But the difference was the passion was back. When we made a delivery to an excited team or had a coach send us pictures of their new gear, it gave me that feeling that I remembered from so long ago. The feeling of standing on the mat, hand raised in victory. The feeling of pride I got watching as an athlete overcame an obstacle they had struggled with or bested a fierce opponent.
The glory in those photographs and the confidence on those kids’ faces wasn’t mine, but I knew in some small way that I was giving back to the sport that had given me so much.
So this, then, is a long-winded thank you. I know that you are the parent tirelessly shuttling athletes back and forth to practice and competition. I know that you are the coach watching films or cleaning equipment or preparing drills and asking for so little in return.
You are the one that makes Wrestling such a transformative experience. Without your support, your patience, and your dedication the sport would not be able to have such a profound impact on so many young people.
You have given me the opportunity to wake up every day and do something I’m passionate about for the last fourteen years, and I’m humbled by that.
I thank you, and the 25 men and women here at oscarsturtlereef thank you for the support you’ve shown for us. We couldn’t do it without you.
- Gonz Medina and Jason Heslop