Wrestler’s Remedy


March 17, 2010 by David Gillaspie

I’m not a dentist but I pull teeth, wrestling teeth.  If you are a wrestler, or an ex-wrestler, I’ll find out.  I won’t say “Thank you for your service” either.  Wrestling isn’t about saving the world;  it’s more important than that.

A group of men gathered in a sauna recently, men of all ages and levels of condition.  The conversation naturally veered toward sports.  It’s a safe place.  If anyone over seventy joins in you run the risk of them dominating the group with details of their ailments, medications, and the results of their last doctor visit. 

So sports is it, with the sneaker.

Luckily I’m well versed.  The bridge from general sports, high school, college, and the pros, to the specifics of wrestling is all about timing.  Cross over too soon and the room goes dead.  I’ve killed enough rooms to know.

This day a new man sat up high.  He looked old enough to be a Supreme Court Justice.  He had the face for it too.  And he knew his sports.  He joined in on NBA topics.  He listened to college talk.  He seemed to know about University of Oregon issues. 

That’s when I made the leap. 

Duck wrestling?

The room hovered near death until another guy said I spent too much time thinking about it.  That’s when the old man did CPR.  He said wrestling will never come back to the Eugene campus.  I told him baseball once had the same prognosis.  Now you can buy a ticket to see a game in the Autzen Stadium parking lot.

The old guy said he knew more about wrestling than anyone in the room.  Said he went to college on a wrestling scholarship and coached the freshman college team after he graduated in 1960.  I was happy to have someone else play the old-guy role.

I asked if he had any wrestlers in his family?  None.  I asked why?  Because there’s no upside after college. 

I had him hooked.  Upside?  Please.  College?  Why not push high school wrestling a little harder.  It may not make you a better businessman, it may not make you a boat load of money, but it may save your life.

The old man huffed at that.  Save his life?  That’s a stretch.  The rest was a walk in the park.

Listen, I explained, what’s the main objective in wrestling?  Take a guy down and pin him, right?  Drop him and roll him and stick him, the faster the better.  Apparently those are the same objectives for caregivers if you see the numbers for deaths by fall.

If you need help moving around, who do you want?  Do you want someone trained to work with the elderly and the infirm, but lack the common knowledge of the human body in motion?

Do you want someone with a certified diploma who can barely drag themselves out of their own chair, or someone you trust to jump up when you ask for help?

What do you want to hear, the soothing words from someone who would rather you stay in bed so they don’t have to do as much, or the familiar clipped tones telling you it’s time for some road work.  One is happy to hold your hand and tell you everything will be alright; the other makes you do the work.

So why do the work?

If the words Deep Vein Thrombosis don’t mean anything to you, they should.  It’s a tricky way of saying Blood Clot.  Blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis, is the leading non-medical killer in hospitals, according webMD.com.  That site reports that DVT causes more deaths than AIDS, breast cancer, and motor vehicle accidents combined.

If the choice is lay around and get a blood clot, or get up and move around, who do you call, Miss Priss in a candy striper rig or your 171 pound JV wrestler grandson.  A wrestler may not save the world, but he will save you.  

Wrestlers,  get your buddies in the room.  If they won’t hit the wrestling room, then work them in the yard, in the living room.  Give them a hands-on demo.  Tell your parents and grandparents you have their back on DVT.  Tell them you’ll get them out of that chair.

And buy WRESTLE WITH CARE @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003B667V6   to be on the safe side.


2 thoughts on “Wrestler’s Remedy

  1. Ferrous Patella says:

    I am a fifty-something year old ex-wrestler and my wife is a quadriplegic from MS. Even after all these years, my residual strength, conditioning, and body moving skills have come in handy when helping my wife move about and exercise. When we went in to OT to get a bit of training, the folks there noticed the skill set I brought to the tasks and even said they picked up a couple a tips on how to work smarter not harder.

    Wrestling does indeed teach life skills that no other sport can. Just ask the Navy SEALs

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Smarter and safer. Thank you Ferrous Patella. You experience is the proof of wrestling’s reach. It’s like a secret weapon.


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