Ups and Downs of Wrestling
By: Zoey Lints
Starting off your wrestling career can be hard, but is so worth it.
I started wrestling when I was very young and have stuck to it ever since. Growing up, I always watched my brothers wrestle and they were beyond talented at it. I wanted to be just like them, but now I want to be better. With the mindset I have developed over the past months, I believe that if I stay dedicated, I can do anything.
My father took me to compete in tournaments very often as a little kid. Usually I would beat all the boys and stand on top of the podium. Winning made me proud and I always smiled with my CrAzY socks on. I almost always won during my youth tournaments, and always had supportive people all around me.
Soon after that I was on my small high school’s wrestling team. Being a wrestler in a school that’s all about basketball wasn’t easy. The team got smaller and smaller. Some days I would walk into the practice room and have to wrestle someone many weight classes above me. That’s all we had. I was lucky enough to join a club for wrestling to go to after school. When I went there many wrestlers were uninterested in wrestling me because I was new to the club, and sometimes being a female made people not want to wrestle me.
The tournaments I wrestled in for my school were very challenging for me. I started getting more and more losses on my record. I knew I could win but going on the mat felt different. I got so nervous, and the losses just kept coming in.
My freshman year, my school was merged with a bigger school. I got along with all my teammates and have friendships with most of them. At duals I continued to wrestle poorly because I developed a fear of wrestling in front of people. Also, all I did was go to wrestling practice in school and then go to a club practice after school. I didn’t do too much extra besides running. After I didn’t qualify for sectionals last season, I started to change my ways.
I have goals set. Yes, I did have goals before but I didn’t truly believe they would happen. Finally after practicing, running, having a good mindset, and focusing on my goals every day, I feel I can accomplish everything I want to. I know that people are going to doubt me along the way, but I will keep pushing towards my goal.
I know that people are going to doubt me along the way, but I will keep pushing towards my goal.Zoey Lints
My advice to anyone who wants to start wrestling is to do extra and focus on what your goals are. The biggest mistake I have made during my wrestling career is worrying what other people think. Many people will say you can’t accomplish your goals, but don’t let that affect you. Are they putting in the work, time, and dedication? It’s all you, if you want to be better than you have to do it for yourself.
I am beyond excited to start entering tournaments again once they start becoming available. Everyone goes through ups and downs. Make the change in your own life and you will accomplish your goals.