“What We Win When We Lose” by A. Van Jordan

A new essay by faculty member A. Van Jordan appears online in Some Call It Ballin:

In a wrestling match, there are five official ways in which a wrestler scores points, but one of those ways is contingent on your opponent committing a penalty, which only leaves four ways to actually strategize for points. When it came to the official ways that I could score points, I was pretty good at all of them, but I was a master at the most important, unofficial way: I knew how to get into my opponent’s head.

Now, I say all of that not to sound like a bad ass but to paint the picture of what I faced on the mat. I would be a bad ass, for instance, if I were talking about being a college wrestler at Iowa in the ‘80s or an Olympic wrestler in Sydney in 2000, like when USA’s Rulon Gardner upset the wrestling world by defeating the undefeated Russian, Alexander Karelin, but I’m talking about 8th grade in Akron, OH.

Continue reading online.  

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