Growing up as the only female and youngest child in my home, I was always playing games with my older brothers. Never did I win, or if I did, the rules changed so they did instead. I was the smallest. Constantly beat up on. Always heckled.

Only until I was old enough to play on female-specific teams did I start to build confidence within myself that I wasn’t as worthless as my brothers had always made me feel. Girls also have our sensitive time period when we go through changes and our family doesn’t teach us anything, but the friends you have from sports know what you’re going through. It makes you not feel alone.

Yes, women are catty. Girls will have fights like sisters, but we have each other’s backs. At least, we did when I was growing up. Now, this is a sad time.

I only had boys, and I raised them even through wrestling with girls that women are strong, and to treat them with the same respect they deserve. My son’s best wrestling partner ended up becoming our school’s first female state champion when the girls were finally allowed to have their own team! He was sad to lose his partner, but proud to see her thrive since many teams didn’t allow their boys to wrestle her because she was female.

Now for our future, I finally have a granddaughter who I know will be a wrestler among many other sports and I tell you… no biological man will ever threaten, nor place his hands upon her with malice, or her “Mimi,” grandpa, dad and uncles will all teach him what his parents should have about how to treat a lady!