Tonight I’ve been flipping between the NCAA basketball playoffs and the NCAA wrestling championship. College wrestling gets little television time, but I’ve never seen any other athletes work as hard as wrestlers.
I just saw a wrestler named Mark Perry from the University of Iowa (which has a tremendous history of success at the college level, including 21 national championships since 1975) wresting at 165 lbs. Five weeks out of surgery which involved his meniscus being stapled to his bone, Perry had his knee severely hyper-extended half-way through the second period of his match. He was in enough pain to cause him to crawl off the mat. With his leg failing beneath his own body weight, he held out to win the match.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for wrestlers. The seven minutes on the mat is completely exhausting, and like many non-spotlight sports, they get little attention. I can’t think of another sport that requires as much effort to maintain appropriate weight (perhaps gymnastics?).
As much as I enjoy the excitement and energy of the basketball championships, there is something more inspiring to me to see an individual winning or losing on their own.