I’m here. I’m down to weight. I’ve got less than 24 hours to go before I weigh-in. All the work I put in, all the meals I cut down to almost nothing, all the times I opted to workout or go to bed instead of having a beer or going out, it has all been for this and now it’s here.
Getting from LaGuardia to my hotel and then from there over to the New York Athletic Club was a piece of cake. I headed down to the basement where a few guys were working out and the tournament administrators were putting the finishing touches on the women’s brackets for tomorrow, to check my weight. That went well as I was far enough under to eat a little bit and have something to drink. Because of that and my overall effort to get down to 154 early, I feel better the night before a weigh-in than I ever did in college. That may mean I’m undersized, but you can count my ribs so, at least, I’ve gotten rid of most of the fat.
A lot of people have wished me luck and, of course, I’m grateful for that. Still, I don’t really know how to respond. In my younger days, good luck would have meant winning. That was my focus and, though I didn’t win as much as I’d have liked, that was the goal. Certainly, I’m still competitive and want to win, but with the level of talent entered here, I’ve given some though to what “winning” means when it comes time to take the mat on Friday. I dream of upsets and I don’t think one or even two is an impossibility. After all, I’ve been wrestling a long time and I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I also have nothing to lose.
That said, no matter who I match-up against, if we both wrestle well, I’ll almost certainly lose. So, instead of measuring my performance by the final outcome, I’m more concerned with my approach. If I go out and wrestle my match, working for the positions I want to be in, and doing the right things to give me a chance to score points, then I’ll be happy. Considering that is the same approach I should take if I were the favorite and expected to win, this is probably the correct approach.
A funny thing happened in my last week of practices in San Antonio. Suddenly, I had more energy. I had an edge, probably due to the weight cut, and I liked how I performed. I’m excited to be here and ready to wrestle. I’m not simply looking forward to making weight so I can eat. I’m looking forward to making weight so I can compete, though I’ll eat too once I can. I wasn’t sure how it would feel to be here, but the tension of competitors bout to do battle was evident when I was over at the NYAC.