March 18, 2010 by David Gillaspie
I’ve met two World Champions, Fred Fozzard after a PSU match and an old gym guy. I asked Mr. Fozzard to sign three times on three programs.
It was awkward after the first. Once is always enough.
The gym guy was from Persia. That’s what he called it. I still like to think of it as Iran. He went to the Rome Olympics in 1960 where he met Cassius Clay, who became Muhammad Ali. I don’t know if he met him, or just saw him there.
What I do know is the bitterness of the Persian wrestler. I mentioned wrestling in a casual way, like always. He said he was a wrestler and had the scars to prove it.
I took it as a cultural reference; in Iran wrestlers have scars.
Wrestlers do have something. You don’t need scars to prove it. I don’t have a scar from wrestling. From high school Greco champ and all-American, to college freshman getting stomped wrestling varsity, to an all-Army camp try-out that turned ugly beat-down, I have no wrestling scar.
I do have a scar from crossing my hands under a chop-saw on a complicated curved-stave cut.
Memo to all: Never cross your hand in front of any saw; you could lose a hand.
The moment it happened I thought, “Never cross your feet on a wrestling mat.”
I do have a scar on the index finger of my left hand. Late at night, too late to go to the ER, I carved some sheet rock in the ceiling. The fan I planned to install needed just a little more room. The mat knife cut the sheet rock and followed through to the tip of my finger.
At first the small chunk of flesh looked like a blister I could peel off. On second look it was the whole tip of my finger hanging by a thin strip. I flopped it back over and taped it down.
Memo II to all: Never do plumbing or home improvement projects after the stores and Urgent Care clinics close.
I do have a scar on my shin bone. As a springy nineteen year old I answered the challenge of a guy on a loading dock. It was a cement dock with sharp steel plates welded at ninety degrees. The steel protects the edge of the loading dock from chipping when trucks bump against it.
A few guys had a jumping contest, as in who could jump up onto the loading dock.
I jumped up, made it, but one foot slipped off. My shin crashed down on the steel edge. It hurt but not so much I’d look at it in front of the other guys. Then my shoe filled up with blood from the wound.
Memo to all: if you are hurt, say something. Get a second opinion. Get a third opinion. Y0u don’t get extra points for crippling yourself.
Fred Fozzard turned a polio arm into a hook from hell and landed a World Championship. The Persian guy at the gym collected scars and a World Championship. Which words carry the greater sense of foreboding, Fred Fozzard or Iranian wrestler? Both have the same definition: winner.
Strive to reach your own potential, regardless of handicap. Turn what you think holds you back into something that pushes you forward. Turn your bad self into the good guy you’re looking for.
You might get a scar, but ask this: is a wrestling scar better than a chop-saw scar, or a mat-knife scar? I think you know the answer.
If not, buy WRESTLE WITH CARE @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003B667V6
WRESTLE WITH CARE, part 1, https://deegeesbb.wordpress.com/wrestle-with-care-part-1/