Column as I See ’em

It may be tough, but it’s always worth it


Countless hours of practice, nights of very little sleep and days where I have just wanted to give up and quit wrestling have been most of my life for the past eight years. But, I would not change a thing about the way I have gone about my wrestling career.
I hear all the time from my family and friends that I have overworked myself, or that I am pushing myself maybe a little too far, but I couldn’t disagree more with that.
The accomplishments I have achieved and the goals I have reached in my life that seemed almost unattainable to me years ago are the reason I keep myself going forward, even on days that I want to stop.
I believe that if a sport truly means something to someone, and they have the determination to follow through after all of the grueling hours of practice and tournaments, the sky’s the limit.
Being “burnt out” from a sport is not caused by the actual sport itself or even the effort put into the sport, but more so the atmosphere surrounding the sport and other things associated with it, such as family and friends.
The people that I always hear say “I am just tired of wrestling” or “I am burnt out” are normally all the same people who never wanted to be there in the first place, or that are only going to practice to please another person in their life.
Every year at the start of the wrestling season, there are around 50 to 60 student-athletes who start off eager to try a new sport. By the end of the year, that number is normally down to just about 20 of the true athletes who have goals on their minds.
Most people would argue that overtraining can lead to enhanced physical and mental stress, but I once again disagree.
In a world where people are putting in four to five hours a day to be at the top, the people that don’t have the true love for the sport they are in will never be happy because the results will never follow if they do not put in the effort.
I believe that if someone is not happy in the sport or activity they are in, they should either stop or look for something that they truly love and shift their effort towards that activity.
That doesn’t have to be sports either. Whether it’s video games or coding, people should always spend their time doing something they enjoy.
Everyone will go through a stage in their athletic career where they want to quit. I know because I have had it happen to me countless times before. When I first stepped into high school, the wrestling team was filled with people excited to learn and start their wrestling careers.
I would talk with some of my friends on the team at the time who told me their goals and what they wanted to accomplish. However, it only took until halfway through the season for me to see all of my friends and teammates stop showing up. This was what opened my eyes to how many people will quit without truly pushing themselves.
But because of the people around me who push me every day to be the best version of myself and the love for the sport of wrestling, I know that it was the right choice for me to keep trucking forward.
It is always true that some people are just never going to be gold medal winning athletes in their respective sport. However, if the time and effort is put in, they might see results that were never thought to be possible.