"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not what a Mama wants to see...

....but, it is what makes his crazy heart happy. And mine? Well, it makes mine rapidly palpitate have a heart attack.

I don't often get to post about my biggest baby, Tito. He's 27 years old, lives in another city and although we talk weekly, he's got his own life with a new bride. I guess I could admit that he's grown up.

From as far back as I could remember, Tito has always had lots of dreams. One of those dreams is one that I chose to ignore as he was getting older and would talk about it. I would nod and just say, "That's nice, honey." That was the extent of my encouragement of said dreams.

But, having a very similar personality to his Mama, he's no quitter. He perseveres. He's a fighter, literally. You may be asking, "So, what is this dream?"

My Tito has always wanted to be in the ring, either boxing, or worse yet, something more extreme like MMA (mixed martial arts) or UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). And while this is not my idea of fun or even a sport (and yes, I know it is), I support his dream and do the only thing I can....pray.

Tito's been training at a gym with a Sensei for this type of sport for a while now. Last week, when I got into the car after church I saw I had three consecutive missed calls from him. That surprised me. He usually calls me on the way to work during the week, which he already had. Three calls immediately drew a red flag. What was wrong?

I called him back and he answered with, "Mom, where have you been? I've been trying to get a hold of you?" I said, "Sorry, I was in church. What's wrong?" I could tell he was weighing his words carefully. There was a tone of excitement in his voice, mixed with a bit of caution.

He said, "Mom! I was invited to tryout for UFC." There was silence on my end. He said, "Can you hear me?" I said, after taking a deep breath, "You were? What do you mean?" Hoping that invite was to go watch a fight or something safe like that. He said, "The UFC is putting on a seminar that normally cost over $1500. to attend. I was INVITED to go and fight!"

I said, "So, this means you're going to actually fight, as in another person?", sounding dumb but hoping I had heard wrong. He said, "Yes. In the heavy weight division." After I reminded him about his beautiful teeth, his nose, his face, his brain possibly getting crushed, Mohammad Ali's illness attributed to being hit so many times in the head, etc., he said, "Mom, this is like a dream. Not many people get this chance." So, I bit my lip and said, "I really am happy for you. I will support your dream and pray for your safety. I love you and I want you to be happy and if this is what makes you happy....so be it." He seemed relieved, not that anything else I would have said would have changed his mind, but he seemed relieved.

So, this past Saturday was the big fight in central Florida. He went up with his trainer. I asked him if his wife was going and he said he asked her not to because he wasn't sure of what it would be like and if for some reason "it got ugly", he wanted his full concentration on what he was doing. So, to this Mama's ears, he was going at this alone. I prayed most of the day Saturday.

He called me early the next morning and told me all about the fight. He was a bit bruised, but said overall he was repeatedly told by the experts there that he did very well and they see him having a future in the ring. He was even told this by someone (sorry fighting fans I have no idea who this is) named Jeff Monson, a professional UFC fighter, who gave him some tips.

The fight consisted of 4 minutes of standing up fighting and 4 minutes of "grapling" on the ground. Tito is on the right and has the small tattoo on his back.

Warning: The person recording, does on a couple of occasions use foul words.

Tito, my precious first-born son, if this is truly your hearts desire and you want to follow your dream, your Mama will be standing there, albeit eyes closed, on the sidelines, holding on to her rosary and cheering you on. I love you, baby!


The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh Ohilda.....how hard this must have been for you! When I think of our big kids and the things they go through...it makes the little ones seem alot easier to deal with:)

I will be praying for him also...praying that God protects him with all His might!!!!!

Terynn said...

Iowa is a HUGE wrestling state. My brother wrestled and boxed growing up and also pursued Jujitsu as a college adult. He is the one who introduced me to MMA.

I must say, I LOVE the sport. Now, my baby is not in it (although, as he ends his football career in November, I am prepared that he may come to me with a similar proposal).

How does Tito's bride feel about this? Have you researched the injury stats as a sport? Have you noted the obvious (to me) improvements in safety and rules, since the sport was originally introduced in the USA?

Hang in there, Mama. It may be that once he tries it and gives it has all, the novelty may wane. His bride may put her foot down. Barring those two scenarios, it will be best for you to be supportive, ringside and bring your rosary. :)

BTW...My worst Mama wrestling moment? Yelling from the sidelines, as my son wrestled a boy, "KILL HIM". (closes eyes and shakes head at the memory). Oh you better believe I sat right down and SHUT my pie hole for the rest of the night. lol

No-one heard me, it was so noisy, but I knew I had crossed a line. HAHA

Karin said...

Ugh...this Mama would not be enjoying this dream either. I wonder how many years of boys' lives Mom's spend praying?! :)

Cyndi Messina said...

Ohilda...you may or may not know that I have a pretty strong background in martial arts....have been taking/teaching it for over a decade. I have two black belts and was pretty close to earning a third when we left Norway. I am a HUGE UFC fan. I am a student of mixed martial arts and as a woman, I feel that I can defend myself against an attack...especially if it ends up on the ground. (I am really big into grappling!) I know..hard to tell by looking at me. :o) This being said, I also have two sons that participated in martial arts growing up. I watch them play rugby (which is right up there with MMA, I have to say). It makes me cringe but they are pretty proud that they have a mom that is there for every game and has bothered to do research and learn about the sport. That would be how you could support him. Read about it...learn about it. UFC fighters are some of the best trained athletes in the world. For now, just tell him to "keep his hands up"...that's a safe thing to say in any stand up situation and every fighter needs that reminder. :o) Hugs, Ohilda....I suggest lots of deep, cleansing breaths. :o) Love you! (and best of luck Tito!)

Angie in TX said...

Ouch! I had to quit watching. Praying for Tito's safety and his Mama's heart!

Veronica @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows said...

Proud of you, O! Hope I can be as gracious a mother if that happens with any of my boys...and the way the fight now, it is a strong possibility, haha!


Leslie said...

The things we do for our children! lol

Please let us know if he does continue this dream. We can all help you pray every time he steps into the ring. :)

Aus said...

I always thought that Tito was a big boy - but I had no idea how tough he really is! For the average person that may not have looked like much - but - it the boxing section Tito really range that guys bell a couple time - by the end the other guy was almost punchy - and in the grappling - that first drop by Tito was simply AMAZING - that was raw power!

Like you - I'd worry (what parent wouldn't) - but you are hearing from someone that's been shot at a couple times and I'm no worse for the wear....I mean - when was the last time you heard about someone from MMA receiving a serious injury? I'm thinking he'll be just fine!

hugs - prayers! - aus and co.

Holly said...

I can imagine your pride, love and terror. Trusting God with you from one Mama's heart to another!!

Sally-Girl! said...

OH your Tito is my Joe. He wrestled all through high school then joined the special forces in the army and wants to fight professionally when he gets out too. I know exactly how you feel!!!!

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