Whew! What a weekend! The boys wrestled for five hours on Friday and eleven hours on Saturday. I’d booked a babysitter, but things didn’t work out and I ended up needing to take all the kids. So, yeah, it was a very long weekend for all of us!
Asher was quite the underdog in his group. He was the youngest by several years and the lightest by an entire weight class.
Ash is a very talented wrestler. He’s a natural when it comes to mat awareness and learning moves. At the beginning of the season he was beating boys who were older and heavier than he was, but he hasn’t wrestled for two months now and he was very rusty. At Super State, he sort of wrestled like a slug. Only ten kids signed up in his division and he was able to take sixth place, even as the cute little slug that he is. Not bad for a four-year-old!
Braden… I was honestly a little worried about him. He had 21 kids in his bracket, and a lot of them were very, very good wrestlers. It was the biggest and most competitive event he’d ever attended and I was worried that he wasn’t up for that level of competition (especially because he has also missed two months of wrestling).
His first match was very close. He was winning and put the kid on his back, but then he let go and stood up, thinking the match was over. This cost him the match.
Braden did great in consolation though. He won a really competitive match in overtime, pinned a kid, and beat someone who has always beat him in the past. He lost his last match 10-12 and that, being his second loss, put him out one match before the medal rounds. He was so disappointed, but he has new resolve to work hard and be ready for his next big tournament.
And then there was Joshua. He really wanted to go to Super State. Because his GI and physical therapist had both cleared him for physical activity, we agreed that he could go, but we were both really worried about him. We estimated that his strength and stamina were only about 20% of what they used to be.
Josh wrestled so well. His entire team came to watch his matches. They were all so proud and so supportive. His team has always said that the wrestling room is not the same without Josh there. Several people told us what an inspiration he was.
Josh pinned his first two kids easily. He teched his third opponent 13-0. His fourth match was a very close one. He lost on a penalty point and was crushed.
He was so tired and defeated by that point and his elbow was hyper-extended during his last match and he could hardly move it. We urged him to just withdraw from the tournament, but he refused. He nailed his next match and pinned the kid easily, while totally favoring his left arm.
That win put him into the medal rounds for 3rd and 4th place. He lost a very close match against a kid who has never beat him. The kid has a habit of “running” for the edge of the mat so three of Joshua’s moves didn’t result in points because they happened right on the line. Josh’s elbow was bent completely backwards at the end of the match. We thought it was broken at first, but thankfully, it’s just fine!
So our very brave boy took fourth place, out of 37 kids and in a very competitive division. I have no doubt that he would have taken first if he’d been healthy, but it was also an absolute miracle that he was even wrestling at all after all he’s been through!!
Here’s a recap of the last few months:
Four months of constant, severe nausea and vomiting due to gastroparesis.
Ten full weeks without eating any food.
12% of his body weight lost.
Three weeks (and counting) on a feeding tube.
Many, many, many doctor visits, tests, days in the hospital, and trips to the ER.
Lots and lots of daily medication.
Cleared for physical activity just five days before the state tournament.
I’ve never seen a person waste away like Joshua did. It was terrifying. When things were at their worst, he didn’t even look like himself and he could barely stand.
The change in him over these last few weeks is a miracle in my eyes! It’s absolutely amazing to me to see how far he’s come in such a short time!
This tournament was about so much more than getting a trophy. It was about an amazing, strong, sweet, sick boy who was finally well enough to do what he loves most!!
Josh has a long way to go. His strength and stamina are only a fraction of what they used to be. He still is a liquid/feeding tube diet. But he has come so far and I know the worst is over now!
I am SO proud of my boys!!!