I went to the 2006 Big Ten Wrestling Championships at Indiana, not only because I was joining a friend at Big Tens, but because a guy wrestling for Ohio State, who I had known from my gym, was trying to make it to Nationals.
In a crucial match, he had it locked up, and then he got taken down in the last few seconds.
He lost the next match, too, and he never went to Nationals
After his near miss, I was working out in the gym at the hotel where I was staying in Indiana.
It was a very small gym. Only enough room for two stationary bikes, two treads and a few free weights.
The only other guy in that room was a guy in a hooded shirt on a stationary bike and me on a tread.
I looked closer. It was Dan Gable.
I got off of my treadmill and said hello.
He asked me if I had a kid wrestling, and I replied that I was following a young Ohio State man from my gym who had just lost.
He asked his name, and I told him.
Gable said, "Hell of a double-leg."
After that, I got back on the tread and absolutely killed myself to run hard in that hot room. After all, Gable was the only other person in the room.
I was walking in the main area about an hour later, and I told my wrestling buddy about the Gable story.
When asked about how hard I worked, I said "I did the best I could."
Gable walked by the same time and said, "You did well."
This is all true, and it ranks near the top of my validative experiences.