. Him being able to reach this level of competition got me thinking about trying wrestling. In my head I was thinking "If Peter can do so well after such little practice, maybe I can do something similar. Maybe I should give it a shot...". This seed of an idea sprouted in my head and continued to grow until it convinced me to wrestle. Peter ended up claiming 5th place in the state championships. His victory kept the idea of wrestling as a winter sport gnawing at my consciousness.
This year I finally decided to wrestle in the winter. Coming in as a newbie can be intimidating, especially when going up against wrestlers who have already been wrestling for a few years. Despite the challenge, I love wrestling and am very glad I tried it out. Peter gave me the idea to venture out of my comfort zone and to take the path less traveled, the idea to answer the call of adventure.