by Joseph Lowman
I was encouraged by my football coaches to wrestle when I first started playing Pop Warner in second grade. Wrestling has reinforced the values football taught me. In particular, wrestling requires a great deal of commitment. From the grueling nearly three hour practices to the all-day tournaments, it’s impossible to stay on the team unless one is passionate about the competition. In high school, I was given the opportunity to wrestle on the varsity team every year. Both my freshman and sophomore year I came up short of a league championship by losing to the same upperclassman. My junior year, I had a new competitor. During the season, I had multiple close matches against him, including one that went into overtime. I knew the battle for the league championship would come down to the two of us and I wasn’t going to hold anything back. I began to film his matches and learn about his style of wrestling. Three times a week, I got up at five AM, went to lift weights with the football team, and then went on a run by myself. At practice, I trained harder than anyone else. The league championship, as predicted, came down to a first place match between my rival and me. The match was very close, and I was only ahead by a point or two. In the last five seconds of the match, my rival nearly scored, but I was able to hold him off and win my first championship. I know that I did everything in my power to prepare for that match, but if I had missed one workout or skipped one practice, I would have lost. It took every ounce of effort to win that match.
Joseph currently attends MIT, and plans to major in mechanical engineering. A 2013 graduate of Half Moon Bay High School, Joseph was a two-time league champion and finished in the top 16 of the California state tournament as a senior. His high school coaching staff led him to success, with coaches Tom Baker, Jim Claitor, Gabe Gammon, and 2011 alumni John Claitor. Joseph currently wrestles and plays football for MIT.
Originally published at wrestlingstories.org.