Monday, June 15, 2009
Sometimes, the answer is NO
This picture breaks my heart…it was taken at the exact moment that Tux realized that he would never compete at the state level in wrestling. He had wrestled throughout junior high and high school, worked hard, pushed himself…but it was not to be. It was something that I knew that he wanted very much, and at this moment, it had become out of the question.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. He knew more about wrestling than many of his contemporaries, as my dad has been a wrestling coach for nearly 30 years and often works with the boys. It was all there, and yet, success seemed to be elusive for him.
His freshman year was particularly difficult, as he had a coach that only believed in winning. He pushed the kids until they nearly broke, lavishing praise on the ones that won, and ignoring those that did not. I thought that he might give it up at one point, and I was devastated to think that a coach could make it so hard on them.
He got all of the bad breaks…state champion competing in his weight class, difficult brackets, it just seemed that he could never catch a break. Year after year, we prayed that he would find his niche and excel.
He didn’t go without success, as he placed in many tournaments, as high as second place. That was an incredible tournament! He had struggled all that year (his junior year), and was frustrated and down on himself. He was upset that we were even attending this tournament, which was for much larger schools and a tough tournament for a small school like ours. He kicked some butt, though, and when he won the match that put him in the finals, I nearly deafened everyone in the building. No one was near me, so I just screamed. I was so happy for him!
He finished out that year with more medals, although he didn’t get past the regional level. We thought that perhaps his senior year would be the one.
We were wrong. His senior year was as difficult as ever, as he faced opponents that were just that much better than him, or caught the lucky breaks. He wrestled against kids that wrestle year round in Freestyle Tournaments. It was never an easy path for him, but he kept going.
We learned valuable lessons along the way. Sometimes, the answer is no...no matter how much we want something, no matter how much we pray, no matter how hard we work...we are unable to achieve the thing that we are striving for. It hurts, it’s confusing, and it both discourages and frustrates us beyond comprehension.
If it were up to me, he would have been State Champion. I felt that he deserved it! He had worked SOOOO hard, and he wanted it so much.
We kept telling him that there were plenty of other wrestlers that were having the same issues. Not everyone competes at State…not everyone realizes their dreams along the way. But even though we can tell ourselves that we have it better than some...how can it make us hurt less to know that someone else hurts more???
We think that we know what we need. We feel like it is something that we simply cannot live without. But we can...and we will. The Lord has a much larger view, and He knows what is best for us now, and what is best for us in the long run. That is why sometimes, He says NO.
I’m sure that it hurts Him as much as it hurts us, especially when it is something like this. I know that it hurts me as much as it hurt Tux, because I am his mother and I love him and want everything for him. I know how hard he had tried and how much he sacrificed, and I would move heaven and earth to give him a State Medal. UNLESS...I knew that this would not be the best for him in the long run...and so, I have to trust that Heavenly Father is taking care of things, and that He has our best interests at heart. I can trust Him in this. But I still would like to understand WHY some day!
I am incredibly proud of him for all that he accomplished. In wrestling, as well as in life. He persevered even when it wasn’t easy; a most admirable trait in anyone. He didn’t quit, He didn’t turn on his teammates or coaches, he never wavered in your dedication to wrestling.
THIS is what he will take away – not the accolades or medals. In the long run, this is much more valuable.
As heartbreaking as this moment was, it was also a victory of sorts. He proved that no matter what happened, He was the man. He wouldn’t give up. He wouldn’t back down from the challenge, and he proved that he was stronger than anything that was thrown at him.
He’ll always be a hero in my eyes!