In Vietnam my full name is Dao Duc Huy; Duc of which means desire. So I guess it’s no coincidence that I believe people are driven by desire. When the word ‘desire’ comes up a sexual connotation is attached, which isn’t my intention at all. I believe desire means to want something, anything bad enough to sacrifice your body and soul to have it. What did I want? Simple: glory.
I started wrestling my freshman year. I went to my first meet as a JV wrestler in the 112 pound weight class. In my first match I was taken down and slammed on my back in the first twenty seconds. I managed to back flip my opponent and pin him. The instant the ref raised my hand I felt an adrenaline rush I can’t begin to explain. I lost one out of my four matches that day. No matter how many wins I took in, it was never enough. That was the day my desire became stupidity.
At the beginning of my sophomore season I stood at roughly 121 pounds with one goal in mind; state. The issue was I wasn’t looking to win state in the 119 pound weight class…18 pounds stood in my way from winning state at 103 pounds. The first Varsity dual was in three weeks and it took me every second of every day in those three weeks to see that scale read 103.0. The problem was I was deathly hungry. I made weight but I ‘exploded’ right after and weighed 111 before my match 12 hours later. I came out firing, pinning my opponent in the first period but I didn’t make weight for the tournament two days later. I bumped up to 112; winning two more but adding two losses to my record, I had to start making weight.
A couple weeks later the Newton tournament, the hardest tournament of the year, came. I was allowed to weigh 104.0 because it was the day after a dual, I stood at 110.0 but somehow I knew I would make it, what choice did I have? Instead of wrestling at the dual that night I jump roped as I watched my teammates wrestle. We came back to the school to check my weight afterwards, 108.0. I ran an hour until 11:00 p.m. and weighed 107.0. I went home and to bed but I was back at school at 3:30 the next morning. I ran and ran and ran, at 5:30 I weighed 105.6. I wrestled the entire team from 112 lbs. up to 285 lbs. in 20 second periods. At 7:00 a.m. I weighed 104.0.
I went out onto the mat and lost every match that day. I squatted 210 lbs. but I couldn’t lift a 103 pound kid off the mat. I pushed my body to the limits I never knew I had; I broke myself just to see myself fail.
I wanted to win so bad I lost site of loving the sport.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.