Quitting On Your Potential

Two U.S. Air Force members wrestling in a Grec...

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In high school, I quit wrestling at the peak of my wrestling career. I had just come off a nice run at kid states taking first place at a big qualifying round, I was going to be made a captain of the varsity team, and I was just beginning to master some advanced techniques. Techniques that I learned at a wrestling clinic an hour away called the Edge, taught from 6 – 8pm, after already having high school practice from 2 – 5pm (not to mention school from 7am – 2pm – about a 15hr day all in). And during that time when I had all of that momentum, I flat-out quit.


At the time I realized that wrestling, for me, had a very low ceiling. Even if I became the best in my weight class, I wasn’t sure I liked the best case scenarios. I asked myself, “What if I were the best?” What would that mean for me? Wrestling at college? The olympics?” Those weren’t goals I wanted to pursue, even though they are very worthwhile and I commend those that have pursued that path. Instead, I quit and devoted that time to ski patrol and this year marks my 10th year on ski patrol. After I quit, people would joke around and call me names like “ski bunny” but I didn’t really mind because I knew it was the right decision for me. And in those years, I’ve had invaluable experiences and lessons. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have had equally as valuable lessons with wrestling (I’m sure I would have), but I am saying the lessons would have been very different and that difference was worth making the decision to quit wrestling at a time when I knew I still had a lot of potential.

Had I continued wrestling, I would certainly not be where I am today and I would certainly not have experienced some of the best moments of my life – like this.

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