Yesterday, in the span of 2 hours, my amazing daughter, Juju who is a senior, competed in a wrestling meet on the Mountain View High School JV wrestling team and then, after her match, she hustled into the cheer room, got cleaned up a bit, put on her cheer uniform and joined her fellow cheerleaders on the floor to cheer on their Varsity classmates in their wrestling meet.
By way of a little bit of back story, Juju came home from school one day this fall and let me know that she had joined the wrestling team. She never said a word in advance, so naturally, it was a complete surprise. She has never wrestled and didn’t know anything about the sport.
I have to tell you, this was one of the most impressive things she has done!
She had her very first match a couple weeks ago during a multi-school tournament. She wrestled the #2 girls wrestler in the state TWO TIMES. She really did not know much technique at all. But doggone it, she got in there and fought like hell! You can see one of the matches below.
When Juju started her match last night, I could tell instantly that she was a different wrestler than the one shown in the video above. From the moment the whistle blew, she came out attacking and was much more aggressive.
Juju had 3 take downs during the match and almost pinned her opponent. The crowd was cheering her on. It was amazing to see my own daughter have such success and hearing all the team and fans cheering for her.
Her opponent also made some terrific moves and put Juju to the test. The pics below show one of the sequences where her opponent had control of the match.
I found myself becoming emotional to the point of tears watching her wrestle. What an amazing thing for her to step in do something like that. As her dad, I know of the challenges she deals with everyday. Seeing her take on something like this left me feeling proud and in awe of who she is as a young woman.
After the match, the emotions were even stronger inside me when I saw the way the she felt and how her team congratulated her for her terrific showing.
Juju came up to me after the match and I gave her a big high five. I told her I was so proud of her and that she had really grown as a wrestler from her first match a couple weeks ago. She had tears in her eyes because she too was proud of her effort.
Wrestling is hard for her because she is a kind, gentle soul. She told me she has to take out her brain out when she wrestles so she can conjure the physical hunger to do what it takes to wrestle.
After we high fived and chatted for a bit, she picked up all her stuff and said, “Well now I got to go get ready to cheer for the Varsity team.”
I left for a bit and then returned at the start of the Varsity matches. When I walked back into the gym, I noticed that ALL of the lights were out except the one that directly over the wrestling mat. I thought that they must have had some type of power or electric failure.
A wrestler was standing next to me so I asked him if there was some type of power failure. He told me that this is how they always wrestled. He said they do it in a lot of places. He then saw that I had camera stuff with me and said, “Unfortunately, it is not a good thing for cameras.”
He was right.
Below are a few pix I was able to conjure showing Juju and her cheer team.
There are times as a father where you are so proud of your children that you just can’t take it. This was one of the times. I have had many with Juju and my other children over the years. This one has a little special sauce on it because it was so unexpected to have one of my daughters join a wrestling team.
It is going to be fun watching her grow during the season!