Feb 1991: Best I've ever wrestled

God, I'm tired.

I've been cutting weight all f---ing week, and today, the day before weigh-ins, I come in at 129.7. I just weighed out at 123.7 after a long workout. I'm exhausted.

I was in at 129.9 on Monday morning, and this is Friday afternoon. I thought I was cutting back on my food and water, but I guess I wasn't really. Not enough, anyway. I've been replenishing quite a bit--two Diet Cokes today. That doesn't seem like a whole lot. I could go for a Diet Coke right now.

I have to make 118.5 tomorrow at 2pm. 21.5 hours to go, 5.2 pounds. I could float probably 2, but I've still got a good 4-pound workout to go. I'll probably try to do a 3-pounder tomorrow morning, drink a Diet Coke, then do a 2-pounder at about 1pm.

I got back from Michigan late Sunday night--about 2am. I placed 3rd at the Michigan Open at 114.5. It was my highest finish there ever. (I was 5th at 125.5 in '89 and '90.)

It was also probably the best I've ever wrestled.

I beat Jeff Mirabella from Northwestern, 13-1, then a beat a pretty tough guy from Canada named Woodcroft, 20-5. They both hit good moves--they were tough. I just countered well, hit my own shots well, and just ran over both of them, which is what I need to do in all of my matches: start hard and finish hard. I haven't been pushing hard enough in a lot of my matches this year, and it makes a difference.

Making weight was tough. I made 118.5 on Saturday, and yesterday (Monday) I was back up to 134. My face looks bloated today.

Jenny went with me to Michigan. Rich Catalano rode with us, so we had to take Tom Ryan's car. Catalano didn't know how to drive a stick, so Jenny and I had to drive the whole 8 hours up and 8 back. Which is probably just as well, considering the faith I'd put in Catalano's driving abilities.

I needed a good tournament. I need a couple more good warm-up tournaments, then I need a good showing at Nationals. The guy who beat me on Sunday was the Canadian national champ--he beat Doug Harper in the finals, 6-3, and he beat me 8-2. Harper will be a key at Nationals.

I'm in the stands at the arena. Today was a classic practice. We're getting ready for Okie State and Arizona State this weekend here at the arena, so everything is kind of geared toward that. It wasn't all that tough a practice--I went with Pablo and killed him--but there was a lot of energy in the room, especially from Tom Brands, Tom Ryan, etc.

During Gable's pre-practice talk he started telling a couple of stories. One was about how he was invited to go pheasant hunting with the governor of Iowa. Gable shot the first two pheasants, at which time he was reprimanded by the governor's aide ("some highway patrol guy") to let the governor shoot the pheasants. Gable said he was so intimidated that he didn't lift his gun the rest of the day. The gvernor took about 30 shots and never did get a pheasant.

That story apparently reminded him of another in which Lennie Zalesky followed a deer into a clump of trees but then couldn't find him. He finally saw the deer up on his hind legs hiding behind a tree! And every time Lennie would try to get to him the deer would just keep circling around the tree on his hind feet with his front feet on the trunk.

Finally he talked a little about Okie State. He said Pat Smith's (Okie State 158-pounder) family got a court injunction to keep him academically eligible for the spring. Gable said the University of Iowa president will be sitting in the front row on Saturday. Next to him will be John Irving. Next to him will be Rico Chiaparelli (big laugh). And the next four seats have been reserved by Royce Alger and his Lisbonites to paint their faces and dress up. Kind of a descending pecking order.

We killed Okie State (35-2) and Arizona State (40-5). Great, solid wrestling.

My entire wrestling career could be over in twelve weeks. That's what the last four years of my life have been about. What I like so much about wrestling is that success is based completely on performance. No ass kissing, no nepotism, no luck. You win or you lose.

I wish life were like that.

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