My high school wrestling coach had a huge impact on my life. Hell, I didn’t even want to join that team. I thought it’d be hard work. But my coach Mitch Chuvalo, son of Canadian legend George Chuvalo saw something in me that I still fail to see today. As my phys ed teacher, he grabbed me by the arm in the hallway and harassed me until I gave in to joining his damn team. And I was right. It was hard work and a load more on top of that. Nothing like that soap opera called pro-wrestling.
Coach Chuvalo single-handedly steered my life on a course that I couldn’t imagine not being on. The course of discipline and hard work. The course of acknowledging one’s fears and limitations, but struggling and building the mental toughness to push one’s physical limitations. Early morning practices before the crack of dawn. Sweating buckets, bloody noses, scrunched up ears. It was glorious hell.
A legendary American wrestler, Dan Gable captures the heart of wrestling in many of his quotes. These are quotes to live by, and can be applied to strength training and everyday life just the same. Without further ado here are my favourites:
- Gold medals aren’t made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
- Right out of high school I never had the fear of getting beat, which is how most people lose.
- A lot of my intensity in wrestling was due to my mental preparation before matches. I got myself into a different world.
- My valleys are higher than most people’s peaks. I stay at that level.
- The easiest thing to do in the world is pull the covers up over your head and go back to sleep.
- There’s always ways of motivating yourself to higher levels. Write about it, dream about it. But after that, turn it into action. Don’t just dream.
- I’ve never changed my life since I was 4 and went to the YMCA with a gym bag. I still have that philosophy. In fact, I still have that gym bag.