Wrestling Therapy

November 26th, 2009

One of my sons went out for wrestling this year.

The middle school season is very short, so we have been attending a a lot of events with peculiar names such as duals, double duals and triangulars. As a result the term ‘triangular’ has become the CD’s new favorite word.

“I think Ethan has a triangular today…” he will say.

“Are you going to go to Ethan’s triangular?” he will ask.

“Which town is hosting Ethan’s next triangular?” he wants to know.

I was unable to let his new frequent usage of the word ‘triangular’ go, as it is not in my nature to let the minuscule details of my husband’s behavior slide by without uh… comment.

“Why are you using the word triangular so much?” I asked. “Do you think it makes you sound wrestling savvy?”

The Country Doctor replied, “I grew up in a wrestling town… I can use the word ‘triangular’ whenever I want.

“Well, I grew up in a wrestling town that could kick your wrestling town’s butt and I don’t have to throw the word triangular around like it was so many reversals on a wrestling mat!” I retorted.

“Triangular! Triangular! Triangular!” The Country Doctor shouted.  To which I responded by taking him down, placing him in a half nelson, reversing him for a few back points and then slowly and excruciatingly using my ever increasing girth to pin him down.  

“Who comes from a wrestling town now Country Doctor!?  Uhuh…  that’s what I thought.”




This is the Little Apple Grapple. This was our first tournament of the season and where I began to learn about the benefits of wrestling therapy. You see, in wrestling you have a certain freedom to shout things at your child to encourage him that under normal circumstances you would never think of saying in public.

For instance, in the above situation, while another kid is smashing my son’s head into the floor, I might say raise my voice slightly and say something like….

“Get out of there Ethan!”

“C’mon buddy!”

“Take control!”

And then when my son takes control, I might calmly suggest that he – “Turn him over! C’mon Ethan! Get him on his back and pin him!”

As the match progresses, I find myself feeling the need to communicate in a manner that will inspire Ethan to go for the kill… I mean win. To go for the WIN.











When the match is over it doesn’t even matter if your kid won or if your kid was the one who was eviscerated – what matters is that all that anger… the anger that hides behind your liver… and in between your white corpuscles… and underneath you fingernails …

it is gone now.

At least until the next match starts.

And that is the magic of wrestling therapy.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie

and plenty of turkeys to go around…

and hopefully – at least one good wrestling match.


  • Debra:

    So funny. Thanks for the smile!

  • Wrestling looks like it’s good for anger management LOL. We might get some snow overnight or tomorrow. I don’t think ours will stick though, grounds too warm.

  • Kait:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you hun. Hope you have a peaceful one. :)

  • Carol:

    That was absolutely, laughing out loud (and I don’t do that much at the computer) hysterical! Loved your imagery. There is no way I could handle that sport, but “sounds” like you’re enjoying one good triad after another! still laughing…

  • My goodness — that’s probably my old junior high school — back when it was a junior high school, not a middle school. Weird out! I like your wrestling therapy. :D Have you ever read John Irving? Any wrestler should.

  • Ethan! Rip his head off, & vomit down his neck!

    Wow – I feel a lot better now :)

  • Yes Shelley! That’s it. Isn’t that awesome!

  • MichelleG:

    You’re a riot!

  • GET in THERE!! Get Get get IN THERE!! That is what I say in TKD to my kids…Love this post… I can just hear you! ;-)

    Happy Thankgiving, is snowing in Kansas?

  • Did you mean “smashed” potatoes?

  • Susan:

    I have twin 13-year-old boys who have had to wrestle each other for varsity seats! Now THAT’S nerve-racking!

    Luckily, this year they are wrestling in two weight classes on purpose. But I have to laugh – I know exactly how you feel! Too funny!

  • OMG, you killed ME on that one. I wouldn’t be able to watch, but you’re much gutsier than I am. :)

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Rechelle!

  • Wow. That’s all I have to say. lol

  • Patricia:

    Too funny !! Go Ethan !

