The non-Recruit

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March 12, 2010 by David Gillaspie

He was a thinker, not a follower.  That’s what he said.  A thinker. 

My guess is he came to this conclusion because he’s never been stretched. 

A man walked into the sauna with a plastic spray bottle.  It happens.  Some people like to moisturize in the heat.  Sweating isn’t good enough for them.

This man steps right to the heating element with the sign “NO WATER ON ELEMENT” posted above it and squirts it down.  Water in this particular element shorts out the heater.  It’s a dry sauna.

The smell of vaporized eucalyptus oil infused the room.

I pointed to the sign and gently explained why no water belongs on the heater.  The voice I used is the same one I use to explain why no water to the Koreans, Russians, and Arabs who all believe in watering the heated rocks. 

It’s an electrical thing.  Water breaks it.

It’s important to use a kind voice to strangers in case they don’t understand English. 

The water carrier understood English.  He understood the sign.  He just didn’t care.  He’d researched this particular sauna heater and came to his own conclusions.  He added that he knew the manager of the gym.  So that was apparently that.  Carry on.

Imagine a wrestling match where an opponent told you how to wrestle, adding that he knew the referee.  Would you listen?  Or would you crank on him until he shut up and shut down.

I smiled and explained my allergy to eucalyptus, which I made up.  He didn’t care.  He said he researched eucalyptus and made up his own mind. 

Where does this go?

By the size of his pin head I wondered how much research he really did. 

“Haven’t I seen you on television?” I asked.  “I was watching wrestling and you look like one of those guys.”

“Wrestlers are sheep.  They do what they’re told.  That’s all they can do.”

“Have you really thought about that?” I asked.  “Is it wrestlers are sheep, or all athletes are sheep.”

“I do my own thinking.  I think a lot.  I think all athletes are sheep.  Wrestlers are athletes, therefore sheep.  It’s called logic.  They all do only what they’re told.”

“Good point,” I said.  “But what about a wrestler who changes up in the last ten seconds of a match, who does something he’s never done, and wins.”

“That never happens.  They don’t have the freedom I have.  I could do that, but no coach would allow it.”

“You could wrestle?”

“I could if I wanted to join the herd.”

“I’ve researched this idea for others, and you’re right.  You could wrestle.”

“Anyone could.  It’s not that difficult,” he said.

“You’re probably right,” I said.  “Have you ever taken a shocking blow to your neck that made your ears ring?  Ever landed on your head and wondered if you can move your legs?  Have you ever had someone pull your shoulder until it feels like it pops out of the socket because you won’t roll over?”

“Oh, scary talk.  Is that supposed to scare me?”

“No, but it’s the sort of thing I ask people I recruit for my team.  I’ve researched wrestling enough to know the risks.”

“You have a team?”

“You stay calm when you’ve got someone working you over.  Once they make a mistake, it’s your turn to go.  You shake off the ringing ears, the numb legs.  You hope your shoulder holds up.  You give it back to them harder than they gave it to you.  And you don’t make the mistake they did.”

“What kind of mistake.”

“The kind people who think too much make; the kind people who can’t follow instructions make; the kind people who can’t read signs make.  You wouldn’t last thirty seconds on the mat with a bad wrestler.  I’ve done the research to prove it.”

“What research?” he asked.

“It starts with reading a sign and ignoring it.”

“That’s it?  You call that research?”

“It’s a b-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d way to start.” 

“What’s a better way?”

“Buy WRESTLE WITH CARE @ and go from there.”


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