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6 MINUTES WRESTLING WITH LIFE
Book 1 of the “Every Breath Is Gold” Series
Get ready to laugh, cry, smile and think…
Twenty-six years ago, my mission in life was to win a New York State Wrestling Championship.
I committed myself to a lifestyle, I made the sacrifices, I put in the time, I starved myself, I even shaved my head.
I had the hunger, the desire, and the determination, but I came up short.
For many years, after I graduated it seemed like I got nothing out of my six years of total dedication to the sport. That the trade-off of what I gave and what I got in return to this sport was way out of whack.
I hated wrestling for it.
To put every ounce of your soul into achieving something and to get nothing out of it in return was beyond my comprehension and I just could not justify it in my head.
Until I had adversity in my life.
And slowly but surely, I started realizing how much the sport of wrestling actually has given back to me.
Much more than I ever knew.
6 Minutes Wrestling with Life is much more than a wrestling book.
It is a book on life, love, loss, and belief.
Book 2 of the “Every Breath Is Gold” Series
There are going to be many occasions where you are faced with giving up, where the normal person would not hold it against you for stopping, where almost everyone would give you a pat on the back for a valiant effort.
It is at that time that you have a choice to make, you could accept the alibi that is being thrown to you, or you can try “Again.”
The ability to keep going on when you think that you can’t go on anymore.
When you have given everything to achieve a goal and you come up short.
Your fight inside of you cannot be dictated by the amount of time left on the clock, or by the score, or by relying on getting good breaks over bad ones.
Your fight inside of you must be dictated by the outcome that you want to achieve.
It is recommended that you read 6 Minutes Wrestling with Life prior.
Your Soul Knows
I believe every experience we go through in life is to prepare us for what is to come in our lives.
To teach us the life lessons we need to know so we can best handle our ultimate test, somewhere in the future.
I believe that our lives are an accumulation of life lessons that can only be learned by personal experience, to be completely understood.
I believe the universe takes us on goals and missions in our lives we believe are the most important things to us at the time.
It does this to teach us lessons that we need to experience and learn, so we can successfully execute them when our real mission in life finally arrives.
I believe that if you really listen, your soul will talk to you.
And when it does…
Listen, Trust, Act
Includes 3 Memoirs:
6 Minutes Wrestling with Life, Again, Your Soul Knows
A Good Man
It has taken me all of my life to realize my goal in life is not to look successful to the world, but to be significant to a few.
There are times when you meet someone who winds up making a big difference in your life. In the way, you think, how you act, who you have become. And despite time or their absence, a piece of them continue to live inside of you.
My life has bounced between the extremes of exhilarating and excruciating many times, but no matter where my life is in my life’s cycle the impact this one man has had on it has always been quite evident.
A Good Man has that effect on you.
Wrestling Writing Capturing the People and Culture
Of the Greatest Sport on Earth.
30+ Inspirational Wrestling stories.
Contains all the stories in the “Wrestling Singles Series” plus much more.
One of the greatest assets in my life, other than my family and friends has been the sport of wrestling.
It has made me into the person I am today.
A person who can handle whatever adversity life throws at me.
The disciplines of wrestling are impactful on a young athlete’s life.
At first, one wrestles to win championships.
Then, after many years, one realizes it wasn’t the pursuit of championships that wrestling was all about –wrestling is about preparing you for life.
I owe a great deal to this sport, that is why I write about it so passionately.
I have written about the sport in my memoirs,
“6 Minutes Wrestling with Life,” “Again,” and “Your Soul Knows,” and I continue to write about it in this blog.
This book is a compilation of all my writing on the sport.
The book is designed to be read like each chapter is a short story, separate from one another.
Chapters can be read in order or randomly, that is your preference.
I felt it was necessary to compile all my writing of this great sport under one cover.
The chapters that are excerpts of my other books have been slightly edited to preserve the integrity of the story they come from.
I hope you enjoy reading “Wrestling Writing,” as much as I have enjoyed living it.
The Wrestling Singles Series
Each single captures the people and culture of the greatest sport on earth.
The sport of wrestling.
Each single is written in a short, concise, powerful format; they are written true to form as most are approximately 20 pages in length.
Each Single can be purchased separately or they all are available in “Wrestling Writing“
Have you ever wondered why two wrestlers can wrestle multiple times with drastically different results?
Or why –
wrestler A beat wrestler B,
wrestler B beat wrestler C,
but wrestler A lost to wrestler C?
