Wrestling’s Wait


August 22, 2009 by David Gillaspie



How often does a person look the part of what they do?  It’s easy guessing a six and a half foot man weighing two-ninety plays football.  What else does a seven-footer do besides play basketball?  If they don’t play a sport, you know they’ve been asked.

When you see an obese elementary school kid what do you guess they do?  It probably isn’t football or basketball.  Or soccer.  Or baseball.  They might play eventually, but not if they get any wider.  Do they play video-games and eat snacks?  Good guess.

Former President Clinton dedicates support from his foundation to fight childhood obesity.  Is he the best man to lead the fight?  He’s not remembered as a thin guy in office; it took heart surgery to slim him down, if not change his eating habits.  He is walking proof that obesity has serious consequences, but why not find a more positive image. 

I nominate any wrestling coach worth their salt.  These guys are experts in weight management.  They have an eye for extra poundage.  If wrestling coaches ran Weight Watchers they could eliminate the weigh-in; Coach would tell you what you weigh and you would accept their number.

Mr. Clinton declares childhood obesity “the single greatest tragedy facing our society today.”  This is an alarming statement on many levels.  We have two wars, an economic meltdown, and a crushing debate on healthcare reform, but childhood obesity is #1. 


Think of environmental disasters like the Exxon Valdez dropping eleven million gallons of oil into the ocean, or the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown.  Both happened trying to serve the demand for energy.  People make demands and pay for products and material.  A growing population makes growing demands for energy and the environment takes a whack when things go wrong.

If the greatest threat to earth is population growth, and the greatest tragedy is childhood obesity, what do we do?  One solution is fewer demands from fewer people to safeguard the environment.  Less people would mean fewer food shortages, maybe fewer wars.  Since population growth is too complicated to control, picture China’s street corner pregnancy monitors, we need another answer. 

Again the answer is wrestling coaches.  Organize them and train others and turn them loose on America, if not the rest of the world.  Make wrestling practice mandatory for everyone able and modify the workouts for others.  It sounds easy and it is.

After wrestling practice adults will be less inclined to roll around any further.  Kids will be too tired to play video and drink sodas.  Both groups will cut weight which makes more room for everyone.  Remember sitting by the large person on the bus and sweating more on one side of your body than the other?  Wrestling coaches will create perspiration equality.

If Mom and Dad can shirk responsibility for their obese children, as suggested by theyouthobesitysolution.com, a wrestling coach won’t.  He’s not emotionally connected to fat.  You could wear three sweatshirts and a layer of plastic and get a thumbs-up.  You could roll up in blankets and sweat in a sauna and be doing the right thing.  I don’t recommend these measures, but dire problems require dire solutions.

China has their pregnancy monitors out to check on population control, so why not send American wrestling coaches out to check on obesity.  Imagine walking past Dan Gable, John Smith, or Tom Brands a pound over the weight for the day?  You’ll be spitting into a towel from a block away. 

When kids see their parents change their behavior, the solution to childhood obesity is just around the corner, which is where the wrestling coach hides to see if everyone makes weight.  And you will.  The coach will wait until you do.


2 thoughts on “Wrestling’s Wait

  1. Terrence says:

    I totally agree. Dan Gable said it best when he said, “wrestling isn’t for everyone, but it should be”.

    • David Gillaspie says:

      “wrestling isn’t for everyone, but it should be” holds as true for the guys who spent an hour in the wrestling room and bailed as it does for those who spend a lifetime on the mats. It just takes one instance of getting yanked around to realize the benefits of the sport. When a kid feels uncomfortable with wrestling and decides to do something else, or nothing else, how will they feel in a confrontational situation? Most guys dive into the confrontation because they feel like they need to ‘man-up.’ A wrestler can walk away and give the instigator their moment, and if pursued react with force no other sport provides.

      Thanks for coming in Terrence,


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