I reach out to shake my opponent’s hand. We give each others hand a good squeeze hoping to intimidate and show confidence. The starting whistle blows, I take the first step forward, cautiously, hoping to see some sign of fear in my opponent. Something from him, anything from him, some sign of anxiety. But no, he steps forward we meet, we tie up. I wasn’t prepared for this, he shoots, and he has my legs. Next thing I know I’m on my back. This is clearly going to be a challenging wrestling match.
I’m on my back and I hear the referee’s body slam to the matt, along with the roar of the crowd, screaming, yelling, chanting, but not for me. I listen closely, and I hear a faint noise from somewhere in the crowd “fight, roll get to your stomach”. Those words hit me; I miraculously rolled over, and got away from him. But only to get picked up, and slammed to the matt again, right on my back again. I fight to keep my shoulders off the mat. I see the girl walking over ready to tap the referee, to signal the round is over. I can read her lips, five, four, three, two, one, zero, the first round is over. I have managed to last the first round.
The referee tosses the little round card board chip which has red on one side and green on the other. As I see it flipping through the air, I hope it lands on green, for then I have the choice of choosing either the up, neutral, or referees position, which is down. But no, it lands red, and my opponent chose the up position. So there I am concentrating on what move I’m going to make when I hear the whistle blow. It blows and I explode to my feet, fighting his strong grip around my body, but I can’t break it fast enough. Next thing I know I’m in the air, and slammed to the mat. I stand up again but only to be slammed down again and again. The last slam to the mat was different, this time I feel my teeth penetrate my lip, and then I feel and see blood dripping, hitting the mat. There I am fighting, bleeding and…