The second week of wrestling school beckoned and the intensity got turned up quickly. I was just fortunate to have a fully recovered neck after last week’s mauling, but I wondered how long that would last this week. Turns out not very long. Even though me and David turned up for the morning class to see what we would be doing that day, we still had the daunting task of getting through some tough exercises and drills.
So to start, we had the conditioning warm up that we did last week, with one major difference: we had to alternate between squats; push ups; burpees and crunches. For example, we were told to do, say, 9 crunches, 4 crunches, 11 push ups, 4 burpees and 17 squats. In that order of reps. In total we did 39 sets of these in random order. To say the least, I was surprised we were able to stand at the end of that, let alone do the stretches that followed. Let it be known, burpees are a form of torture and should be abolished for all mankind.
Oh and yes, the bridging that was involved with the stretches and from week one? I f they don’t stretch my back and make it flexible, nothing will. It feels like my spine will break in two when bending backwards.
After the warm up mercifully finished, we hit the ring for some in-ring technique and bumps. First up, we were taught how to “run the ropes”, which at first looked easy. In practice, yeah it took some going to get it right. For me, I had to make sure both my ass cheeks were leaning on the second rope when I sank back into them, otherwise I was heading onto the floor in another embarrassing moment to bury under the mat. After a few tries at getting my feet in the right position and bouncing off the ropes, I felt good. I felt I was getting into that zone where I could conquer anything… until our teacher told me to get of of his ring for the next guy.
Then came the horror of the session: flip bumps. This involved ducking into a forward roll position, but then jumping our feet off the ground for height and rotating our heads under our body to land on our upper back and arms, with hips in the air. Yeah, that got a lot of us, as it was clear to see we had that mental block (myself included). Before the session, we all joked about piledriving our heads into the canvas, but that possibility was real right here. And to be fair, some of us nearly did (again, me included), if not for the crash mat we were practicing on.
Finally, we practiced our front and back rolls, which seem harder than the front rolls. For me, I need to flick my legs and hands back further for me to roll over properly, but this is not something I have done since I was a kid. Will take some getting used to.
We were introduced to a ring drill to finish things off: four people in each corner, and a fifth guy who “sleeps” (lies down in front of their opponent to run/roll over them) in front of each person in the corner. They roll over the sleeping guy and do the same to any other person in the corner. It looked like a lot of fun and I would love to do that next week, but figured I should rest my neck this time after nearly piledriving my head numerous times.
Week two had a lot more intensity to it, which was more than I was expecting at this early stage if I am honest. Still, this is why we took on the challenge of wrestling school and it is pushing my physical & mental boundaries already. The next six weeks will be interesting to see how far we can go, if we are ready for that next step. Truly #ThisIsProgress.
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