Ok now e-mail is being evil with Joe, so here I go again, post master me :-D Wrestling With Dad By: LT. JG Joe Castillo That night was both eye opening and painful. That night I found out how truly simple it is to help people out, and yet how much joy the simple things in life, that we don’t have to go to far out of our way to accomplish, can bring to a person in dire need of a bright spot in their lives. It was also the night I found out how much of a one-track mind my father had and how I never wanted to be like him. It was the state championships for wrestling in my junior year of high school. I was the reigning champion in my division and I was unbeaten since I took up the sport in middle school. My victories and great grades brought much pride to my father. He was a local coffee and grain grower who was good at what he did. He immersed himself in it, but I always felt like he cared more about my victories and the prestige they brought him than he was of me. My father was ruthless in business and would do nearly anything short of murder for productivity. It was my belief that he strove to be better than his father. I never really got to know my grandfather before he died, though my father made him out to be even colder than he was with me. I could not reconcile the two parts two his persona because at home with my mother and my little sister he was the epitome of sweetness and love. I suspected he was a cold man in nature who just went trough painstaking discomfort to display such affection at home because he truly did love my mother very much and felt he should have some endearing qualities lest he be hated by the ones he lived with. However, with me it was different if he had acted in the same fashion with me I probably would have seen right trough it anyway but, with me he never really showed affection, there was tons of praise, because thanks to my god given talents there were always reasons for it, but I never heard the words I love you come out of his mouth. My dad was a competitor by nature but he was a diminutive man. I towered over him by half a foot by the time I was 13, and because of that he lived vicariously trough me. He didn’t put me in any team sports he only let me play individual sports, because if his son lost he wanted him and only him accountable for it, no excuses. When I was really young, I excelled and I had fun because when you’re young and you don’t know any better it’s fun to win and make others feel bad. By the time I was in my teens I was much better than my peers in all the sports I played in but was especially good in wrestling. I started wrestling because a neighborhood friend got me into it when we were both 11. His name was Devin and he really loved the sport and he was good at it. We went to different schools because he had acted up in school a lot since his parents were always fighting so he was expelled from the local school we went to and had to go to one a bit farther away. Wrestling became his driving force and his way to get away from his parents fighting. But no matter how much effort he put in I always was able to beat him not because I tried harder, for I was very lackadaisical about sports by this age, but because I was just stronger and faster than he could ever be. As I said before I hadn’t been beaten since I started competing for my school, but this night was different. That afternoon I had a conversation with my best friend Carlos and the topic of Devin came up. I hadn’t spoke with Devin much in the last few months because between school, sports, and my new love, learning how to fly planes, I didn’t have much free time. He told me that Devin’s parents were giving up and getting a divorce. Devin was taking it really bad and his grades had been slipping so bad, that he barely had the GPA to compete. Carlos told me that Devin had been training extra hard lately for the coming match to get his mind off his parents and in the hope of beating me. I laughed and said “poor chap doesn’t realize he’s going to get the crap beaten out of him.” But at that moment I had a great idea. This isn’t fun for me anymore, it doesn’t mean much to me, but it would mean the world to Devin. Right then and there I decided that I was going to let Devin win. It wouldn’t be that hard Devin WAS good I was just better, and anyone can have a bad day. When it came time for the match I put on a good show and it was a close match but is usual in any good match one mistake could decide it. I overreached for a grapple and I threw my balance too much in Devin’s direction. He was able to use my momentum to flip me over and pin me on my back for the win. I don’t know what Devin thought, but he knew me enough where he could probably have figured out in retrospect that I threw the match, but at that moment he didn’t care. The elation in his face was overpowering and everyone in the gymnasium could feel it. I was a gracious “loser “ I congratulated him and appeared disappointed but inwardly I was happy that I was able to manufacture a happy moment for Devin. The serene moment lasted until I was in the locker room getting dressed and my father stormed in. For a few minutes my father just stared at me with rage in his hazel eyes. I hadn’t had many good friends in school since I kept to myself, but as any successful jock I was popular and everyone knew me. I don’t have a bad temper because I can take a lot before I blow up. However, although those blow-ups were few and far between they were legendary. Hamming it up as if I was disappointed in the loss I had lingered in the locker room for a little bit. Everyone else had already had a chance to get fully dressed and when my dad walked in looking that outwardly enraged, they incorrectly guessed that I inherited my temper from him and they did not want to see us butt heads. How were they supposed to know that I inherited from my mother's side? She was the sweetest thing that ever lived, her brothers, now they were a completely different story. When everyone was gone he said just one thing “You let him win.” What startled me is how calm he managed to say that when I saw the fire in his eyes. “What are you talking about I just had a bad day and he capitalized on my ONE mistake, big deal ill be champion again next year” I said. “Don’t give me that bullshit you know exactly what I mean, you’ve been pulling stunts like this recently to piss me off you let that little punk win. ” He was right I had been slacking off of late still winning and doing good in school but toying with my opponents instead of finishing them quickly, and getting the second best grades instead of the best. “ Whatever you don’t know what you’re saying you’re so caught up in winning and losing that you cant realist that I’m not perfect, no one is stop trying to live vicariously trough me just cause you’re short and weren’t any good at sports.” That’s when he slapped me right across the cheek and I was surprised to see that it hurt like hell and even knocked a few teeth lose. It was the first and only time he had ever hit me but I can tell that it hurt him more than it hurt me “How dare you say that to me you ungrateful shit. I’ve worked my ass off everyday of my life even harder since your mother and I had you to give you a nice life and you repay me by throwing it in my face that I take pride in your wins. Of course I do what are children for if not to see them succeed in the areas you never did. “How about for loving them and telling them so, how bout being home more often to spend time with them how bout to help them with whatever troubles their mind, of course you wouldn’t know what bothers me cause you never even bother to talk to me. Did you ever stop to think that winning isn’t everything, did you stop to consider that Devin is the happiest kid in the world right now because for tonight he’s not the kid whose parent’s are getting divorced, he’s the kid who won the state championship.” “ So you did let him win, I’m real disappointed maybe when you grow up you ’ll realize that winning, that being successful is the only thing that is important, because it’s the only way you can get ahead and give your family nice things.” “It would be nice if you could give your family some quality time, we would cherish that more but you’re too ignorant to realize it.” At that point he looked like he was going to slap me again but I grabbed his arms and I already was much stronger than he was. “ I’m glad I don’t think like you and I don’t ever wanna be like you. Human life, human feelings are way more important than how many tons you can grow.” I don’t know where that last thought came from but I had started to contemplate it before he stormed in and I guess sub consciously I was thinking about it during the fight and that’ s why it came out. I thought about it a lot after that and my appreciation and respect of life is probably why I chose the security stream even though I really love flying. I let him go, turned my back, and walked away. I instantly regretted what I said but my pride didn’t let me take it back or apologize, that I had inherited from my father and unfortunately I didn’t learn till much later that stubborn pride is something that can cause a lot of pain and get you into trouble.