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.
I believe strong High School wrestlings programs are in the best interest of our national security.
I learned to wrestle when my big brother came home from his high school practices. I was only a 7th grader in 1964 when I learned how to wrestle in our living room. Yes we broke many lamps and nick nacks mom had. In 8th grade I went to practice with the high school team and truly became a wrestler. I took 2nd in the state of Pa. Jr. wrestling. After a tour in Viet Nam and an enlistment in the US Army I started to coach wrestling. In 1986 I broke my back in a 3 wheeled ATV accident and became a paraplegic (PERMANENT) . I still coached wrestling for 15 more years from the wheelchair but one thing I learned as a wrestler back in the 60’s was you never quit, no matter what happens in life. Since then I have become a National Gold medalist at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games NVWG. I have Gold medals in the 100 M 1500M sprint, 50 yard Butterfly swim, bowling and softball along with medals in archery as well. I continue to compete in the NVWG (this year in Tampa, FLa. ) Wrestling has made me the person I am today and until the day the Lord takes me home !!!!!!
Frenchy . . . what a nice, moving and special post. Giving back as you were so graciously given as a young man. Our love for this sport opens so many doors. Thank you for writing and sharing your passion with my readership. I will do my best to make stopping by this blog worth your time. Please stay safe. Warm Regards.
My two son’s wrestled and they’ve told me the one thing that has helped them the most in their life’s endeavors has been wrestling…and I concur.
Wade you being an extremely well known…and highly successful member of the wrestling community will go far in educating the masses. It is time that more measures are taken to further the sport and the recognition that our outstanding athletes deserve. I am sure I speak for all when I say thank you in advance for your efforts to do so.
Great article, looking forward to the what, when, why, where and who’s .
as a former teacher, I’ve found that today’s kids aren’t encouraged to work hard. Society has made it easy to “slack”. There are many reasons for these changes…however, wrestling needs to be an option for those who are willing to dedicate themselves to the sport. The benefits are worth every tear, bead of sweat, and drop of blood. Not to mention what good men wrestler’s become!
Ditto. Very well said and written.
Ditto. Very well said and written.
I am looking forwad to hearing your insight onnthese matters.
You are going in the right direction and I hope it helps. Because everyone who has wrestled knows what it did for them.
I think that the two major problems is that most uninformed people try to equate our sport with the pro sport and do not see the actual skill and time it takes to be successful at it. Secondly, it is not supported by corporations and media as other sports are. When I have the chance to watch nationals I have seen some of the finest athletes in the country. The coaching has been absolutely incredible which has made the youngsters even better. I feel not much needs to be fixed but I wish that you could turn on the Tv and watch wrestling like you do college football or basketball. A network like the golf channel or maybe the Big Ten channel starts to show more matches. A lot of people only associate Penn State as a football team but I bet few very few people even know that Penn State has won th team National Championship the past few years. Wade I have always been frustrated by that even long after I was incapable of competing any longer.
Nice write up! Very true. While a shame that we do not get more press, every male member of my family will participate in this sport, and God willing their children. Maybe that is how we will prevail, one family at a time; father to son, brother to brother, cousin to cousin.
I always like ,almost always like what you say. But I respect your opinion . I was a rider but get rid of riding time. No match should end on 1 second riding time. Ride them out or take them down.Not popular I know,just my opinion. Look forward to your many thoughts. Marlin
Well said wade. I am the president of kingsway Jr wrestling and I will post wherever I can.
Great intro Wade..I am looking forward to hearing from the greatest pinner in the history of the sport each and every week.
“Once you have wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”