Not I, nor anyone else
Can travel that road for you.
You must travel it yourself.
There is a picture that sits behind my dresser in my bedroom stored between my dresser and the wall.
Every so often, I come across it.
Every time I do, I wonder,
“What if I got that two count?”
The picture I am referring to is a picture of me in my last high school wrestling match having lat dropped my rival but unable to have kept him on his back long enough to get a two count which would have won the match.
I got a one count.
And I lost by one point.
I have always wondered, “What if I got that two count?”
For years I remained immature about the situation and felt cheated,
“How didn’t the ref get down in time to properly count back points?”
That one second haunted me for a long time.
That one second took twenty-six years for me to get over.
The significance of that one second to my life took me twenty-six years to fully understand.
After twenty-six years, I finally got it.
Life doesn’t happen to you,
It happens for you.
Winning a New York State Wrestling Championship wasn’t to be my journey.
You see if I had gotten that two count my life wouldn’t be the same.
If I had got that two count, without a doubt, I would have gone to a different college.
Having gone to a different college,
I more than likely would have stopped dating the girl I was dating at the time, which turned out to be my future wife.
And without marrying my wife, we would not have had any of our kids.
If I would have gotten that two count, I wouldn’t have the people in my life that I now love the most.
My life wouldn’t be as I know it.
I would never trade any member of my family for a state championship.
Not even for 4 state championships.
I believe life happened for me when I got that one count, even though I couldn’t comprehend the loss at the time.
Today I believe I am exactly where I was meant to be.
I believe I have become the person I was meant to be.
I believe adversity and struggle have shaped and carved me into who I am.
I am the best version of myself.
And I have the sport of wrestling, and a one count in my final high school match to thank for that.
I believe my journey was specifically designed for me.
I also believe that you, too, have a journey specifically designed for you.
You may not understand it; it may take years to appear, but I assure you, the journey that is awaiting you, the one that is designed specifically for you is far greater than the journey you currently desire.
Retired Oakland A’s pitcher Barry Zito on reflecting looking back on his sports career and comparing it to life after it said,
“Beyond all of the achievements, the single thing that fulfills me today is the acceptance of myself as a worthy and valuable person, regardless of what my stature or position in the world was on a given day of my sports career.”
And that is the real goal.
The one the Universe is teaching you by tricking you into thinking your athletic efforts are for glory on the mat.
They are not.
They are about preparing you to live a glorious life off the mat.
This is a chapter from “Wrestling Rules for Life”
Which can be purchased at