Dec 1987: Gable's motivational speech

Gable says he usually begins to see improvement in his freshmen around April. He said Ed Banach took a year and a half before blossoming. Which gives me hope.

Keeping up with the Brands will be tough, because they are abnormally motivated.

Gable is cool. He gave a great motivational speech at last night's practice. He's not just a wrestling fanatic. He's a life fanatic. He believes in reaching one's maximum potential. He believes in toughness--in being strong. Sometime in our lives we will all have to face adversity--trauma, death, whatever it is. Maybe it's the death of our parents, a brother or sister, the breakup of a marriage, the loss of a job, whatever. It's coming. It's going to happen. How are we going to handle ourselves then, as human beings? We've got to confront our fears, and we've got to come to terms with these realities. And we've got to be able to deal with them so that we can get on with living.

Wrestling is shock therapy for life.

Being physically, mentally, and emotionally tough. Pushing yourself past barriers. Being a strong person. That's all Gable wants us to be. Being a national wrestling champion is a by-product.

I'm pissed off. I don't feel like going to work and waiting on tables and being nice to people.

G--dammit, I didn't score one offensive point today.

I wrestled with Randy Lewis today (Hawk Club 136-pounder and '84 Olympic gold medalist). I learned so much from going with him. He taught me two nice throws from defensive position, a lace-leg suplay and a reach-over trip, both highly effective.

Here are my impressions of some of my workout partners:

Steve "Rat" Martin (soph, current starter at 118): a pompous ass. I respect him for his intensity and dedication, but I don't believe he gives a damn about anyone else.

Barry Davis (post-grad, 82-83-85 NCAA champ, 125.5 freestyle): a nice guy, dedicated. He's one of my favorites.

Brad Penrith (sr, 86 NCAA champ, current starter at 126): a nice guy, seems pretty easy going. Long and lanky, very slick.

Joe Melchiore (jr, 85-86 NCAA All-American, current starter at 134): also a nice, easy-going guy. Reminds me of Gene Vincent, the '50s rocker.

John Regan (jr, last year's starter at 118, now behind Penrith at 126): I like this guy. He's a math major, smart, outgoing, very polite. Not a great technician, but always manages to get in there and score.

Tom and Terry Brands (fr, 126 & 118): the Intensity Brothers. I admire their stamina and determination, but they're both poor sports. And they get pissed off too easily. I like it when Penrith or Melchiore tosses them around.

Steve Kennevan (post-grad, 125.5 freestyle): one of the only guys I can beat. Older, smart, good guy. Didn't wrestle at Iowa. Trains here but no longer competes.

I'm on the plane on my way home to Durango for Christmas. After 4 months in Iowa, I feel like an Iowan. I have phrases in my head like, "Eastern Iowa's news channel," "Go Hawks," "the Johnson County Sheriff's office."

Believe it or not, I will arrive in Durango without one piece of "Iowa" gear. No Iowa sweatshirts. No Iowa Wrestling t-shirts or socks or hats or gloves or bags.

It's great being home, but Durango feels so slow, plodding. I can't live like that. We've got 80 years to do everything we want to do. I can't live by Durango time.

I absolutely, positively cannot leave Iowa until I've redeemed my life by placing at Nationals. I gotta get back to Iowa, get my head back into wrestling.

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