A little known; but, debilitating condition none the less. You never hear of this affliction as part of polite conversations; and, it's never something that you mother wants to hear discussed at the dinner table. But, it's time that we move this out of the dark closets and sweaty locker rooms and increase the awareness of this dreaded condition. That's right, it's time to talk about ass callouses.
Most of you have probably never heard of Ass Callous Extremus (aka ACE) before. But, it's real and it's more rampant than one might expect. So - exactly how does one come down with this affliction? Well, it generally comes about during the months of December, January and February and is directly correlated to high school wrestling season.
Here in western Montana, it begins with a long trip to Eureka for a double dual meet. 6 hours of driving and two hours on hard bleachers. That's when you see the butt skin begin to thicken and harden. Epsom salts, hot water soaks and liberal application of lotion only delay the inevitable. You think you have it managed during quick trips to Thompson Falls and Superior. But then, the tipping point comes and a towel snaps you right across both cheeks.......................yes, the dreaded trip to Choteau's two day tourney.
Early on you trick yourself into believing that the 4 1/2 hour drive won't have any effect. And, heck, you brought your stadium seat and that should protect you for the 8 hours in the gym on Friday. And; who knows, maybe you are successful in keeping it at bay. You even get in some early morning runs in the bitter cold to help keep the body loose and limber. But then comes Saturday and the day of reckoning. First you drive an hour from Great Falls (since the Choteau area doesn't have enough rooms for all the teams, fans and officials). Then, 10 hours of wrestle-backs, semi finals, consolation finals and championship matches. And the coup de grace - the 4 1/2 hour drive home in the dark.
And, that's when it's complete - your soft as a baby's behind has been transformed into a hard, cracked slab of rawhide. You're now the proud owner of your very own personal Ass Callous. On the bright side, perhaps that will help you to make it through the last couple of invitational tournaments, divisional and state.
Then again, with track season just around the corner, your ACE affliction isn't bound to go away any time soon. Experience would suggest that it generally doesn't subside until you've had the chance to soak in the lake a couple of days around the 4th of July.
Yeah, being a wrestling fan is some tough duty. But, the friends, family, athletes, coaches and officials who are part of these events are die-hard and rabid. We never expected that our daughter would turn us into a wrestling family; but, here we are. And, in the last 4 years I've developed a new respect for those that participate in and are connected to wrestling. It's been a great ride. And, I'm wearing my ass callous proudly this morning after watching some impressive Class B & C athletes on the mat this weekend.
From a gel cushioned seat, I'll see you on the roads, tracks and trails
The Muddy Buzzard