Do What You Believe

connor - CA 95677, California
Entered on September 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Do What You Believe

I believe in never giving up, and being true to your dreams no matter the cost. My favorite sport in the whole world is wrestling. When I was five years old, I took my first steps onto the matt. I had four older brothers, each who had wrestled.

My first day of practice, at the age of five, my mom was sitting in the bleachers watching me. Another woman who was sitting next to my mom leaned over and said, while pointing at me. “You can tell that it’s not his first year wrestling.” And my mom replied with a grin, “but it’s only his first day.” So you can say that I was a natural.

Wrestling is not the most popular sport in school. Many people don’t even know what a wrestling match looks like. But I don’t wrestle because it’s popular, or because it brings fame. I do it because it makes me feel complete, it’s who I am, it’s what I know.

Dan Gable, an Olympic gold medalist once said, “once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.” This quote rings true to me. Wrestling is not easy, it is the toughest sport I know. You must push your body to the limit, giving everything you have in practice, so when the time comes, when you shake your opponents hand your ready. You must be ready for the hardest six minutes of your life. You control the outcome f the match, not your teammates, and that’s why I love it.

My sophomore year I took 4th in the state of California. This was a great accomplishment for me being the fourth best wrestler out of 1,200 others in the state. This achievement was proof that hard work truly pays off. My junior year, I started the season ranked 2nd in the state. Unfortunately, I injured my knee in the second tournament and missed the rest of the season. Since then I’ve had two surgeries.

Before my last surgery I had two options. My first option, which the doctor strongly advised, was to try to repair the cartilage in my knee. This meant that my knee would function normally and it would heal, but I’d have to give up wrestling. My second option was to get the cartilage taken out. I would then be able to wrestle, however, I could never run again, and I’d have arthritis before my 30’s. My doctor tried to persuade me to get my knee repaired and quit wrestling. He explained that removing the cartilage was only worth it if I played a sport that I could make a career of. Wrestling had no future of making money, and we both new that. But I also new that some things in life aren’t for sale. That all true champions have a price they pay, whether its not being able to run again, or having arthritis by my late twenties. There’s more to life than making money, so that’s why I took the second option. I believe in sticking through the hard times and accomplishing your dreams at all times.