Every once in a while I think, I’m going to remember this day forever.
I feel lucky to have had quite a few days like this. Sometimes you plan for a great day, or a memorable night, but then, it just doesn’t happen the way you want. But if there’s any lesson to be learned here, it’s that, even though life has its ups and downs, if we keep trying to create those unforgettable times, we will have more.
North Shore Community College had its first ever Arm Wrestling Tournament. Though it was my idea to hold it, I owe it to Sylvester Stallone and his movie Over the Top, from which my motivation for it came. It’s an old 1987 film that is based on a competition that Stallone’s character must win in order to get his son back.
I have great respect for so many films out there that have given me the motivation to work out harder or take on some new kind of challenge. What Stallone’s movie has created in me is almost indescribable. Yesterday at the tournament, these feelings returned.
From the much appreciated effort of Sandra Rochon, who created a stir of emotions in the offices upstairs, we had several last-minute sign-ups.
Victoria Pasciuto used her way with people to get the event going, since many who signed up came in late and, admittedly, I lost all composure for a minute or two. My plan had gone out the window. Then the matches began, as more and more students and staff made their way into the room. All eyes were on the competitors, and the professional arm wrestling table beneath them. Thanks to Victoria, the event was in progress.
I was referee, but I was also a competitor – something that is undoubtedly against the rules in a professional tournament setting. I had to be in it. It just wouldn’t have been the same.
There were some long and intense matches, on both sides. Kristine Babcock beat everyone out to win for the females, with Shannon Cormier coming in 2nd.
Ben Lithgow gave me a great match, almost taking me out. During the last two weeks, his strength had impressive gains, and I fear that the next time we match up, he could finish what he started.
Soon I went up against Nick Waiswilos. He brought me about two inches away from defeat, but somehow I found the will to come back and win. I will never forget, in particular, winning this one. Later, in the final match, he got his revenge on me, winning 1st place.
I really like how there was absolutely no attitude, intimidation, or anything like that during the event. Everyone gave their all. This was evident with the length and effort of the matches. I know I gave everything I had, so much that I may even have injured my arm. But none of it created any negative words or gestures, not from anyone.
This brings me back to Stallone, and Over the Top. He was a fierce competitor, tough, strong, smart, but such a good guy. I really respect when a guy can show this side of him, too, knowing that it is, I’d say, sort of uncommon to have this combination of hard and soft.
Words can always make a story sound better, but I make it a point to try my hardest to never, ever embellish the truth. I don’t care if it makes me appear without confidence or even, like a fool. After all, who isn’t foolish from time to time? I think it is very important, and, in a way, expected of us all, to tell it like it is.
When I think of the tournament, I know I will always remember it, but I know there is always more out there to bring into my world. Arm wrestling is just another way to challenge yourself, to see what your capable of, to get in there with all that adrenaline and nervous energy, and see what’s possible. How can you forget something like that?