Feeling very proud this evening. I’ve been hard on my son during his young life in an effort to teach him to be a man in a world that doesn’t respect them any longer. No ‘safe zone’ for this teenager. Between a father who pushed him physically, a mother who held him accountable academically and a church family who challenged him spiritually, he’s always had to keep his foot on the gas and challenge himself every day.
After a state and national championship in the hardest sport in the world in middle school, he had his shoulder surgically repaired prior to high school. Despite continuous dislocations, he kept at it, winning over 90% of his high school matches (94-8 record) and winning or placing in every tournament he wrestled in, despite often doing so with basically one arm against well-prepared opponents who knew it.
This past year has been the hardest, after a final dislocation ended his wrestling career and he had to watch teammates and former opponents finish their high school career on high notes. But he manned up more than ever, showing what a 3-year team captain does in that situation: traveling with his team, helping support and coach teammates, and being a role model in reflecting how to handle a bad situation. To top it off, he made straights As his senior year, despite taking all AP and Honors classes, in addition to working an average of 25 hours a week.
While graduating high school with honors is an awesome accomplishment, I know that the future has even more in store for him as he heads south to college in a few months after heading even further south (Honduras) next month on a mission trip. My heart is full as I look (literally) up to him now and say “Well done, my son.”