Indoors Column: Bullseye

My kids are currently participating in sports I know nothing about.  Charlotte is involved in archery and the boys are wrestling.  Having no personal experience with either sport, I can’t say I went into this season preferring one sport over the other.  However, after this past weekend, I have to say, archery has taken a commanding lead.

Charlotte’s archery competition on Saturday was a breeze compared to the boys’ wrestling tournament on Sunday.

We had to show up a little early, but once her round of shooting started, we were done in half an hour.  Then, we were free to go.  I felt absolutely no stress while she competed.  The reasons are two-fold:

  1. I have no idea what winning or losing looks like in archery, and
  2. I can barely see Charlotte, let alone where her arrows land.

Plus, there is really no cheering in archery – something about not wanting to startle grade-schoolers shooting razor-sharp arrows around a gymnasium full of other children.  That means I don’t have to hear high-strung parents screaming at their kids for failing to fulfill their unrealistic vicarious dreams.

Charlotte did very well, or at least that was what I was told.

Then there is wrestling.  We showed up early, found some space on the bleachers for our nineteen children and their coats and bags.  We then ran from mat to mat, dragging our screaming one-year-old behind, trying not to miss any of the three boys’ matches.  From time to time, there would be an announcement letting us know that the matches for one age group or another were randomly switched to the other side of the gym.  The switching around was done in an effort to make things move quickly and efficiently but it does make it hard to plan our next move.  At one point, Callum had to run back into the gym with a mouthful of pizza to wrestle a match, five minutes after finishing his previous match.

I’m not faulting the meet organizers at all.  It’s totally my fault for having three kids in one wrestling tournament.

Besides the stress of getting kids to the right mat at the right time, there was plenty of stress during the actual matches.  Unlike archery, I could basically see what was going on.  Most of it wasn’t great.  My boys are relatively new to wrestling, so when they get paired up with a more experience boy, it can be ugly.  They could really use a dad who is yelling advice to them throughout their matches.  Unfortunately, the only helpful advice I could offer was, “get off of your back!” OR, “spit the pizza out!”

There were plenty of parents there who knew a great deal more about the sport than I do.  I thought about telling some of them to calm down but if they could actually do half the things they were telling their kids to do, they might well have twisted me into a pretzel.

As a rule of thumb, I never mess with anyone with strange looking ears.

Despite my inadequacies, the boys made vast improvements since their last tournament.  And to be fair, Cady may have put on the strongest performance of them all.  I wrestled her off and on all weekend and I can barely lift my arms today.