posted by Joe Anaya on November 10th, 2014

My mom didn’t like sports. Maybe it was because she was from Japan and didn’t understand the American sports culture. Maybe because she was a woman and didn’t get the competitive thing. Or maybe because she was a mom and just didn’t like seeing her “little boy” get hurt.

As I’ve blogged before, I didn’t really play sports until high school. My main sport was wrestling. I wasn’t super hand-eye coordinated, so that seemed like a good fit. My mother had never been to a wrestling match. My dad worked nights but this one time he had the night off and brought my mom to her first wrestling match. I wish he hadn’t.

Early in the second round, I get bonked in the nose while being thrown into a pinning move. While ref was busy watching to see if my shoulders were touching the mat, he couldn’t see my nose starting to bleed. It’s not life threatening but there’s a slow, steady stream running down my face.

As I’m arching my back fighting to not be pinned, I can see upside down in the stands, my mom in the bleachers sitting next to my dad. Her hands are covering her mouth in shock.

Then as my blood drips off my face and starts a crimson puddle on the white mat. My mom’s hands move from her mouth to her eyes.

After seeing her baby bleed bright red blood and nobody trying to stop the match, it took my dad a week to talk her into letting me wrestle again.

She nearly had a heart attack, next year, when I said I wanted to play football. That took a month for my dad to talk her into letting me play. Thankfully, she never came to any football games.

File Under King of the Castle, Weekend Warrior