The Wrestling Gift

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March 15, 2010 by David Gillaspie

The beauty of high school wrestling is the moment one of the guys on the mat has their ‘Ah ha’ realization. 

They go out nervous and uncertain, not yet defined by ‘the experience’ they can ‘build on’ whether they win or lose. 

One match creates the momentum they can depend on the rest of their lives.  The lights go on against an opponent and the high school wrestler sees that he can Do It.  He’s no longer trying this or trying that, he’s Doing It.  Mistakes turn into set-ups and scoring moves. 

New confidence sends him looking for better workout partners and opponents.  For most it ends in high school, at least the wrestling part.  The confidence part is what lasts.  Guys who overcome the obstacles on the mat have the tools to face other challenges in their lives. 

How many people walk around thinking ‘good enough’ can never be better?  How many quit things when they run out of ideas?  After an ‘Ah ha’ moment it’s not the same anymore.  ’Good enough’ is a step toward better and better.  Running out of ideas means starting over and finding new ideas to make something better.

A dead-end job ceases to exist just because someone else calls it a dead-end job.  A bad neighborhood isn’t as frightening if wrestlers live there.  Insurmountable odds aren’t new to wrestlers,  just ask any unseeded guy at the top of any podium how he got there.

The ties that bind in wrestling are the rungs of the ladder a wrestler climbs through their life.  Each step means gripping and hanging on until the next, then doing it over and over.  From family, to school, to work, to relationships, the ’Ah ha’ moment of even the most mediocre high school wrestler makes them a better person. 

That is their story, and they should stick to it; that is the gift of wrestling.  Besides, caring enough about a sport to give it proper preparation is essential to prevent getting thumped on.  It’s a priceless gift.

Speaking of gifts:


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