I was a junior in high school, nothing more. I was a statistic, on the verge of becoming nothing. All interest in school and becoming something better had vanished from all aspects of my mind, not considering myself to be a terrible kid, just mislead, not understood, maybe a little confused. Not knowing what life had to offer, what school had to offer, genuinely I still do not, but I know more now than I did then. Inevitably if you want something you have to go out and grasp it; our drive is our passion, we have to create the utmost implausible future that we are destined to have.
At the time that was something I did not believe, in the moment I did not believe in much of anything. Something was missing and I did not know what it was, wanting to be different, not wanting to be like every other existing teenage statistic in this world, a screw-up. I am my own mind, unique, I just had not found my flame and had it not been for my best friend I do not think I ever would have. Now usually what I’m about to say may shock most, mostly because they can’t believe it to be true or just blatant ignorance.
My best friend was a female wrestler, yes a female wrestler and I myself soon to follow; when you think of wrestling most people think of WWE for some reason, that is not real wrestling, wrestling is not entertainment; meaning it is not something that should be paraded around as a joke and to me that is what WWE is a joke. To be a wrestler, a female wrestler at that it takes strength and willpower, mental and physical willpower. Entering a world of a male dominant sport as a female you are putting not two times but three times as much work in as any other guy, day in and day out.
And this is exactly what I needed, although truthfully I didn’t join for all the right reasons; I mean really, male dominant sport, hot guys, sweat, abs it was a match made in heaven. So yes I went to a couple of practices, I watched I learned but more importantly I learned. I started growing an attachment to the sport, all girly childish thoughts no longer existed. Watching my best friend and the guys’ practice I thought how easy it could be to take someone down, it truly did not look that hard. That is until I actually stepped foot on the mat.
One day we were going live action and I got slammed pretty hard by my partner, from that day on all I could think of was all of the different ways I could tear his face off. Every day he laid my face in the mat and everyday was a day I swore it would never happen again. I practiced and brought my grades up as best as I could in order to stay on the team. One day he went to suplexed me, I was quick on my feet, not remembering exactly what happened but I took him down and it was sweet it was a sweet, sweet victory.
I came in at the end of boy season or co-ed some may say, so no I did not get to compete, but in march 2012 PSAL had announced its first ever girls freestyle season. Only being on the team for less than a month I was coming in strong. I grabbed a Bronze medal my first ever tournament and from there I knew that this was my purpose, I had found my flame. Three days later I was a part of the female travel team, representing team New York kicking butt and bringing home some shiny medals.
Evidently it was never really about the medals or how shiny they were, it was about what they represented and what they still represent. My medals represent my hard work, my good sportsmanship, my medals represent my coaches, my struggles and my triumphs, they represent what makes me this incredible young woman I am today. I found a family a bound that is stronger than no other, only a wrestler will understand the countless hours you put in and only they know the true blood, sweat, and tears that you have shed to get to the top.
I thank god every day for my wrestling family; they held me up when I was weak and pushed me above my heels because they knew what great things I would accomplish. They have shown me that I am not that girl who did not see a future for herself before, that I am above all doubts and that I need to take that penetration step and brake through my glass, That failure is not failure, that to lose is to gain because if you don’t lose you will never learn and if you don’t feel pain you will never feel a true victory.
I was starting to realize my capabilities that if I put my mind to something and never gave up that achieving my goals would be a lot easier. So with help I took wrestling and applied it to real life, I stood my ground and when things got tough I wanted to quit but I didn’t because I knew what was waiting for me on the other side, my road to success. I am ready for whatever life throws at me because I have wrestled, my eyes are open to the opportunities life has in store for me.
I owe it to wrestling for creating this glorious path for me because that’s what it is glorious it ignites within me. To be a female wrestler is a tremendous honor, it is an honor because I get to walk in the footsteps of the many great women who set out this path for me. It is an honor because I have learned that life is hard and it will always be hard, nothing in life will ever be handed to you, chase after what you desire and do what makes you happy because what is life if you are not happy.
Wrestling has saved me and I’m glad I’ve found it, I’m glad I never gave up on myself , I’m glad my coaches never gave up on me, I’m grateful for them and would not trade them in for anything. This is how I found wrestling or should I say how wrestling found me, this is truly a moment in my life that will always hold utmost importance to me and for that I will always be grateful. Words from the coaches that push me everyday. “It’s the new year in four hours you need to never be afraid of anyone or anything! Believe! I will help you be the best! “