In bed unable to move, I watched the office. It was only the second day of my week long wrestling camp, in New Jersey. I was already home sick, and sore, so sore. I could only move my arm to click on a new episode. My roommate laid in his bed across the room from mine, scrolling through Instagram. Neither of us maid any noise. It was hard to stay motivated, I had to remember what I wanted and who I wanted to be. I’ve been working hard all year long to become a state champion. I wanted to become the best i could possibly be. And I wasn’t just doing it for myself, but for my family too. Because they motivated me over the years…
A funny part came on in the office. It was about Dwight, Andy, and Michael doing parkour. I managed to squeeze out a faint little laugh before I heard someone start beating on the door.
“Wake up girls, it’s time for midday practice.” It was coach. I felt my muscles tighten as my hands squeeze into a fist out of pure frustration. Me and my roommate slowly let out a quite sigh. Midday practices were always the hardest. It was like working out until you physically can’t move anymore. Or like running a mile wearing weights and once you finally finish you just have to do it again and again, and again. Me and my roommate both struggled to get out of our beds. We both griped the sides of the sturdy metal pole holding our ancient bed up, so they don’t come crashing down like boulders on the edge of a cliff. We hoisted our self up. I glanced at my roommate, he was bigger than me but he was also older. We both went next to our closets and changed into our practice cloths. I filled up my water, grabbed a Gatorade, put on my backpack, and I looked over at my roommate. He was sitting on his bed with his stuff next to him.
“You commin?” I asked.
“Ill catch up with you.” He said. I could sense a little frustration in his voice and just decided to leave. I walked to the end of the hallway and walked down the stairs surrounded by big brick walls on all sides. I finally got to the court yard and sat at a brick bench that overlooked everyone else. I could immediately tell that this place was an Ivy League school. The campus was amazing.
They had brick and stone buildings that wrapped around trees, They had open fields where you could just go to study or relax. I immediately thought: “Too bad im wrestling 7 stories underground in a small hot room.”
The coach started attendance. I made sure that I was awake so they knew I was here. I waited so long that my name caught me off guard and made me jump.
“STRYDER!!” The coach exclaimed broadly.
“HERE!” I managed to say loud enough for everyone to hear me.
We began our walk to the other side of the campus where all of our body would shortly be screaming. I took a deep breath in and stayed in line along the path.
We finally got to the glorious, giant, gymnasium. We all walked in and I could slowly start to feel my backpack getting heavier and heavier as I dropped down stair, by stair. Once we got to the bottom of the basement the HOT air slapped me in the face and reached down my throat to grab the air out of my lungs. Everything blurry and I struggled to maintain my balance. I realized that everyone else was feeling the same fatigue affects as me. Then I quickly felt. Nashua. Nashua over took me as I clenched my mouth shut to keep from sharing my lunch with everyone. I pushed my way into the wrestling room, found a corner, and laced up my shoes.
“YOUR 30 SECONDS LATE EVERYONE. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.”
A wave of moans and grunts splashed across the room as we all realized that we had to wrestle live for the first 30 minutes. I quickly got my matt shoes on and stepped onto the matt. I felt the squishyness of the bright orange matt that would soon be covered in sweat from everyone in a 30 foot radius. I glanced across the room on both sides, scanning for a partner like a lion stalking its prey. I finally found a kid that looked my size and went over to him.
“Hey, wanna wrestle?”
“Sure.” He said it like he doesn’t even know that were gonna get destroyed from this practice.
“GRAB YOUR PARTNER AND START WRESTLING.” Me and my partner started to go at it. I knew that I was stronger and faster than him. But I didn’t know how good he was. I grabbed the back of his already sweaty head and snapped and pulled it down until he could taste the matt. I then quickly pushed my chess onto his back and applied all my weight until i herd him grunt. I thought: good, now hes mad. I then quickly grabbed his ankle and pulled it up in the air until I felt that his spine had had enough. Then I planted my feet onto the ground and pushed him down with my momentum and hooked both of his legs with mine and pulled him back until he was in a “Spladle.” Then I heard the words that every wrestler hates when they come from their coaches mouth.
“GET ON THE LINE!!!!” Those words brutally sucked and and murdered every one in the room. I felt both of my fists clench and my muscles slowly tighten and my veins try to crawl out of my skin and show the world how pissed I was. I instantly knew that it was going to be a long, hard practice…
Agony. Torture. Suffering. These were the only words that would even come close to how I feel right now. The hot, steamy sweat dripped down my face, my arms, my legs, my everything. Me and my partners feet kept losing balance and slipping on the pond of sweat that covered the whole matt everywhere. The pounding music that came from the speaker in the corner started to blend together with my thoughts and the grunting, and other people falling down, making the matt shake underneath my feat.
“ALL RIGHT, BRING IT IN!!” The coach yelled and everyone started to clap and and sigh with relief.
“GOOD WORK THIS PRACTICE BOYS. BUT TODAY’S NOT OVER YET. I WANT EVERYONE BACK HERE 5 O’CLOCK SHARP. NO EXCUSES!!”
The amount of sighs that flooded the room were too much for me to even tell what they were for. Some were for relief, and some sounded as if they just got sentenced to life in prison.
After coaches announcement I quickly walked over to my stuff and took off my shoes and got ready for the run back home. I nudged my way through the school of people and finally made it to the stairs. I climbed them one story at a time until I reached the top. My eyes instantly burned the second I saw my first glimpse of sunlight in what felt forever. I slowly dragged my feet to the wall filled with glass doors that went to the outside. We were supposed to wait for the coach, but I had to get to the shower first so I had time to eat dinner, and too make sure I didn’t get any skin diseases. Me and a handful of other kids took off throughout the campus jogging, walking, then jogging again until we finally reached out dorms. I took off into the big brick building and tried to do as much of a sprint up the stairs as I could, but it just turned out to be a pitiful jog. I grabbed my dorm key and pushed through the old creaky door to enter my room. I sat on my bed and just, thought. I just thought about why I was hear and what I was getting out of this camp. I knew I wanted to be a state champ, I knew I wanted to be a New England champ, I knew that I wanted to make a my family proud. But if I didn’t win states. Then what would I do?