My Champ!

Yesterday was such a fantastic day!  We woke up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning ( read that right. Ha!) because Marko had his final wrestling tournament and he had to weigh in at 7:30.
So I got up, made Marko a breakfast shake and got him with all his gear and the hubs out the door at 7:10.
I jumped in the shower and hurried up and got ready, and Gabriella and I made a few stops on our way to stock up on Gatorade, water and breakfast burritos.
The tournament started at 9 and we were so excited to cheer for Marko and his team.
As soon as I got there, Marko admitted to me that he was very nervous, so the hubs and I talked to him to calm his nerves. He was nervous because this was the first time ever wrestling.  He decided kind of late in the season to join and the coaches needed him, so they let him.  Incredibly, he'd only got in about 2 weeks' worth of practice before today, and he struggled at first with the training because of his asthma and later with an ear infection, but he was determined to continue.
He had gone to two smaller tournaments in as many weeks--the first one was literally two days after joining!  Both times, his opponents didn't show, which meant those matches were forfeited.  It was completely understandable that yesterday's tournament was really causing him lots of anxiety.

He wrestled his first match and we cheered him on pretty loudly!  Although he lost the match, I was so incredibly proud of him!  It took a lot of guts to completely come out of your comfort zone to put on a singlet and go out in front of lots of people and wrestle against an opponent that has years of experience, but he did it!  He didn't just go to the mat and lose right away either.  He really made his opponent work hard for that win.  He's such an awesome kid!  My baby.

Well, then we waited for his next match and his started getting the best of him again.  I talked to him and told him that he was a winner already for simply going out there and doing his best and that win or lose, he was always going to be my champ.
I told him he was certainly strong enough to run circles around the other boys and that instead of focusing on the audience, to pretend he and his opponent were the only ones in the room and to just do his best.
After a while, his name was called and he started to get up off the bleacher.  I told him I loved him and reminded him that he was very strong, and to just act like he was wrestling with his dad--because he can totally body-slam dad (:

He went to the mat and did his best.
And we cheered him on...Silva style.  Which is very loud.
And if Marko was nervous this time around, he certainly didn't show it!
His performance was AWESOME!

We were so loud that the rest of our section of bleachers joined in in cheering on our boy.  It was pretty awesome.
Can you picture us high-fiving each other and jumping up and down when Marko WON??!! Because he totally did!
My boy tasted victory.  And I can't adequately describe how emotional it was for me.  For us.  It was pretty amazing. And yes, I choked up with emotion.  

He was now on to the championships!

And his nerves started up again...

He soon found out his opponent was a boy named Anthony, who happened to be his best friend in Kindergarten and 1st grade (who he hadn't seen since!)  Anthony found us and came over to talk to Marko and they were excited to have found each other again after all these years.

My Marko has always been a gentle giant.  He has such a big heart and he's such a teddy bear.  So I told him that although Anthony was his buddy and he was happy to have talked to him again, Anthony was his opponent and to still do his best.  I told him that he and Anthony had to forget they were buddies out on the mat.  I'm sure Anthony's parents told him the same thing because he's a big old softy too (:

So they started their match:
And they gave it their all.  I was so proud of them both.
Oh, and have I mentioned that Anthony has been wrestling since he was like eight years old?
Marko ended up losing the match by ONE point.   How awesome is that?! 
I am so proud of my son I can hardly stand it!  He's amazing.
We found out last week at registration that Marko and Anthony will be going to high school together this fall.  Pretty awesome, huh?

I can't wait to watch my champ at next year's wrestling season (:

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