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Lorrie Mathews: A broken elbow is not a broken dream

Michele Weldon | January 29, 2012

Garett winning one of his 2012 sectionals matches after recovering from a broken elbow

This post is from Wrestling Mom Lorrie Mathews of Iowa.

My son, a junior in high school, broke his radius on the second day of wrestling practice. He didn't wrestle non-stop from the time he was three, he started at the junior high level and was one of the team’s state hopefuls. It was devastating to him to watch his wrestling season disappear in a matter of seconds when the ER doctor told him it was broken and we would be seeing a surgeon. We started counting weeks to sectionals.

Hoping the two weeks prior to the start of meets plus the two weeks holiday break would give the break time to heal. During this time there have been many kind words of prayer, thoughts and encouragement. Things I have decided you don't want to hear as a wrestling mom: "Well, at least he
can now eat," "Well it's not like he was a senior," and the best "It is only wrestling."

One other comment someone made to me was: “Do you think Garett’s cutting weight had anything to do with him breaking his elbow?” I am a nurse and have monitored his diet from day one. He doesn’t do dramatic weight loss. He has learned to cut fat and carbs out of his diet.

The wait until sectionals was very hard on him, but I found that it was hard on our family, and our community. I found out from many that it was just his expectation to make it to state but a lot of fans did as well and they were devastated at not being able to watch him wrestle. I hoped through those weeks he could hit the mat healthy and achieve his dream this year.
Garett was cleared on the Friday before sectionals, wrestled off for his position, and attended a tough tournament on Saturday. He was 2-2, the two he lost were against ranked kids. It would have been interesting to know how well he would have done had he not broken his arm. I am very proud of him. He did very well for only four days of practice before this tournament.

Looking back on this year and also last year, the wrestling season of 2010-2011, the story behind that season is almost true of any wrestler as well. The 103 wrestler was injured, when he returned he didn’t want to wrestle that weight, he moved up, his experience was far greater than Garett’s. He attempted to wrestle off only to fall short. The most obvious move would have been to wrestle off for the 119 spot. Garett refused because it wasn’t his spot to take even though he could have easily taken it. Garett moved up to the next open spot. We were pouring food in Garett to get him closer to the weight. He had losses but he had wins. When he placed first at sectionals 2011 it was AWESOME.

Wrestling is a great sport and I have been involved since high school as a mat maid, my younger brother being a state qualifier in Iowa and my oldest wrestling. Garett is my baby and I was looking forward to his last two years.

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Comments (3)
  1. Congrats to Garett for coming back and wrestling. He sounds like a great kid. I’ve found that wrestling is a sport of perseverance and those who survive and thrive are those who persevere through adversity either on or off the mat. Regarding the well-meaning comments you received, the ignorance surrounding the sport is often astonishing!

  2. Garett made it to the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament. He was eliminated the first day. We can always question the “what would be, could be or should have been”. However it is what it is. He broke his elbow and had an outstanding comeback, he obtained his dream and next year is a new year. Garett has no desire to wrestle college. He does want to complete his HS career with a state title.

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