Excerpt from “Again”

The reason I have elected to write my name as JohnA Passaro is because of the feeling I get when I hear it said.

When I wrestled in high school, there could be a thousand people screaming at the top of their lungs during my matches, but there were only two voices that I heard, no matter what the situation was.

One voice was from my brother Joe, and the other voice was from my coach, Dan Nolan.

Whenever things got tough in the match, and I needed to draw upon something for a boost, I would hear,



Most everyone else called me Johnny.

They called me “JohnA”

With the emphasis on the A.

During all my matches that I can recall, the voices of my brother and my coach, the two people I would run through a brick wall for, came through crystal clear.

Like Billy Chapel when he “cleared the mechanism”.

All screams went to mute, and then I would hear crystal clear,



They say you like someone because of the way that they make you feel.

I believe that.

Hearing “JohnA” in Coach Nolan’s or my brother Joe’s voice immediately made me feel confident.

Believed in.

Like the outcome had already been predetermined.

And they knew that I won.

That it was just a formality that I had to finish the match.

That my hand would be raised.


So I have added the A to my first name as a silent reminder and tribute to the two great coaches I had in my life that gave me an inner confidence in myself.

To this day, I love the way hearing “JohnA” makes me feel.


Whenever I need a boost of confidence, I say “JohnA” over and over in my head, trying to mimic the exact dialect of my brother Joe and Coach Nolan.

Read the Next Story – The Shirt

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