When I was younger, I was on the wrestling team.
Mr. Cox, one of our gym coaches, came into the gym one day and asked for volunteers. He was a vet and missing some of his fingers (we assumed from the war). I went up and told him that I would like to join the team. He looked at me doubtfully.
Finally he said, “Okay, but you have to bring one of your girl friends to practice with you.”
I agreed, and the next day I showed up with one of my friends.
After our first week, my friend didn’t want to wrestle anymore, so she left. But it didn’t matter.
Mr. Cox called my folks.
He told them that I had beaten over half the boys on the team. My parents weren’t surprised – they knew me. But they said that Mr. Cox had sounded impressed, and maybe a tad flummoxed.
I’m was (and am) a tiny tiny girl. So, what was my secret to success?
Well, I am built like a butt on two feet, and I found that in order to take down the big boys, I just had to get lower than they did and knock them off balance. And no one could go lower than I could. It also probably helped that I fought like a wild cat. Seriously.
Eventually the boys got too big, and I wasn’t able to overcome them with my sly tricks. I guess I haven’t thought much about wrestling since.
But the other day…
One of my friends at work was coming toward me, opening his arms like he wanted to give me a big hug. He’s pretty tall, and I’m not sure what I was thinking, but instead of hugging him around the chest, I crouched and wrapped my arms under his hips.
I braced my legs and started to lift him a bit.
I immediately let him go.
“Wow,” he said, a little breathless. “I thought that you were going to pick me up.” He was smiling and his eyes were wide and dancing. He seemed…a little excited.
Besides my normal social awkwardness, I was confused. Was I going to pick him up? It seemed to me like I was going to tackle him. The idea threw me off a little, and as a reflex, I laughed.
He laughed too, and then he went on his way.
I just stood there for a moment, frowning slightly. Now I was a little excited. Regardless of my intent with my poor co-worker, I think that it was the realization that he wanted me to pick him up that turned me on. I was wishing that I had picked him up, or thrown him down. Whatever.
I shook it off and went back to work.
But I haven’t forgotten that moment.
And I guess I haven’t forgotten wrestling.