This was posted in our closed group, The Wrestling Insider this morning. This is a great story and I’m sure comparable to so many young men and now women wrestlers all over the world. For whatever reason you started wrestling, for so many it becomes a way of life. By high school most kids are wrestling year round and when they’re not wrestling, they’re thinking about wrestling. Enjoy this story by Logan Dean, by the way Logan accomplished his goal of winning a Virginia State title this year. (See more details at the end of the article)
(Reprinted with permission by Mrs. Dean)
“When I was born, my dad placed a tiny pair of wrestling shoes on my little feet. He did so before my mother even held me. so the sport of wrestling had its arms around me very early in my life. Since then, it has always been a big part of my life. It has made me who I am today. I am a wrestler.
Dad said he put the shoes on me because he knew I was a fighter. You see, I was a preemie and had to be placed on a ventilator soon after my birth. Days and weeks passed and my health didn’t improve. The doctors advised my parents to take me off the ventilator and “let nature take its course”. My parents refused. Instead, they prayed. The very next day, I began breathing on my own. God gave me strength and I wrestled death and won. I am a wrestler.
Day by day, I got stronger. I soon made a complete recovery. Four short years later, my dad put wrestling shoes on my feet again. This time I would step on the mat to face my first tangible opponent. He wrestled for a storied wrestling program; a program that had won twelve state championships. Most people expected me to lose; but not my parents and not me. I took my position on the mat. The whistle blew. I took my opponent down and pinned him. After all, I had wrestled death and won and he was just a mere mortal. I am a wrestler.
Years passed. I kept wrestling. I continued to learn and grow. I learned something from every practice and every match. However, I learned the most from the defeats I suffered. I despised the way it felt, the way it hurt. The losses made me work harder. They made me hungrier for the taste of victory. So I ran. I lifted weights. I practiced harder. As a result, I made it to the finals of the AAU National Tournament. My dad once again, as it had become tradition, placed my wrestling shoes on my feet. I stepped on the mat. I remembered how hard I had worked and how far I had come since the first time my dad had put my shoes on my feet. Then, before I stepped off the mat, the referee raised my hand in victory. I am a wrestler.
The next year, I became a varsity wrestler. Varsity wrestling was a family affair. My brother wrestled and my parents coached. My dad continued to put my shoes on my feet before every match and I kept practicing and competing. After a lot of hard work and dedication, I became a four time district champion and a four time regional champion. I also earned over two hundred career victories. I am a wrestler.
Now, I am a senior in high school. In a few short days, I will compete in my final varsity wrestling tournament. Although I have worked hard and won many matches, a state title has eluded me. This is my last chance. Soon, my dad will put my wrestling shoes on my feet and I will take to the mat for the last time of my high school career. As I step on the mat, I will remind myself of all the hard work I have put in and all of the sacrifices I have made to get to this point. I will also remind myself of the first time my dad put wrestling shoes on my feet. I will remember my first opponent. I will remember how hard I fought. I will remember that I defeated death. Then, I will wrestle as hard as I possibly can; and win or lose, I will know – I am a wrestler.”
In case you’re wondering, Logan did earn his State title this year in Virginia at 170 lbs, his last chance as he is a senior at Castlewood High School. Logan transferred from J.L. Burton just before Christmas break and stated “The move worked out great, I have more teammates and coaches, so it’s good all around”~ said Dean. Logan also earned more than 200 career wins in high school. (for full article- go to www.tricities.com by Allen Gregory of the Bristol Herald Courier)