Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

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I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Actually this should be part 0.5 because it was before and during the bull riding portion of my life.

When I was in Junior High School I was invited to participate in a wrestling match. The reason I was invited was because my older brother was participating and it was no secret in town that we fought---A LOT---and I won most of these fights. I was warming up for the wrestling bout and I can remember having this hot burning sensation in my stomach. It eventually led to me throwing up and then I was ready to wrestle. It was an adrenaline thing---it did it to me at that match---at every other match I ever wrestled---and it still does it to me if I can't get right into whatever is causing the adrenaline to build.

Adrenaline is not necessarily a good thing. It is given to us to help us through crisis situations. It is a necessary ingredient for our bodies to go through the fight or flight stage when faced with an adversary. It can cause huge stresses on the heart and stomach. In my case it always affects my stomach---always, it may affect my heart too but I can't see or feel that.

Back to wrestling---I won that first match---it was tough but I was able to pull out the win in the last few seconds. I loved the feeling of winning. I loved the fact that I couldn't blame or give credit to anyone else if I lost or won. I loved winning. I was pretty good in High School. I won two trophies, one for best beginner when I was a sophomore and one for outstanding wrestler for the year when I was a senior. I never got to go to state because when it was tournament time and you had to wrestle three times in a day I never had the training or conditioning to get through it. I forgot to mention that we didn't really have a wrestling coach when I was in high school. We had a great guy that took on coaching the wrestling program just so we could participate in it. To this day he is my very favorite teacher. I loved the sport then and I love the sport now. It is awesome to watch a kid do his best---win or lose---if they do their best they are a winner in my book.

When I went to college I decided I would take a beginner wrestling class for the easy A. The second day of class the coach asked if there was anyone that had participated in wrestling in high school. I raised my hand and he picked me and another kid to do an exhibition round. I made a big mistake here---I soundly beat the kid---then I was informed that he wrestled on the college team and had done very well the previous year. The coach asked me if I was interested in wrestling for the college. I WAS---VERY INTERESTED---and the invitation came with a scholarship.

In college I had an outstanding coach. OUTSTANDING. He told me thousands of times that if I worked hard at it I couldn't be beat. After the first year I began to believe him. I had all of the confidence in the world that I could win. I tell people all the time that he convinced me that I couldn't be beat---when I went out on the mat there was never any doubt in my mind who would win. I also tell them that the second time I met an individual we both knew who was going to win. I never had a second match with any individual in college go past the second round.

I won enough matches and tournaments that I was invited to wrestle in the National Championships. I also got my orders to report to basic training for the Army at the same time. My coach went to work on the Army and was able to convince them to put back my reporting date for two weeks so I could do the Nationals. How'd he do that? Why would the Army negotiate? I have no clue but I look back at this time and it is amazing to me that I ever got to participate at this level because of the military thing and because of the small college I went to. BUT I DID.

I did well at the tournament. I won all of the matches leading up to the championship by pinning the opponent. I was psyched---I had the National Championship in my sights. It was great to go onto the mat for the championship---when we were introduced I looked across the mat and my mother and dad were sitting on the front row straight across from me. I had no clue what so ever that they would be there. It was awesome for me to have them there.

I wrestled one of the best matches of my life that night. I was ahead 18 to 2 in the third round. I looked up at the clock and there were fifteen seconds left. I decided to try to pin my opponent so that I could say I won all the matches in the Nationals by pins. I quickly put him into the guillotine, he was double jointed in the shoulders, he rolled through the hold and pinned me with a head lock. I was devastated. I couldn't believe I had made that stupid mistake. I was angry with myself. I was angry at the world.


Wrestling gave me a sense of being---I knew who I was and what I was capable of---I have never had any fear of anyone doing me bodily harm. I have used wrestling in several bad situations in my later life. The adrenaline is still there and I still throw up if I can't get right into the fray.



Amber said...

I never knew about your wrestling, how awesome! Especially the scholarship!

Dee Ice Hole said...

Yeah the scholarship was huge---$50.00/quarter. But then tuition was only $35.00/quarter. I figure they paid me $0.25 for each hour spent in the gym.

Lindsay Logic said...

I like reading your memories. It gives me your perspective of a lot of things. Cool.