“I don’t give up.”
[CELEBRATE This Week No. 230]
Jordan’s wrestling matches started this week. Last year he joined wrestling in the middle of a very short middle school season. It was his first attempt at wrestling. He spent a lot of time getting pinned. It is what we described as a learning and character building year.
This year he couldn’t wait for wrestling to start. They’ve been practicing for weeks and this week the season officially opened. Instantly we knew Jordan had been working hard and learning the moves and strategies of the sport. It was evident in his performance on the mat.
Thursday was a four way match, so Jay wrestled three times. There was much to celebrate.
- Jay won his first match with a pin. When it was over, he came to see us on the bleachers. He slid next to us and smiled. “Good job!” Andy congratulated him. Jay smiled and wave at me. “Way to go, Jay!” I said. He smiled more. Then he left as quickly as he came. This might not seem like much, but in terms of attachment it is huge. Jay found us to celebrate. He didn’t have any words, but he was proud of himself. We were the people he turned to in the moment of victory. I’m so glad I didn’t miss it.
- In the last match of the night, Jay went against a giant 8th grader. By the third period he was down 15 to 1. It was excruciating to watch as Jay turned and arched to avoid being pinned. Then in the last few seconds, his opponent moved to the side and Jay took the opportunity for a reversal. With less than 10 seconds left, Jay pinned his opponent. The crowd erupted and his team swarmed him on the mat. Jay’s smile was so large it stretched across the gym.
- On the way home, Jay said: “That’s my coach’s favorite kind of win…the come from behind win.” I smiled and said, “I bet you’re glad you didn’t give up.” Jay paused and then said, “I don’t give up.”
I’m so glad I didn’t miss his meet or the chance to pick him up after they returned home. He is a kid with an ugly history and he is writing the next part of his story in a remarkable way. It is true, he doesn’t give up. I celebrate his resilience.