I got my ass kicked by Penrith today. I didn't score more than 7-8 points: 2 front headlock rolls and 1 takedown with nearfall that I think he let me have. I got so frustrated that I went out in the hallway and cried.
I don't particularly enjoy being frustrated, but I think it's good for me. First, it gives me a challenge. Second, it gets me back to basics: it makes me humble; it makes me face realities; it forces me to look the world square in the face. That's good. That's what I want. Nothing great was ever accomplished without some frustration, some driving impetus to change the status quo. I have a driving impetus to change the status quo, and today was a reflection of that.
I'm in Phoenix. It's late on a Saturday night. I didn't place at the Sunkist toruney, but I came damn close. I won my first two matches: 15-0 tech fall over Chris Moore, a second-round bye, then 15-7 over a guy named Randy Richard from NYAC.
In the 4th round I lost to Kendall Cross from Okie State 13-7. I scored some good turns and crotch-lifts. He beat me, but I went with him. I can go with him.
I got pinned in my final match by Karl Glover from Foxcatcher. He was the Olympic alternate this summer at 125 behind Barry. I was beating him 3-2 with 45 f---ing seconds to go. I was f---ing beating Glover. I just got caught on a shot and wrenched over to my back.
I feel reasonably good about my performance here. I was 5th in my pool. I needed to win 1 more to place in the top 8. Sunkist is a major tournament.
I can go with these guys. I can go with the best in the country. I've just got to keep pushing. I'll get there.
I won another tournament. The Drake Open--a collegiate tourney. I beat Brad Bruhl in the finals, 7-6. He is the other highly touted freshman at 118-126 for Iowa (along with Zaputil). I scored 3 takedowns to his 1, but he also had 4 escapes. I felt the match shouldn't have been as close as it was, but...the score is the score, and he didn't lay down and roll over for me.
My season record is 9-4 right now. I was 1-0 at the Iowa Games, 2-2 at Sunkist, 5-0 at Drake, and 1-2 at Northern Open. I didn't have a good tourney at the Northern. I'm not sure what the problem was. I lost in the first round to Duaine Martin from UNI, 12-9. He is slick, and I stayed with him but just couldn't quite seal the deal. I won my first consolation match, then lost to Dan Flood from Wisconsin,6-3. I'm going to try and wrestle more aggressively at the UNI Open this weekend.
I have no romantic life. Jenny has been lifting weights with me a couple of times, but she still has a steady boyfriend. The other night we were there, and I went into the locker room to weigh myself. Tom Brands walked in and said, "Hey, Tarpley, is that your woman out there?" I said, "No, but she will be." He seemed to enjoy that joke way too much.
I spent Thanksgiving with Barry Davis at his brother's house in Cedar Rapids. His whole family was there--really nice people.
Gable's been nice to me lately, talking to me more, acknowledging my presence with waves and nods and even, "Hey, Tarp"s. I think he's aware that I'm getting better--he said so--and that I'm not just here to take up space.
Mike Hruska, my roomate, is in the starting lineup at 158, but he has a 1-3 record and his ankle is f---ed up. He still refuses to clean his lizard's cage, even after the stupid thing died. I haven't gotten around to getting rid of it. Mike's a good guy. He's got some issues with responsibility, and performing under pressure. Maybe he'll come through, though.
I like the Brands brothers more and more. I think they would say the same about me. We did not get along for most of the first season. They have drive and determination. Killer instinct. I'm learning from them, which I never thought I'd hear myself say.
Rat Martin continues to be the biggest a-hole on the team. He's completely self-absorbed.
I like Barry a lot. I like Lennie Zalesky.
I'm definitely going to stay next year. Hell, I think 88-89 is going to be a good year for me, if I can just keep getting tougher and tougher. Sometimes I feel so damned good, then other times I feel like I'm so far back in the pack. I'm losing to guys whom Tom or Terry Brands would never lose to. (They placed 2nd and 3rd at the Northern--I was out in 3 rounds.) Tom beat last year's NCAA runner-up. I've got to be more aggressive, more forceful, mix it up and force some brawls.
I don't know if I can place at freestyle Nationals in May. But I went close with Cross and Glover at Sunkist. I need to beat somebody ranked. I need to get up there with the lead pack.