Like a tree in the mist

Story_squareMy younger brother was a high school wrestler, which made for an interesting lesson in the folly of letting siblings mature.


His first practice of the season came shortly before my visit home from college. We hadn’t seen each other in a little while and he wanted to get me caught up on things. I could tell he was jazzed about wrestling. And I wanted to re-connect, too.

“Here’s a new move I learned,” he said.  We were standing in the middle of the living room with a new carpet on the floor, a good thing as it turned out. “Watch.”

Watch wasn’t really the right term. Stand still and do nothing was a better term because he put one hand behind my neck, one behind my knee, and, whoosh, had me flat on my back.

“Pinned! Just like that. And it’s really easy,” he said. He had enough maturity, at least, to help me get back on my feet without first pressing his knee into my clavicle.

I wasn’t a wimp in the athletic department. I played basketball, softball, tennis, and flag football. I rode horses and faced thundering cattle. I was no fragile piece of china. But I hadn’t ever learned a wrestling move.

There are times when a polite retreat is wise. But I was a college student. Wisdom was like a tree in the mist. Sometimes I saw it, sometimes I didn’t.

“It worked pretty well.” I rubbed my shoulder where I had landed.

He grinned and I wondered when my tow-headed little brother had turned into this six-foot tower of muscle. “I’ll show you how easy.”

“Um, OK.” Remember the part about wise? Not so here.

He shook out his shoulders. “Easy to do. First you grab my neck.”

OK. I duplicated his opening.

“Then you grab my knee,” he said.

I leaned down to replicate his move. Suddenly the walls of the room swirled around me and, with a thump, I was on my back again.

He grinned, dusting his hands off. “That is how you counteract it!


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