The joy of wrestling


Mikayla Santana

Diana Luong Wrestling.

By Lydia Masters, Staff Writer

The whistle blows. The pounding of a heart accelerates. A body is slammed into the ground. A hand smacks the ground. The bodies rise, take off their green and red markers from their ankles, and shake hands. The referee raises an arm. The person shouts for joy with yet another victory. This is wrestling. This is the joy thousands of wrestlers feel all around the world. Pinning a person is one of the most exciting and exhilarating feelings I have ever experienced. I am a wrestler. Not only that, but I am a female wrestler: a rare thing to find in Texas. Wrestling is one of my favorite sports and I think everyone should watch at least one match in their life because you will be hooked.

Since the ancient Roman times, people have been wrestling. Wrestling is possibly one of the most important sports due to several aspects of the sport. Wrestling is one of the most inclusive, simple, beneficial, and challenging sports that people have created.

Wrestling is one of the most all-inclusive sports. Although this full body contact sport has been around for men to participate in longer than it has for women, both men and women enjoy it today. Wrestling accommodates all those who are handicapped in any form. Wrestling is well known for its inclusiveness that has allowed those amputated, blind, and deaf to wrestle. People such as deaf Matt Hamill, blind Max Lamm, and amputee Kyle Maynard are all known for wrestling despite being handicapped. Wrestling opens up options of exercise and enjoyment to those who have little to choose from and is therefore one of the most important sports.

Due to the ancient forms of wrestling, wrestling has evolved into a sport that needs nothing but two human bodies to carry out a match. No extra equipment is needed for wrestling. However, most other sports need some sort of equipment whether it be an American football helmet and shoulder pads, soccer shin guards, or the tennis ball and racket. Wrestling is purely a sport of human strength, endurance, speed, and mental preparedness. Although it is advised to use a mat for protection against the moves such as mat returns and body slams (rough throws of the opponent’s body to the ground), a mat is not necessarily needed. The simplicity of wrestling has made the sport important because it has allowed people to have a sport in the best and worst of times. People have been able to have a sport when they faced poverty, wealth, lack of technology. Whereas other sports have not allowed for people to participate in those sports due to the amount of equipment one needs to play.

Wrestling is good for the physical body in strength and nutritional aspects. Wrestling is a strong way to build cardio and muscle strength. Due to the constant wrestling in a six minute match, one builds endurance which is built with running and wrestling everyday. Although it is great in other sports to build muscle, wrestlers must maintain a stable weight and be careful not to gain or lose massive amounts of muscle or fat due to the set weight classes. In wrestling one wants to be at the highest weight allowed in that weight class to have any advantage over the opponent. For example, a girl in the 119 weight class will want to be extremely close to 119 pounds in order to have more muscle to throw around a 117 pound girl in the same weight class. So, not only is one’s weight a strategy to win a match, it is crucial to be within the weight class one has stated they are within in order to wrestle. For example, if a wrestler in the 128 weight class is even an ounce over 128 pounds, they cannot wrestle. Having a nutritious diet is a large part of wrestling because without a strict diet, one cannot participate in the sport. If one starves themselves, they will be weak in a match and if they stuff themselves they will be overweight and will not be able to wrestle. Therefore, wrestling teaches a person to have a balanced diet along with a strong, healthy physical body which is very important.

Lastly, wrestling is almost never a boring sport due to the constant mental challenges wrestling creates. The objective of some forms of wrestling such as folkstyle wrestling is to pin the opponent by keeping their shoulders on the ground for at least three seconds. Because pinning the opponent is the objective in folkstyle wrestling, the wrestler always attempts to surprise the opposing wrestler with various moves in order to get the other on their back. Due to this objective of pinning the opponent in some forms of wrestling, this sport is very challenging. One is constantly counteracting the opponent by choosing ways to attack or defend. The wrestler must build mental strength and endurance in order to endure though physically tough barriers such as finding a way to get off one’s back when the whole weight of the opponent is on them. The wrestler also builds their mental strength when they are in an uncomfortable position such as being in a double chicken wing (both arms behind the person as their opponent rubs their body into the ground to turn the person onto their back) and fighting their urge to give up. Moments of being so close to the failure of losing a match is what makes a person strong and that is another reason wrestling is important.

Wrestling has been used by people young, old, handicapped, healthy, destitute, and wealthy in order to become stronger. Since the dawn of time humans have been wrestling whether it be for entertainment, food, or survival. There are innumerable reasons for the amount of time wrestling has been around which all prove why wrestling is so important. Wrestling is such a valuable sport due to the inclusiveness of any and all human beings the sport has, the simplicity of needing no equipment unlike other complicated sports, the physical benefits the sport has through exercise and dieting, and the mental and physical challenges wrestling creates for the participants.