Lessons from Wrestling Part II

I was driving home from the annual holiday tournament as a high school freshman. I’d gotten beat twice in a row, and was eliminated on the first day. My assistant coach was good enough to give me a ride home.

I was asking about the #1 guy in my weight, Barry Wilson, and how anyone could be so good. Coach responded that someone like that “eats, sleeps and breathes” the sport. I didn’t know what he meant then. Looking back, I honestly didn’t really know what it meant to be dedicated to something, let alone what the word passion meant.

Something happened in the next year, I started to focus on wrestling, and being as good as I could. I had embarrassingly high aspirations that I didn’t share with a lot of people. I started waking up before school to run, workout after school, go to open mats wherever they were in driving distance, shadow wrestle by myself when I couldn’t find a partner, and think about winning big matches almost all the time – especially in class.

I started to understand what it was to be dedicated, what passion was, and how to focus a maniacal drive towards something you wanted.

This concept of dedication may seem a bit obsessive to some. But, I strongly believe it’s what has allowed me to achieve the majority of what I’ve done so far in life (not that it’s been much in just 27 years). I’m not the smartest, most charming (by any means), or most talented. But, I have used dedication/passion/focus to achieve goals I’ve set out – getting a job in venture capital, getting into a top 5 business school, learning to program. This drive was shaped on cold winter mornings at 5 AM, running and thinking always about one thing: winning.

If you think wrestling should stay in the olympics,http://www.insidethegames.biz/polls/75-which-sport-do-you-think-should-be-part-of-the-olympic-programme-for-2020