Oct 1988: Red Flag practice with Zaputil

God, am I sore. Gable got back from Korea today, so we had a tough practice. It wasn't so much that he dictated it; it's just that his presence sort of inspired everyone (me at least) to go a little harder.

I wrestled Paul Zina (walk-on freshman 126-pounder) and did better against him than last time--about 75-80%. I was turning him when I got him on the mat, too. He is pretty good, though--quite quick.

After that I did a short set with Ryan Sugai and went about even--I would've had the advantage in freestyle as I would've scored points on 3 crotch-lifts. He is quick too, and a little bigger than me--he may go 134 this year.

Finally, I did some dummy throws. I feel like I could double the size of my wrestling move repertoire if I could just get more comfortable with a few throws--beyond the lace-leg suplay. I could double my options with Martin, Brands, Davis--anybody.

I just got home from going out with Jenny from my summer class. She called me out of the blue, and we met at a bar called Micky's and had a great time. We drank, we talked. Then at closing I ended up walking her to her car, then we sat and talked for an hour. Finally I said, "Well, I've got to go," then I hugged her, then I kissed her innocently, but on the lips, then I got out, went to my car and let her watch me drive away.

I've always liked her. I've just never pursued her because of her boyfriend. As far as that goes, well, who knows?

I'm sitting in the sun outside my apartment building. It's about 60 degrees, but it's kind of windy and autumn leaves are blowing all over the place.

I wrestled fairly well this week. I beat Bruhl very good yesterday, romped over Yegge, and went decent with Terry Brands.

Terry is going to give Rat Martin a run for his money this year at 118. Tom will likely start at 126 unless Melchiore drops down. I think Tom will beat Regan.

We have a Red Flag practice tomorrow. It's open to the press, just like last year.

Red Flag practice. We all wore our black t-shirts with our names on the backs again, like last year. I went with Zaputil, one of the highly touted freshman. I went about 50-50. He is deceptively strong. I was scoring well on him, including in scrambles, but he caught me a few times on straight-in shots because he is so damn strong--like the Brands.

Toward the end of pactice Gable had us go "last-second takedowns"--the scenario is that there are only a few seconds left on the clock and you are BOTH down by a point. In other words, you BOTH have to do whatever it takes to score. I went 2 for 3 with Zapitul--scored the final one, and Gable said, "Nice, Tarpley."

It was good for my ego. Nobody in the f---ing press pool knew who the f--- I was. I felt like Jan Brady. So scoring the final takedown was good. It felt good.

Jenny went home for the weekend. She's moving to Dubuque after she graduates in December. Did you know she was a Valedictorian in high school? I never knew that.

It's my g--damn birthday. I'm 26.

I slept until 11am, then went to the arena and mopped the mats, went live with Martin, did very well in freestyle but only so-so in collegiate.

This evening I went downtown and met Jenny at Micky's. We went to Pizza Hut for dinner, then I dropped her off and kissed her goodbye. She kind of turned away. So...she's got a boyfriend, for starters. And she doesn't know what she wants, for seconds.

Then I went to the Field House and danced and got my t-shirt ripped to shreds. I ended up at a party at Rick Novak's.

It is weird being 26 in a college town. Sometimes I feel like I'm 30. Sometimes I feel like I'm 19.

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