There was very short time left in the match, I was down 6-4, and I needed a takedown.
I kept shooting and attempting takedowns, but nothing was working.
I was exhausted and near my limit.
I considered stopping and giving up, I asked myself with only 12 seconds left how could I win?
That was until we went out of bounds and I saw the exhaustion in my opponent’s eyes.
As we went back to the center, I heard a quiet, but powerful voice in my head.
It told me to “Always be the first person back to the circle.”
Which is what you wrote on the inside cover of a book you sent to me after I emailed you about how much your books inspired me.
Snapping back into reality, I realized my opponent was even more tired than I was.
There was no way I was going to let him stall out the last few seconds for the win.
I heard my team cheering for me.
A burst of adrenaline shot through my body.
As soon as the whistle blew I took a shot and with every ounce of my strength and energy, I got the takedown.
Better yet, my fireman’s carry took him to his back.
I got back points in the final few seconds to win the match 8-6.
After the buzzer blew, I immediately jumped to my feet and started clapping.
I was extremely excited and overjoyed that I pulled out the win.
The whole gym was on their feet screaming, and I heard my coaches scream
“Good job, Gino – That’s how you finish!”
It may only have been a regular season dual meet win, but it gave me a great confidence boost to start the season.
I went to bed that night with the biggest smile on my face.
All the hard work and sacrifices I made were worth getting my hand raised.
Capturing the People and Culture of the Greatest Sport on Earth.