Jordan Borroughs, the man in the arena

He was a favorite to win his 2nd gold in freestyle wrestling in Rio.

Today, I woke up to messages from my coach about Jordan Borroughs.

Jordan saying, “Something good will come out of this.” Lauren, his wife, “I may not ‘see gold’ around his neck this morning, but I see it everywhere else on him. I married a true champion.”

I can’t pretend to know how it must feel like to have a 129–2 record and then, in a day, lose two of the most important games of your life to date.

It sucks. I wish he didn’t have to go through that. I don’t want to ever have to go through that.

But by losing, Jordan lived an important lesson for us. In every match, somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. But no person is, by definition, a ~winner~ or a ~loser~.

Winning is something we all have to work at everyday. The score is not within our control. All we can do is attempt big things, train hard, and, most importantly, show up.

One of the most striking things about Jordan is his Twitter handle is @alliseeisgold.

While normal people would see such audaciousness as shamelessness or “kapal ng mukha,” and I used to be one of those people… Jason Ferruggia said something I will never forget:

The decision to try big things, put yourself out there, and self promote is one made by a total lack of ego.
Deciding to stay in your comfort zone, never attempt anything big and never put yourself out there were you’ll be subject to ridicule and criticism is an ego based decision because you’re living in fear.

It’s so easy to sit in front of our computers and post status messages on Facebook about how that guy is stupid. Or this girl is so shameless to even think she has a shot. Or how politicians, athletes, and the rest of the world is going about this or that the wrong way.

Not so easy to actually show up and say, “This might not work, but I care enough to try.”

To quote my favorite president,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
“because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
“who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I like winning. I’ve always played to win. The other day, Jordan Borroughs lost, and I admire him all the more for it.