Sunday, January 6, 2013

The old wrestler's "spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak"

Jesus Christ might as well had ageing athletes in mind when he said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

At this age, late 30’s, and (still) playing one of the world’s most physically—and, yes, mentally—demanding sports, you just don’t know how much of the athlete is left in you.

Last Saturday, still fresh from a recently-healed shoulder injury, I had the better of a Philippine Team athlete in ground sparring—exchanges in the gut wrench, mostly.

But the athlete weighs only 55 kilos; I weigh around 80 kilos. So my great weight advantage really spelled the difference. And, for a small man, he had my torso red all over from his vice-like grip. (Though, his painful grip notwithstanding, he managed to roll and score against me only once; I was able to turn him over four times: two gut wrenches, one pancake and one half-nelson. But, again, I had an enormous weight advantage.)

Now I’m starting to think, “Maybe I’ll do as well against a top, well-conditioned wrestler of my same weight class. Maybe, in the next nationals…,” and so on.

“Maybe” raises its ugly head again, repeatedly, in my head. It resurrects hope…or inflicts delusions.

Anyway, till the next nationals. So, to the other senior 74-kg wrestlers out there, consider this a warning…or an empty threat.

And here's my previous personal sports story: Milo doesn't lose, as long as he's having fun.

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