Mar 1989: Meltdown at NCAAs

I'm wrestling at the Tri-State freestyle tourney in Ft. Madison, Iowa on Saturday. I have to drop 8-9 pounds to make 125.5. The weigh-in is tomorrow night. Suffice it to say that I am not wrestling at 114.5.

I won the Ft. Madison tourney. I beat a guy from Iowa Central 16-1, and a guy from Drake 15-0. I'm 18-10 on the season. It'd be nice to get one more warm-up before nationals, but I don't forsee it.

Making scratch weight at 125.5 was also tougher than I thought. It is not realistic at this point to go 114.5 at nationals. At least not this year, and maybe never. Four weeks until nationals.

The collegiate team took 6th at NCAAs. A complete meltdown. Only 4 All-Americans, no finalists, and obviously no champs. Martin was 7th at 118. Tom Brands was 4th at 126--he lost in the semis to Cross, 1-0, whom he crushed in the dual. Cross ended up winning the tournament. Melchiore was 3rd at 134--he also lost in the semis. Reiland was 4th at 158.

I guess the only good news is that the lightweights all placed.

It's kind of weird, but there's a lot of finger pointing and animosity. The guys that didn't place, that didn't qualify...the non-starters in the room who aren't performing as well as they should...the guys who quit or transferred out at the end of last year...there is a lot of animosity.

We had no big horses this year, like a Royce Alger or a Penrith. Brands and Melchiore were our big guns, and Tom is a redshirt freshman and Melchiore is a transfer. We had nobody in the stable, no one from the recruiting classes of 4-5 years ago. None of them panned out.

You know what's wrong? It's wrong to go half-assed into something because you're afraid. I think I've been afraid for the past month or two thinking about where this relationhip with Jenny is going--both of us--worrying too much about it, worrying too much about the future, and are we ready to commit?

Well, f--- that. It's wrong to keep whining all the time about "What if?" WHAT IF? So f---ing what? So we get married. So we break up. So we have fights. So she breaks my heart or I break hers. Would that be the worst thing that ever happened in the history of the cosmos? And is that a good reason for not wanting to commit to something? It doesn't matter if it's a person, or a dream, or any other type of commitment. You can't live your life obsessing about the possibility of failure. That is a sure-fire way to ensure failure.

It's okay not to know what you want. But if you do know what you want, or even if you're pretty sure about it, then you'd damn sure better stake your claim and get after it, and stop moping around hoping someone else will make the decision for you. Because they will, and your life will be decided by the whims of others, and I'm pretty sure that no one else knows what the f--- they're doing either.

Hruska is back from spring break. He brought his little brother with him. They're sitting around in the living room farting and screaming about greasy butts. His girlfriend Roxanne is here too. It's her first day back and she left four messages on the answering machine.

I've got to make some changes. I don't think I can deal with this for another year. It's like living with a seventh grader.

I'm two weeks away from freestyle nationals. I'm not ready. I'm not nearly ready. Another warm-up tourney would be nice. I'm lucky I had Ft. Madison. I'm in good shape, and I've got my weight under control, but I wish I had more time.

I need to start going on some overseas trips, go against top world competition, set my sights a little higher than Nationals. I need to think bigger.

I won 41% of my matches last year. I won 64% this year. I can be up around 90-95%, I know I can. I've got to put full intensity into nationals matches--start hard, finish hard, wear people down, and pull away from them that last minute or so.

I need two good, hard weeks before nationals, with Zaputil, Steiner, the Brands, and Martin.

I need to get something to eat. I've got caffeine shakes from post-wrestling Diet Cokes. I'm coming out of practices about 132--about 6.5 pounds over. My weight is under control. I'm wrestling well. I'm feeling optimistic.

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