It was many, many moons ago, during my sophmore year in high school. It was the first year at my new school (the Deaf one). It was also the year I first joined the wrestling team, which was a major game-changer, so to speak.
You see, back in middle school I was the doormat. I was the kid that everyone walked all over with impunity. The reason this happened was that I didn’t know how to establish boundaries and respect myself.
If someone started shoving me, I wouldn’t know what to do in response. I just didn’t have the fire to keep the demons at bay.
Joining the wrestling team changed all that. Sure, I wasn’t the best player. Overall, I wasn’t that great, either. But still, all the techniques I learned were invaluable. I was finally able to enforce my boundaries in the cutthroat jungle of high school.
Boys vs Girls
Now, to get to the story I mentioned: You know how (in high school land anyway) there’s a stigma against boys losing to girls in wrestling? Hell, it’s comedy fodder for teenage sitcoms. (There was an episode of Malcolm in the Middle where Reese lost to a female wrestler, and we were supposed to find it funny).
Guess what? This happened to yours truly: I lost to a girl in a wrestling match.
At first, you may assume it’s embarrassing. But an argument can be made that girls have an advantage in that sport over guys.
Girls have more flexible joints, making it harder to pin them down to the floor. If you’re facing someone who shares your body weight and is trying to pin you for three seconds…is your muscle mass and testicular fortitude really going to matter? Wrestling is technique-driven anyway.
So after the girl pinned me and the referee slammed the mat to indicate the end of the match, I felt like I had to show my frustration somehow: I just lost to a freaking girl, man. In wrestling.
My high school-aged brain just couldn’t fathom that. I had to express my disappointment, so I did what any dumb ass 16-year old meathead would do: I slammed on the mat and dropped the f-bomb (and I wasn’t even that mad).
But the referee was having none of it. The dude restrained me for a second or so and gave me some scolding words (though I didn’t hear him since my cochlear implant wasn’t on).
After that, the players had to give the customary hand-shake to the opponent’s head coach. I don’t know how I came across, but people have said that I tend to give the wrong impression through my facial expressions and such.
But that crap could’ve ended there, and it didn’t. As I got to my seat, I threw my headgear in a fit of faux-rage. Subconsciously, I expected the boys to be all, “Ohhhh, Corey’s real embarrassed about this, guys. He knows he should’ve kicked that girl’s ass. It’s okay, he gets it. We’ll leave him alone.”
All I got was my team a penalty which caused them to lose points. AND I got teased relenthelessly the next few days for it.
Don’t be Embarrassed
So the moral of the story is this: If you (think you) did something embarrassing, don’t be embarrassed. Be stoic, act like it’s water off your back, and go about your business. People will forget about it quickly.
Your reaction will shape their reactions.
And girls can actually be decent wrestlers if they know their techniques.
If you lose to one, man up and shut up.