The answer is hidden in plain sight.
Styles make matches.
Choosing to match your style versus your opponents, to create and wrestle in advantaged positions and avoid wrestling in disadvantaged positions, is the most underutilized strategic asset in wrestling.
The wrestler who wrestles in his advantage position, for a greater amount of time in the match, will have the higher probability of winning.
That is the reason why two wrestlers wrestle multiple times with drastically different outcomes, and why the logic doesn’t hold that if one wrestler beat another he should be able to beat the wrestler his prior opponent beat.
If you watch and research matches between the same wrestler’s you will see, more times than not, the reason there was a different outcome in each match was that one wrestler was able to wrestle in his advantage position in one match and was not able to do so in the other.
A wrestlers’ job is to understand which position is his advantage position versus each one of his opponents.
In which position the highest probability of scoring points as quickly as possibly exists.
And to get to that position.
I believe you don’t get to that position by chance,
I believe you get to that position by choice.
We have all seen the contest where a person in a bank vault has 360 seconds to grab as much money as possible.
If it were you, would you stop grabbing money after you had “just enough” in your hands?
Would you stop grabbing money when there were only 60 seconds left?
Would you ever be too tired to keep grabbing more money?
Because the reward of what that money can do for you overrides any of the reasons to stop.
A wrestling match is the same type of contest.
You need to have the same kind of mindset.
To a wrestler, points are money.
In each match, you have 360 seconds to score as many points as possible.
When the whistle blows, the allure of scoring points must override any and all obstacles.
Have a safe lead?
Need to score more points.
Have short time?
Need to score more points.
Have a fear of losing?
Need to score more points.
As like with the money grab, the only time you stop scoring points is when there is no time left in the contest.
I was once told –
The type of wrestler I was,
Will be the kind of man I will be…
What makes one wrestler fight and another wrestler give up?
Is it talent?
It is not talent; it is something much more reliable than talent.
It it training?
It is not training; it is something much more valuable than training.
Is it experience?
It is not experience; it is something much more invisible than experience.
It is will.
And it can’t be taught, only discovered.
“Last year I enrolled at ESM after wrestling certifications so I couldn’t wrestle during the season, but I still went to every practice.”
I asked him, “What do you mean you went to every practice?
Why would you attend practice if you knew you couldn’t wrestle in the season?”
His answer floored me.
He said, “Because for the first time in my life I knew what it was like to be part of a family. My wrestling coaches and teammates make me feel part of something. They were there for me. When they found out about my situation, they raised money for me through a tournament – and they never told anyone. I would do anything for them.”
He went on to share with me that his goal is to ‘just win 1 match in his high school wrestling career.”
Now, to you and I, that goal sounds like it comes from an underachiever – but if you ever knew his circumstances, you would understand how overachieving and insurmountable “just 1 win” seems to him.
Thirty-three years later, what we understood now, that we didn’t quite comprehend then was it was the losses and not the wins that best prepared us for life.
They taught us how to handle and come back from adversity.
How to fight, and how to win.
For us, but most importantly for our families.
“4 Inspirational Wrestling Works” captures the essence of the sport of wrestling.
And why the sport is so valuable later in life.
The Pursuit – Is a reminder of what the sport of wrestling actually teaches young athletes and how it prepares them for life.
It Has to Hurt – Is the discovery of how and why to trust your emotions.
Be Incapable of Discouragement – Is the mastery of emotions.
The 2% Toll – A story about never cheating yourself.
For those rare wrestlers who strive to be great, they take no solace in moral victories or in losing close matches.
They see things in black and white, not in shades.
Black is losing.
White is winning.
There is no gray.
“You can’t stop now – you are right there.”
He muttered, “I’m done.”
I said, “You need to do it again.”
“I don’t want to do it again, I’m done,” he stated vehemently.
“I never said this was going to be easy, I said it was going to be worth it.”
“Why do you think some wrestlers All-American, and some don’t? What is the difference between the two?” I asked him.
He shot back at me a vicious blank stare, with a quivering lip.
“The difference is the wrestlers that All-American figure it out, they find a way,” I tell him.
“When it means that much to you, and you want to figure it out, to find a way, pick up your shoes and let’s do it again,” I said to him, and I walked away.
Just before I got to the area of the hallway where I needed to make a right turn to be out of his view, I glanced over my shoulder and I saw him bend over and pick up his shoes.
He was ready to do it again.
All of JohnA Passaro’s books are available at these fine online stores: