Nothing prepares a person for life like the discovery of pain.
Wrestlers find that out rather quickly during the first day of practice. From there they have two options; walk out the door the same way they walked in or learn to develop a tolerance for discomfort. For those who have moxie as part of their character they stay. For those who don’t, they leave.
The fortunate who remain learn humility, discipline and accountability. They discover the benefits of good nutrition, time management skills and how persistence equates to achievement. Nowhere can you find life’s lessons being taught as effectively as in man’s oldest sport.
Regrettably, few outside of wrestling are aware of the benefits the sport imparts to those who take the challenge and why America is trending upward in occurrences of obesity, low self-esteem and underachievement. Too many children prefer to build an online identity than discover their true identity.
America needs wrestling.
Granted, our sport is not the be-all cure-all for that which ails us, but it does go a long way in stimulating mental health, accelerating physical toughness and increasing self-worth.
The country needs to know that more United States’ Presidents wrestled than participated in any other sport; that many of today’s Fortune 500 CEO’s were wrestlers; that America’s Special Forces community turns to our sport to fill their ranks; that wrestling has the fewest incidences of performance-enhancing drug usage among all contact sports and its athletes have the lowest levels of heart disease among America’s youth. Wrestling is the least expensive of all the major sports to operate and it requires the smallest portion of a family’s budget to get started.
What’s the problem?
So why isn’t wrestling mandated in every physical education class in America? Why isn’t the sport embraced at the highest levels of government. Why aren’t sports writers clamoring to cover our events? Where are the police and labor unions; if wrestling is all we say it is, why isn’t Beat the Streets in every city? Why isn’t the American Medical Association married to our programming with all its health benefits?
I know the answers to these questions and virtually every other issue that affects wrestling. That’s one of the benefits of being in the sport for over 50 years; you not only get to see trends but feel them as well.
Won’t you join me?
Each week I’ll answer the what, when, where, why and who of wrestling, complete with non-political honesty in an out-of-the-box writing style. In doing so, I hope I don’t offend, but if I do, let me apologize in advance. My goal isn’t to antagonize but rather confront the issues with honey when warranted and vinegar if deserved; in an all out effort to save our sport.