Soon wrestling consumed me.
I think I understood from the beginning that wrestling isn’t something you do for fun. You do it because you need it. It turns out lots of kids do.
There was a time when wrestling was the reason I ate what I ate, slept when I slept, why I bleached my hair blonde, and wore black socks.
The summer before freshman year of high school my family moved from Glendale to a new town. La Canada was whiter, wealthier, and more suburban. I saw opportunity. In Glendale I’d been a nerd, picked on by tough kids, ignored by cheerleaders. I figured that in La Canada I could reinvent myself as a badass. I figured wealthy kids would be easy to intimidate. No one in La Canada would know that I was the one who usually got picked on. I got my ear pierced, bought baggy jeans and a chain wallet, and stared hard at other boys, just like the tough kids in Glendale had stared at me.
Three months into freshman year I stared at the wrong rich kid and got knocked…