Everything I learned about hard work I learned from wrestling

“Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”

I remember high school wrestling practices like it was yesterday.

To a select few of us, wrestling practice was more like a battle to the death. We held nothing back. We weren’t the most technical wrestlers, but mentally we were some of the toughest.

One of my favorite memories of high school wrestling was when we somehow acquired old wrestling mats during the offseason. We wound up placing them in my backyard. One Friday night before a football game, two buddies of mine came over, and we just wrestled.  No coaches. No air conditioning. No fan-fare.

As two guys would start wrestling the odd man out would act as the referee, bouncer, and custodian. His role as a referee was to ultimately decide those questionable calls that the other two were too stubborn to acknowledge. He would act as the bouncer to keep us on the mat so we wouldn’t go out of bounds as we refused to stop wrestling. And he was the custodian because he would have to walk around the small 10×10 mat with the broom to continually sweep the sand off the mat so we wouldn’t slip. This crucial role was one shared between us all. We were putting in the extra work other people were unwilling to do to be the best we possibly could be. 

I will never forget going to the football game that night, tired, sore, and scratched up after wrestling in the backyard the hour prior. There was a silent sense of pride between the three of us. Nobody knew what we went had just been through an hour before the football game, but we did, and that’s all that mattered.

Looking back I am so grateful for everything wrestling taught me. I genuinely think it’s why I hold CrossFit so dear to me. It allowed me to transfer the intensity, and rigor from one sport to another. It taught me to never make excuses, to give everything I got on a daily basis, and most importantly that hard work is the only thing that has got me to where I am today. In sport and life.


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