With my size in high school I was almost a shoe in for the wrestling team. This allowed me to work out even more, and yet learn some skills along the way. I fought in a weight class higher than most due to the size I had put on, and a lot of my competition was more local kids who were just higher in weight, rather than actually developed to that state. This led to a lot of easy wins on my behalf, and I quickly rose to state champ in my division. There was a few guys who had gone on the same journey as me, and put up a lot of competition, but there was something about my drive that led me to only wanting to be the best, so I assume I just put in more work than they did.
I don’t like to disparage any of the other people I had gone up against, a lot of them are great guys who I am still friends with today, but there was something about the approach I had that was more successful, and I’m proud of those accomplishments. It was through my wrestling that I got a scholarship for college. It was great to have that level of recognition for the work I put into it. I went on to go three time collegiate wrestling champion, and yet through this time was also when I started to learn about partying, booze and sex. I lost some of the focus that had served me so well throughout ,y life thus far, and my grades began to slip to dangerous levels.
I had this mentality though, that I was the star wrestler, and teachers would look the other way, I could coast by on my size and talent, and not have to worry about any repercussions for my actions. As you can probably assume by this point, that’s exactly the opposite of what happened. I wound up on academic probation, which cut off my ability to wrestle, and by the time I decided to take my acumen more seriously, it was already too late. I wound up being kicked out of school for my grades, and finding myself, for the first time in my life with no idea what I was going to do.
You see, throughout all of this, I had been banking on, and coasting by my size, popularity and wrestling ability. I never considered that I would have to do anything else. In fact, I didn’t even think of what I was going to do after college, when amateur wrestling was no longer an option. I had thought about trying out for the Olympics, but now without the “in” of the college backing, I wasn’t sure I could even try out. It was a difficult time for me, and the answer I needed came out of the strangest place, for me, imaginable. But turned my life to what it is today and going forward.