In 1987 the hardest thing a college freshman could have done was wrestle for the University of Iowa under Dan Gable.
When is the last time you were in a room with a group of guys who wanted to hurt you? When is the last time those guys were your teammates?
Wrestling isn’t fun. Wrestlers are mean. No one smiles at a wrestling practice.
Even when your body is young, you never fully recovery between practices. The grind never ends.
So why did some 24-year old dork in film school at NYU decided to pack his bags and head to Iowa? What was thinking? What was wrong with him?
What did he accomplish after 4 years of Iowa? What did he learn – not just about wrestling, but about life?
You don’t have to understand much about wrestling to enjoy this inspirational blog, Wrestling for Gable.
There was a passage in the book I’m reading, called “The Discoverers,” about the 16th century Chinese and how they were isolated from the rest of the world. They drew all their maps of the world with themselves as the center, and all the far-off places that they’d heard of they merely put on the map as tiny little islands.
If you only measure yourself against things you already know, your map of the world is always going to be too small.
And that’s why I’m here.
Jenny wants a normal life. I want an extraordinary life. I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know what I want.
I know what I don’t want:
I don’t want to live in suburban Cleveland and have a mustache and sell stereos at Best Buy. I don’t want my house cluttered with garage sale bric-a-brac, with ceramic figurines and antique dolls and those stupid arts-and-crafts cloth rabbits with the ears that don’t stand up.
I don’t want refrigerator magnets shaped like fruit, and I don’t want a kitchen memo board that says “Bless This Mess,” or a hot plate that says “May the Road Rise to Meet You” (whatever the f— that means). I don’t ever want to get so comfortable or complacent that I have to sigh and say, “This is it–the best I can do now is keep the lawn mowed.”
Gable is cool. He gave a great motivational speech at last night’s practice. He’s not just a wrestling fanatic. He’s a life fanatic. He believes in reaching one’s maximum potential. He believes in toughness–in being strong. Sometime in our lives we will all have to face adversity–trauma, death, whatever it is. Maybe it’s the death of our parents, a brother or sister, the breakup of a marriage, the loss of a job, whatever. It’s coming. It’s going to happen. How are we going to handle ourselves then, as human beings? We’ve got to confront our fears, and we’ve got to come to terms with these realities. And we’ve got to be able to deal with them so that we can get on with living.
Follow me on Twitter for fun and excitement – @playdangerously.