Dec 1990: Gable: "You can't wrestle to stay even"

I placed 3rd at the UNI Open last week. That's the highest I've placed there. I won my first two matches easily, but only by decision. In the quarters I beat Kapusta from North Dakota State 8-3. I lost in the semifinals to Griffin, 5-4, then beat Burke Tyree in the consolation finals, 9-4. Akin was 5th.

I wrestled okay against Griffin; he scored 2 TDs and an escape; I scored 1 TD and 2 escapes.

I'm at the arena.

Zaputil kicked my ass in practice yesterday (I beat him in the first go, 12-11, then he beat me in the second go, 17-4). He's gotten better and better on his feet, and is harder to score on. I have to force scrambles to get scoring opportunities, and then it's a crap shoot, as evidenced by our scores. If I get behind it's hard to catch up, because I have to try riskier moves to get back into the match, and that's where he has improved--he allows fewer mistakes.

I'm just feeling guilty about my crappy season, and trying to convince myself that it doesn't matter. But it does matter.

I don't want to go out with a whimper. That's what I'm afraid of.

I still get a thrill out of re-hashing my move to Iowa, mostly because on paper it didn't make a whole lot of sense, and yet, bingo, I did it, it's done.

I want to feel good about placing at Nationals. That was my goal. Alger or Lewis would say that's stupid. But it was my goal. They do some things that I think are stupid.

But now that I've done it, I feel like either it was a fluke, or I didn't set the bar high enough. I feel like I should be embarrassed to have set my goal so low, and doubly embarrassed to be losing matches now. I want to go out on a high note, and my high note wasn't even very high.

I'm at the arena. I had a bad wrestling day today. Well, I beat Ehlen pretty solidly, although a lot of my points came from near-falls, and even some of my takedowns were defensive scrambles.

But then I wrestled Martin and got beat bad. I decided to just keep taking shots, since that (offensiveness) seems to be a big problem for me lately. But it just wasn't working for me.

Gable has been cold to me lately. Maybe it's my imagination, caused by self-pity, but it really bothers me. It's as if he thinks I'm trying to wrestle poorly, like I'm doing it to make him look bad.

I need to get my ass back into gear. Maybe I haven't been putting enough time and intensity into it. I'd really like to place at freestyle Nationals these final two years, just to know that I did it, and that I did it more than once, and that it wasn't a fluke.

Gable said the other day, "You can't wrestle to stay even, and you can't even wrestle just to win. You have to wrestle to dominate."

I don't care what anybody says, I like that philosophy. I wish I embodied it better than I do.

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