I checked the scoreboards for the match number. The bout number is at eight, only two more matches until I am up. My body cracks and makes noises when I first start warming up. In the last period of the match before mine I head over to the table. I try to keep loose and go over some bits of last minute strategy before my match begins. I strip down to my singlet, my arms feel wonderfully light. The match starts and immediately I am on my opponent, constantly moving and fighting for position. I find myself in an over – under tie up. This tie up is a set up for a lateral throw, not exactly my stuff, but I decide to keep it anyway. I push into him, trying to get him to react so I can send him flying. Before I can throw the move he does it to me. In a split second I am on my back and fighting to get off. I manage to free my arm and get off onto my belly. I stand up and make an escape to bring the score 5-1. My strategy has changed and I know that I will have to turn it up a notch to win. I made this match a lot harder than it would normally be. In the end, I am winning 11-6, but I don’t know I am winning by that much and try to hold onto the kid and not get reversed; I end up getting pinned in the last second of the match. It was a disappointing loss, but a mistake made in the off-season is one less during the season.
March 24, 2010