Let's side track to wrestling for a moment. Wrestling is not a sport that I grew up knowing anything about. I don't understand it, and therefore have no appreciation for it. I remember when I was a new grad and had to cover my first wrestling meet. No clinical instructor to fall back on if I got in a bind. Just me. I never covered a wrestling meet in college. I worked with the wrestlers for a couple of weeks, but they had no home meets, so I had never actually watched a meet before.
I was lost. No clue as to what was going on. No idea what the scoring looked like, no idea how the meet was run. I didn't know what a pin was, and didn't know when it would be over. Nothing. One of the first few matches, I watched in dismay as one kid strained until his face turned purple. A parent, shouting to the other kid, said "You got him! Keep going, he's getting tired!" And I thought, "Tired? This kid's about to pass out! Are these people crazy?" The highlight of that meet was another match as one kid put another kid's neck in some kind of weird hold. I thought to myself "I'm no expert, but that can't be good for his neck.... OH CRAP!! I am supposed to be the expert here! Stop that you kids! Stop wrestling right now before one of you pops an arm or a head off!!"
Of course, no one paid any attention to me because I managed to keep my mouth shut and pretend. Fake it until you make it. My motto to live by those first 6 months.
I've been working four years now, and I noticed Saturday that some things have changed since that first meet:
1) While my grasp of wrestling is still very fuzzy, I at least have some idea of what's going on through the course of the event, and the scoring is not a complete mystery anymore (only half mysterious).
2) I may not qualify as an expert still, but I do feel comfortable and confident to take care of injuries that may come up. I no longer silently beg people not to get hurt for fear I'll have to figure out what to do with them. Though I still don't want anyone to get hurt.
3) My hands have gotten bigger in the last four years. Medium gloves used to fit great, but now they're tight. Of all the places to have muscles, hands are not the sexiest of places for them.
4) Because my comfort level has improved and I now have a vague understanding of the sport, I don't dislike it as intensely as I once did.
I'm not sure I'll ever fully like it, though. There are some things that don't change:
1) Guys in singlets grabbing at each other.
2) Skin diseases.
3) Cauliflower ear. (Don't click if you can't handle it!)
4) Bloody noses, bloody lips, bloody faces... you get the idea.
5) I still don't like the way they pull shoulders and necks. It's not okay!
Anyway, I sat in that gym for 7 hours waiting for it to be over. Thankfully, there was nothing more for me to deal with than an occasional bloody nose. It was an odd day, one that lasted forever, and one that was over before I knew it. There was something wrong with the space time continuum as I sat there on those bleachers in the gym. Time was passing slowly, it wasn't passing at all, and yet somehow it felt like I just got there when I'd been there for 5 hours. It was weird. I just kept telling myself that if I got through it, I could have Monday off. Go to Mass, get my Christmas shopping done, and hang out with friends that I see far too little of these days!
And that's where Weather and I started fighting. I got up this morning, got ready, and headed out the door to Mass. I got down the steps and on to the pavement, only to go sliding down the slight incline there. (On my feet. Sorry, no fun falling stories!) So I turned back around and walked back inside. It's the kind of weather that you can get out in if you have to, but it's kind of stupid to go out in it if you can wait until later.
*Sigh* Such is life. The day off is still pretty great. Just not quite as fantastically awesome as I'd hoped. I miss my friends!