Continued Athletic Glory

I wrestled four more times before I became ineligible to wrestle for the rest of the season because I skipped so much of school, but more on that later. I went 1-3 in those four matches and they were pretty much more of me being well and soundly outclassed in all aspects of the wrestling game. The only thing I am proud of in that stretch of three losses was a compliment I got from a guy from the other team's audience that sought me out after I lost a hard fought match. He caught up with me and asked how long I had been wrestling and I told him it had been about two and a half months. He said he could tell I didn't have much experience but that he had never seen anyone ever fight harder in a losing effort. At the time I was still nursing my pride and my feel-bads were much too poopy to appreciate his compliment. When I reflected on it I can't think of higher praise then to have recognized for fighting my hardest in the face of inevitable failure. My one win in this final stretch was right in line with my previous victories in that it came at the expense of someone in need of medical attention. When the kid came to the mat he looked like a plague victim strait out of central casting. His eyes were glassy and his skin pale and he was having trouble standing up to get the match started. The whistle blew and I shot in for the take-down which I landed easily. The kid fell really hard and almost without any resistance. I was actually concerned for his safety so I let him go and stood up while he writhed on the ground trying to stand up. My coach was yelling at me to keep wrestling but it felt morally wrong to attack a kid who should be in bed at the least and maybe on a lactated Ringer's solution drip, more in an abundance of caution than anything. While my coach screamed at me to fight on the kid had finally regained his footing. I told my coach that he looked really sick and that I should leave him alone. The poor guy was unstable trying to maintain his footing without any attempt at assuming a wrestling stance. If you are familiar with the Mortal Kombat video games he looked exactly like the standing but stunned and defeated foes in that game when the computer voice commands you to, 'Finish Him!”. I was ordered to wrestle till the whistle and I waded into inglorious battle by gently, almost tenderly, taking my opponent to the mat. I laid him on his back and he resisted not at all while I knelt beside him and pressed his shoulders to the mat with my hands in his armpits and my thumbs over his shoulders. The ref signaled the two points for the take-down and then slapped the mat signifying the pin. I stood up to have my hand raised and the poor vanquished invalid rolled to his side and moaned unable to rise to hear the official decision. After the ceremony of victory I knelt down by the guy with his coaches and asked if he was okay his coach said he would be okay as he helped him shamble off the mat. I was one of three guys on the team that won that night and I had never felt worse in victory. Besides my teammates my high school wrestling victories were against a cancer patient, a double amputee and a kid with the funky-gamboo-of-near-death. I was not ashamed because I had fought like a lion, not in the sense that I had fought with great intensity or power but more in the strictly Darwinian sense that I picked off the weak and infirm from the back of the pack. Which is, in point of fact, how actual lions fight. Truly survival of the fittest.