  • I would yell “get your head out” on that one. It was my favorite when my kid was wrestling. My daughter loved “cross face screw”. When my brother wrestled my mom and dad wouldn’t let me go to the state meet in your hometown because I yelled too much.

  • Sue:

    My son was a wrestler. He loved it, I loved it too! I’d yell things during his match and he always said he never heard anything I yelled. Of course that didn’t stop me! Hopefully, your son never has to wrestle a girl. My son did, and when I found out I told all the other parents around us, that if he didn’t win, we would probably have to drop out of school, or change school districts. Thankfully, he won. Imagine yelling “Pin her, turn her over,pick her head up!” Not cool, not cool. I think it was his only match that I didn’t yell a thing. I just bit my fingernails!

  • sheri:

    oh ho ho–now you are tickling my funny bone……my husband was a wrestler and so were both of our sons. don’t you ever holler “CROSS FACE!” and then the next likely yell is “CROSS FACE HARD!” hahaha Yesterday at thanksgiving my sister told us her son had gone out for wrestling and she confessed (jock that she is) that she does not know the first thing to YELL at wrestling. SO we tried to counsel her…but have decided we shall give her an actual cheering session or two—in fact we desperately MISS yelling “CROSS FACE HARD!” HAHAHA

  • Our 15-year-old daughter loves to watch her brother’s wrestling meets. I knew we were in trouble last year when she cooed from the bleachers “These guys are so hot…”

    Two years ago our son learned to Spladle at wrestling camp and worked his way through his opponents with that move. It’s considered a trash move by some so he doesn’t use it much in meets but when he does, his team gathers around yellings “Spladle King!!” It looks very painful, but then all of it does.

    I would rather wash a wrestling uniform than a football uniform.

  • I love the snow/urn photo–stunning, and so peaceful. Do you think I could put it on my blog someday? It took my breath away.


  • Rechelle:

    Sure Jules – you are welcome to use it.

  • I hear you. I also grew up in a wrestling town. I think it feaks out my husband (not exposed to wresting until our nephew started) that I know so much. Hey, I was a mat girl!

    Hockey is also good for soul cleansing. (Especially playing it….)

  • Yes, but did he win? did he win?! Not that it matters…

  • Thanks Rechelle. Going up tomorrow.

  • Wow! I love your blog!! Seeing all the familiar sites from my days in Kansas is such a treat! I played volleyball for St. Xavier’s in Junction City and remember traveling school to school to play very well – such Good times!

  • Rechelle:

    Kelly – he has struggled. It is his first time out and most of these kids have been wrestling since they were four years old – but he has won a few and managed to last all three rounds in most of his matches. I am very proud of him for giving it a try. Plus the crazy workouts his coaches put these wrestlers through have made him stronger and extremely fit – so yay!

  • Go Ethan! Rear-naked choke! Doesn’t matter if it’s illegal! Guts and glory, baby!

    I was a wrestler, the only girl wrestler on the team, when I was 15..um… several years ago. Both of my brothers were, too. Somedays I really miss it! Nothing like pounding the heck out of someone for fun!:) Especially when it’s amicable. My 2 oldest sons (9 and 7)took wrestling (before gas prices went so astronomical) and my husband and brother currently train them in MMA when their schedules allow. Thanks for that memory! Great post! I need to post on that…. so dainty and delicate for a preacher’s wife….


  • Myra:

    As usual, you have managed to make me laugh out loud. Repeatedly. It was very refreshing!

  • Soni_Shawns Mom:

    My son Shawn is 12 and this is his 1st time to go out for wrestling. He has been playing baseball since he was 5 and football since was 7 so needless to say I know nothing about wrestling or what to yell during a match. His 1st match was a week ago and I set there and thought to myself “what am I suppose to yell during his match” so I just set there and listen to what all the other parents were yelling and just yelled along with them.
    It was such a relief to find your wonderful blog hopefully I will learn what to yell from everyone on this blog……