About 15 years ago I was pretty active. Working, AA meetings, plenty of social things with my sister, going to school etc. One weekend my sister invited me to go to Santa Cruz beach with her friends and my nephew and brother-in-law. There were about 6 or 7 of us.
It was a hot day and I was in good shape so I was just in some shorts. They had volleyball nets set up in the sand. The beach and boardwalk was packed but we found an open court and started playing. At the Boardwalk they had a huge outdoor stage where on weekend evenings they held concerts. No big name acts but they had some local bands who had a modest success in the music world and some old name bands.
But I was checking out the stage by myself and they were having an arm wrestling tournament. I was about 33 or 34 and I was fairly strong; it was when I was unloading trucks for my job and I was taking weight training in college. So on the spur of the moment I signed up to participate. It was just starting and there was a crowd of about a hundred people watching the action take place in the center of the stage.
I always fancied myself as a good arm wrestler. So they had all of us stand in line in the sand behind the stage and when they called your name you went up some steps and into the middle of the stage where there was a table because we wrestled standing up. The guys in line were in competition with each other but they were joking with each other and me and giving tips while we sized each other up. ‘’
I thought, " Hey, these guys don’t look any stronger than me". and I felt a little confidence in my ability. Well the judges called two of our names and we walked up the steps and took our place while the rules were read. Me and my opponent locked arms and hands and the judge blew a whistle. Bam! The other guy pinned me. He was deceptively strong. We had three matches and unfortunately I lost all three. But hell, I tried and I got a free t-shirt out of it. And hey, I got up on stage in front of a hundred people and I competed and I did my best. That counts for something doesn’t it?