A Wrestling Sons Biggest Fan – Dad

By: James Blair Posted: September 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

A wrestling sons biggest fan–Dad

It’s hard to believe that almost 11 years ago I took my son to his first wrestling practice.
At the time he was sooooo shy; almost to the point of being afraid of his own shadow.

I knew nothing about wrestling except the flyer I had in my hand.

“Coon Rapids Mat Bandits signup today”…

So off we went…..

I don’t think we completed one complete practice for almost an entire year.

Jon would be fine until he had to do a little live wrestling; suddenly a “mysterious muscle pull” would occur and there I would be hauling him out of the room.

In the car ride home; I would talk about how proud I was of him for getting out there and doing his best. I would tell him one of my boring long stories that usually start with a point; but go off in several different tangents hoping to encourage him;….

wondering “Will we be coming back to the next practice?”

But I would come home from work and there he would be on Monday’s, Tuesday’s, and Thursdays….

His size two wrestling shoes in his hand….looking at the clock….

..and the cycle continued for almost a year.

Didn’t win a match.
Didn’t score a point..
….Didn’t give up….

…and then something clicked. Just like overnight.
We were at a tournament in Hastings.
Jonathon beat three kids who had absolutely destroyed him in prior weeks before.
Takedowns, back points, escapes…
…it’s like it all “clicked”.

The look of accomplishment on his face; I will absolutely never forget.
And from that moment forward; the “shy” Jonathon was gone forever.

A “true” wrestling parent can appreciate the “investment” it takes to get your kids to these tournaments and ready for these tournaments.

Four practices a week; followed by two tournaments on Saturday and Sunday doesn’t allow of “me” time.

You get up at 6:00 am.
Wake up the family.
Put a cup of coffee on.
Wake up the family again.
….remind everyone to bring their electronic devices
To amuse them for the 5 hour wait in the bleachers.

You shuffle your wrester or wrestlers to the weigh in area.
Skin check,
Nail check,
Weight recorded and typically written on your kids shoulder like some badge of honor.

Going for a big breakfast afterwards….talking about who might be at the tournament.

Waiting (endlessly) for the PA announcer to say “2nd and 3rd grade to staging please”…
Watching your little guy lining up against a wall and getting grouped together with 3 wrestlers closet to his weight.

…and then watching your little “men” holding hands marched out to their battle zone.

So many great memories from those tournaments.
So many friendships formed over the years.
Jon has had the opportunity to work with so many quality coaches and wrestle against some of the best wrestlers in the nation.

Well this weekend my “little man” becomes a “big man”.

Off to the University of Winnipeg to wrestle for the Winnipeg Wesmen.

Firstly to get a degree in Psychology…
…and secondly to reignite a passion that had him ranked top in the nation for several years.

Whatever the outcome; I am so incredibly proud of him for embracing this opportunity.

And taking those first steps to becoming the best he can be.

To becoming a man.

Make yourself proud Jon….

You’ve made your dad very proud already.

Your biggest fan…

Dad. —
By Grant Chmilowsky
Grant is my friend and an inspiration to many. Grant started and up until recently ran GYAITG or Get Your Ass In The Gym which he built this Facebook page to over 10,000 fans within two years. A great page for working out and sharing life changing physical, mental and emotional transformations. Grant’s page was a very important part of my recovery after my last (or 8th) back surgery.

Mike Houston
True Wrestler-Illinois Distributor