|Photo Golden Gate Wrestling Club|
Years ago I did some wrestling in high school and a little in college. It was scary for me, but I felt OK once I was on the mat. I always wanted to get back to it, but never managed to. I thought I was too old for it, but a friend encouraged me to look into it and suggested I contact the Golden Gate Wrestling Club. I went there and, at age 62, I started wrestling again.
I've always been frightened by physical confrontation. Although I don't remember, several family members have told me that I was hit a lot by several family members when I was very young. I believe I'm dealing with this fear when I wrestle.
I've been wrestling for almost a year and a half, and it's been a slow, grueling process. At first I got frustrated easily because I was so slow physically and mentally. My coaches were very patient and allowed me to grow out of that behavior. My flexibility and balance were terrible at first, but have improved a lot. My strength is good and so is my endurance. Nevertheless, I tire easily because I'm so tense. I'm slowly learning to relax when I wrestle.
I work with weights twice a week, but have made the workout more aerobic and am concentrating on free weights to get muscles to work together. I also run several times a week and am now into interval training where I do a lot of short-distance speed work.
I entered my first tournament after about six months of wrestling. I was helpless on my feet and on defense almost the whole time. At my second tournament a few months later I did even worse. I've got a fledging offense now and am in better wrestling shape. I'm still a little scared and tense, but not as much as before. Due to good coaching I've been free of serious injury. For years I had this gut feeling that I wanted to wrestle and am ecstatic that I have the opportunity to do so at my age.
-- Noel Baggett, Golden Gate Wrestling Club, April 2005