I just got back from a lovely weekend in East Tennessee — do you know what I was doing? I was watching A LOT of college wrestling. We went up to Chattanooga for the chance to see the Iowa wrestling team compete against UTC, UVA, and Cumberland. It was pretty exciting, I tell you.
Most of you reading this don’t know that I was once the co-manager of my high school’s wrestling team (alongside my hometown BFF, Stef). It’s one of those things no one would have predicted I’d get involved with, but I wound up having fun, learning a lot, and meeting a bunch of interesting people. And now that I’m dating a wrestling person, I can actually watch, enjoy, and discuss it (somewhat) intelligently. I feel like I’m now rediscovering something that otherwise might have remained forgotten in my back pages and I didn’t even realize I missed it, but I did.
We got to the gym fairly early and secured really great sets by the matt, and the other Iowa fans in town showed up and many of them sat right near us — including the parents of one of their star, number-one-ranked athletes. Yup, we were right in the center of all the very important people, cauliflower ears as far as the eye could see. We had our fingers on the pulse.
I had the opportunity to try getting some decent action shots, and through the haze of my serious camera envy (the pro photographers there had pretty amazing cameras and lenses), I managed to get a few photos:
(If you’re a fan of wrestling, you might recognize coaches Tom and Terry Brands, both Olympic medalists, in the bottom photo — Terry is hiding behind the Powerade) It was really gripping to watch some of these close matches in the middle of a tense, sold-out crowd full of mostly local Chattanooga Mocs fans with a lot of Iowa Hawkeyes thrown into the mix. Wrestling is a completely different sport than running, of course, but both have a certain wonderful simplicity that I very much enjoy.
The next day we looked around town a litle bit before getting on the road. Chattanooga is a really pretty city full of public art and an interesting mix of architecture.
We couldn’t stay too long, though, because we were on our way north to my hometown for an early Thanksgiving with my family. We kept it traditional with Indian food. As in, food from the Indian subcontinent. As in saag paneer, aloo tikki, naan, tandoori, etc. You know, as it traditionally is done.
On a side note, would you please admire my brother’s evil genius as he prepared to make a batch of caramel apples?
I know. We had a lovely time up there Saturday and Sunday morning, and then headed back home through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Luckily, I wasn’t driving, so I managed to capture a little of the view as we went.
And now, to think about Thanksgiving here at home. I am busily dreaming up things to make: butternut squash soup, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, (vegan) Celebration Roast for me, roast chicken for him, and…something for dessert? What should we do for dessert for just two people? Is “two whole pies” the correct answer?