July 1990: Jack Griffin is here

Jack Griffin is training with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club this year. He was this year's NCAA champ at 118 for Northwestern, just graduated and moved here. He'll be competing at 114.5, like me. That's good. More competition in the room. With Penrith gone now, having Griffin here will help me a lot.

I don't view him as competition even though we're both at the same weight. I think it's because he's already better than me--so there's only upside for me. He will make me better.

I blew the engine in the MGA yesterday driving back from Jen's parents' house in Illinois. I got it towed back to Iowa City. I put it on a credit card. I don't know how much it will cost to get a new engine.

Let me bitch a little more: my kneee is still f---ed up and my wrestling is falling way behind.

I got the second lowest grade in the class on my Managerial Finance midterm--a 59. I'm bombing Macroeconomics. I don't understand Aggregate Demand curves, Aggregate Supply curves, IS curves, or LM curves. I'm taking about 50% of this crap in and the other 50% is zipping past me.

I'm just getting stressed. I'm stretching myself too thin this summer.

Bruhl just took second at Espoir nationals (age 20 and under) at 125.5. Good to see him doing well. Bove from Penn State, whom I beat in the first round at nationals three months ago, won it at 114.5.

Hoegh (trainer) got me a knee brace that's pretty solid, so I've started wrestling live. I drilled hard with Barry and Jack Griffin last week.

I went live with Pablo Ubasa once last week and once today. We went about even last week--well, I was probably 75%, but there were long stretches of no points. Today I beat him good--he got a couple of takedowns, but I scored mega-backpoints.

Taking the break from wrestling didn't really re-energize me. I feel like all my attention immediately got sucked up by other things. I didn't miss wrestling like I did when I took short breaks in years past.

If nothing else great happens to me in wrestling from here on out, I won't be crushed. I know I can do better than 8th. I think I can be top 3. I'll be ready for a change, though. For example, I'd really like to have one last shot at getting a college degree from an Ivy League school.

Why? Just to do it. I just think it would be cool. My GMAT score was in the 94th percentile. Maybe I could get into business school at Harvard or Yale or Cornell. You never know.

I just...I don't want to be a wrestling coach. My future is not in wrestling. I need to think about what's next. It sounds weird to say that, having been so focused on it for the past three years.

My Uncle Norman died yesterday. He had a heart attack while he was jogging. He was in his early 50s.

This whole death thing reall bugs me. Your life can be so happy, and at any moment you or someone you love can just be snuffed out. It almost takes the fun out of being happy. It's like you can never feel completely happy. It's all just a temporary illusion that sooner or later will come to an end.

Maybe we should just be gloomy and depressed all the time. But, you know, that doesn't seem to solve anything either. Everybody dies. Everybody who's here now won't be around in a hundred years.

I'm just not ready to die. I have too many bills.

I'm too happy. I'm having too much fun. Does that jinx it? Should I stop having so much fun? Try to have more fun? Stop loving people? Love people more?

My knee is sore from trying to run on it yesterday, and we have a red flag practice at the field house today at 4.

I wrestled with Griffin today in the red flag practice. He out-scored me, but it was a good workout. I wrestled with the brace. It's not limiting my movement, but I am still favoring the knee a little. I tend not to put full weight on it to push off, if I have a choice. I need to feel more confident about it.

Griffin is slick. He doesn't have a concrete ass like Martin, but he's slicker, quicker. Martin could score by getting in on a single and just staying with it. Griffin hits a slideby and he's behind you.

I'm getting married in a few weeks. A few weeks...jeeze. Am I feeling pressured? No, not really. Nothing at all like freestyle nationals this year--I really felt the pressure there. I knew it was a major event in my life, and I had to just not think about the magnitude of it, just stay focused.

Maybe that's what I'm doing now.

We should find out about the condo in the next few days. I will be extremely happy when all of this is finally worked out. The condo, the car situation, summer session, the wedding, healing my knee. I took on too much this summer.

I'm at a Little Caesars Pizza in Dubuque. I just gave a wrestling clinic at Wahlert High School here--I made $100. I enjoyed it. I was happy to be asked.

I'm not going to wrestle at Iowa Games this year. My graduation (History MA) is the day before, and Jenny's parents will be here, and we'll be in our new condo (we got the loan). I would like to have it as a tune-up for Sunkist, especially since I haven't been able to wrestle as much this summer. But it is not going to happen.

Jenny and I are arguing about whether we should go to church when we get married. She says we should go because it's the accepted thing to do, her mom would be offended if we didn't, it instills morals in children, and it makes us closer as a family.

I don't care about being accepted into society. As for her mom, let's lie to her and tell her we go. As for morals, who made the First Congregational Church the moral authority? Are we incapable of instilling moral values into our kids? And as for making us closer as a family, let's go ride the rollercoasters at Great America instead.

Thanks for listening patiently. We'll keep this conversation just between us, okay?

I'm wrestling with Barry in five minutes.

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