Monday, January 26, 2009

Wrestling Champion

Yesterday Gabe participated in his second wrestling tournament, the Little Viking Wrestling Tournament, and he is now officially a champion!
He wrestled three other Kindergartners, round-robin, and got first place!
And, two of his wins were pins!
Here he is getting his first pin...

You should have seen the grin on his face when the referee raised Gabe's arm up in the air to signify that he had won the match. I didn't capture it with the camera because I was just too excited for him to think about taking a photo.

This win comes off of a very different showing at the Alburnett Tournament last weekend. That was Gabe's very first official tournament and he was not prepared. He was wrestling kids who were both in kindergarten and first grade, and who had all been wrestling for at least two years. And since it was in the early morning, {we had to leave home shortly after 6 a.m} Gabe was very tired.

All excuses aside, Gabe's loss came down to one element he captured in words himself when talking to Jason and I...'I really wasn't trying very hard.'
And that was obvious. Gabe seriously went out on the mat for his last match and pretty much laid on his back for the other wrestler to pin him with no fight. He was just ready for popcorn, which he asked us for right after losing his match.
Because of this lack of effort, Gabe took fourth place in that tournament.

Jason and I have questioned whether five years old is perhaps too young to be involved in competitive, one-on-one sports. After all, trying to explain effort and drive to a five-year-old is walking a thin line. But we gave it a try and had a talk with Gabe, explaining to him that if he had tried his hardest and gotten fourth place, mom and dad would be thrilled. But to see him go out there and just give up was not what we wanted for him. We don't want to raise kids who feel they have to win all the time, because let's face it, you're just not going to win all the time. But we do want to raise kids with heart, kids who don't give up. We just want to raise kids who always give it their best, exhibit good sportsmanship and who can in turn be proud of their efforts.
I really think Gabe took our talk to heart because all week he's been talking about how he's ready to try his hardest, not give up and give it his best.

So, with his first loss came motivation for his first win.
And, I have to say, Gabe was also really motivated by that first place trophy he knew was up for grabs, which he did win with a lot of hard work...

And here's our little Champ on the podium, looking right at mom's camera with a big smile {good job Gabe!}

Just seeing the pride Gabe had in knowing he tried his best and his efforts paid off almost made me cry. I am so proud of our little wrestler!
And Gabe really couldn't have had more fun.
Last night when we were tucking him into bed, Gabe said to me, "Mom, I really like to wrestle." And after all, liking what you're spending your time doing is pretty important. Otherwise, why do it?

Just one more related story I have to add...
After the tournament, I asked Gabe what he liked best about the wrestling meet.
He said, "winning the trophy."
No big surprise there.
But then he added, "And, seeing Kinzley."
Gabe's 'friend' Kinzley was at the tournament with her friend's family watching her friend's cousin wrestle {did you catch all that?!?}
But, if you ask Gabe, she was just there to see him.
Kinzley came and sat by Gabe and if seeing those two together isn't the epitome of puppy love, I don't know what is!

Here's a photo of them together after Christmas Eve.
They always happen to end up together...

{Shawna: Oh my goodness, we are seriously in trouble with those two. They were sitting by each other telling Gabe's other friend, Ethan, how they were boyfriend and girlfriend, while at the same time both were blushing.}

So, I'm thinking for Gabe, girls, especially this certain girl, is defintely right up there with winning a trophy.


Anonymous said...

CONGRATS to Gabe! What a great reward for him to show the difference in having heart. I bet he displays his trophy proudly.

Kinz didn't tell me she saw him that day. I read her the post and she just started blushing. These two are somthing else that's for sure! He couldn't get pinned with Kinz watching him.... Feel free to take her to any tournaments ;)

The Aussie said...

Cael Sanderson watch out!!