A couple weeks ago, Leigh Vierling, Women's National Team Coach asked if I was interested in wrestling an exhibition match in December against the American No.1 at 72kg. Never one to step down from a challenge I was excited ... it was only afterwards that he mentioned it would be in front of 10,000 people at the most iconic sports arena of all time!!!
On Sunday I will step out and wrestle in Madison Square Garden at the 2nd annual Grapple in the Gardens event.
Hard to describe how excited I am to wrestle in an opportunity like this ... Wrestling is a sport that is often relegated to the basements and back rooms of training centers and people's minds. For the sport to have this kind of exposure is really exciting and of course, being apart of the big event is the icing on the cake.
I will be matched up against 2012 World Champ, and 2013 World Bronze medallist Adeline Gray who is a familiar opponent for me. I am eager to battle it out and I know we will put on a good show. Our wrestling styles are very complimentary but on Sunday... there will be no holding back.
Game faces on everybody. Its time to Grapple in the Gardens.
Things are conveniently “falling” into place this
month as I am getting back into the swing of things this Fall season. The
‘summer’ season ended late into the year with my return from the World
Championships in late September. After that, I took a little break away from the
mats to set things back to normal. There are two types of serious breaks in
wrestling; intentional and unintentional. I have been lucky to have had few
unintentional breaks from the mat; which usually translates into the body
breaking down and needing time to heal. This intentional break, however, was
more of a mental one in which I was given the time to turn down the competitive
engines and cool things off a little bit. I was off the mats for a full 3 weeks
which seems crazy! I used this time to get into yoga, enjoy the mountains, spend
time with my partner, and even have a little fun on a short trip to Vegas
right at the end.
I returned to the mats early October and haven’t looked back
since. Now after a couple solid weeks back at it, I am gearing up for my next
I’m flying tomorrow to New York on Wednesday to compete in the
New York Athletic Club International and am eager to step back onto the mats!
Yesterday at training, I got thinking about potential competitors and match
preparation and I was so anxious and excited! It’s such a good feeling to have.
This month will be pretty busy for me. I will be
heading back to New York on Nov. 30th to compete at the Grapple in the
Gardens, which is a showcase event held at Madison Square Gardens. Even thinking
about it makes me feel a little bit like a rock star. I’m very excited to be one
of the showcase matches selected! For more info check out:
In early December, I will get the rare chance to compete in
Calgary at the Nordhagen Classic, a women’s international wrestling event.
The only thing that stands between me and Christmas after that is
a little stop in Lake Placid where I will get to watch my favorite bobsled
driver compete in the last world cup of 2013.
Busy times ahead for me. Wow. But what keeps me going is the
daily ritual of Eat. Sleep. Wrestle. Nothing beats this life.
Erica Wiebe is a Canadian freestyle wrestler and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Calgary. Her passion for wrestling and writing combine in the words of this blog, sprinkled with a strong opinion on certain matters and a hint of feminist thrown in for good measure.