Life Lessons Learned on the Mat

Credit: Author Michael B Fessler

One day, I was perusing the Internet and ran across a poster entitled “Wrestling Life Lessons.” It caught my attention because my sons wrestled in Junior High and a portion of their High School careers. Also, I am a SERIOUS OSU wrestling fan!

I’d like to touch on the first and the last of the lessons. 

Wrestling Life Lesson Number One: “The battle is not on the mat, but in your mind. 

This rings so true for me. Unfortunately, for a time, I passed on a legacy of weak mindedness to my kids. It was MY KIDS that have since helped me grow mental strength, but more regarding that later.

From the time I was little, I had ALWAYS worried so much about what others thought of me. I was paranoid and filled to the brim with anxiety. I couldn’t fake my way out of it (and BELIEVE ME, I tried), so I passed this on to my beloved children. I saw it when my boys wrestled, mostly from my oldest son. I couldn’t understand why someone who was so intelligent and had so much going for him athletically, would freeze when he was on the mat. 

It wasn’t until much later I would understand that the mind can be fragile. If we aren’t grounded in something, we’ll fall for anything. I choose to be grounded in God. And my oldest? He chose that too. I love that he is now successfully coaching youth wrestling. I couldn’t be more proud.

Lesson 9: The injuries and lessons alike will stay with you forever.

Life is full of ups and downs. Our job is to learn from both. When I was raising my kids, I didn’t grasp this fully. I would get devastated when I made a mistake because “people were watching.” I laugh at how I used to think–now. I mean, how selfish is it for someone to think all eyes are on them? 

Anywho, I’ve since learned that we were meant to go through both difficult and easy times. The easy times remind us of how good God is, and the difficulties refine us. 

My kids are awesome. They love me too much to let me stay stuck in a negative self depraving mindset. When my sons sat me down one day and gave me hell, it hurt like the same, but was the most loving of things they could have EVER done for me. They taught me that I was too soft on them, which led to them being weak minded… for a time. Now? They are self made. My kids are three of the strongest people I know. 

I’m going to give myself some grace here. I am a woman with a woman’s heart. It is my job to be a soft place for my family to land, but I CANNOT stay stuck in that soft place. My charge is to comfort, then expect action. 

What I wish I would have taught my kids: Don’t be too hard or too soft. There is a balance to everything we do. Expect action from yourself first. It is ONLY then that you can expect it from those around you.

Published by Ms. Clack

Daughter of the King, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, aunt, teacher

2 thoughts on “Life Lessons Learned on the Mat

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