“If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.” – Lou Holtz
One thing that I like to share with people, especially at wrestling clinics, is that goals are important. They give us direction, they give us clarity, and they also help to provide motivation to continue working even when things get difficult or don’t seem to be going your way. With a clear goal, you can look at it and be reminded of why you are working so hard, or why you should be working harder. However, I think one of the best parts of a good specific goal is that it gives you a deadline to get something done.
When we have a specific deadline, it is much more likely that we will get something done, and often times we will do whatever it takes to get it done on time. For some reason, we like to meet deadlines. Just think about when you were in school and you had a paper due. Sure sometimes you waited until the night before to finish it, but the thing is that the paper got done. It may not have always been the best paper, but it did get finished and turned in, which is better than having nothing at all. If your boss gives you a deadline to complete a project, you are going to do whatever it takes to get it done, because even if you don’t like your job, you do like the money that they give to you for going to work every day.
I am good at getting things done when people ask or tell me to get them done by a certain day, perhaps you are as well. The key is to get good at doing the things we tell ourselves to do by a certain time frame. If we can hold ourselves to our own deadlines, then we are definitely on the path to accomplishing our goals. What’s your goal? When will you accomplish it? Good luck on your path to success.
I am a very lucky man. Early on in my wrestling career, I was fortunate enough to be blessed with some great coaches. Each one seemed to be able to add a useful element that would help me to grow and improve in the sport. One of these coaches was Mark Fuller, a four time Olympic team member in the sport of greco roman wrestling. At the time, I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to be able to work with a wrestler of his caliber that had traveled the world and competed at the very highest level of wrestling. I was just a kid, and I was new to the sport. You could say I was ignorant. During the time that I trained under Mark, I was able to learn a lot about wrestling as well as win some more wrestling matches. I was even fortunate to go on some of my first international wrestling competitions under his coaching. After I graduated high school, however, I moved away to college, and we lost touch.
Years passed, and while sitting in a church service in Orem, Utah, I was fortunate enough to bump into Mark again. We caught up with each other and set up an appointment to meet and talk about my training. I am glad that I was fortunate enough to meet up with Mark and spend some time talking with him. It is always nice to get some new input as well as remember a few of the things that helped you to get you to where you are at. Anyway I feel like I received a shot of adrenaline into my wrestling career. We have kept in touch, and he has provided me with some useful suggestions.
One of these suggestions was to read the book Mind Set by Dweck. This book has been one of the best books that I have ever read that not only relates to wrestling or sports, but it relates to everything. I know that through the years that I have spent as an athlete, I have heard coaches preach about the importance of mental toughness. Sure you have to be tough. Sure you have to have a strong mental game, but the way Dweck has been able to describe a pair of mind sets that people tend to have, it has really made me evaluate how I think about things.
When you don’t reach your goals, do you see it as a failure, or do you see it as a chance to learn something? How you look at the instances when you don’t succeed the way you set out to can have a huge impact on your future performance. If you get caught up in the “fixed” mindset, you are likely to see your failure as the type of person who can’t succeed. You base your utility on that one single performance. However, if you have the “growth” mindset, you will look at the failure as an opportunity to learn and get better. The book goes into greater detail about these two mind sets, but it is definitely thought provoking. Do you fail or do you learn? The choice is really up to all of us.
We drove from Slovenia to Serbia for a dual meet. It took us over 9 hours to reach our destination. This was all after having wrestled all day the day before. It was definitely a long trip.
It took all day to travel from Moscow to Tyumen. It was a real mess dealing with canceled flights and waiting for things to happen. Our seats weren’t even available. How am I going to wrestle if I can’t even make it to the tournament?
I am in Moscow, Russia getting ready to wrestle in the Ivan Poddubny wrestling tournament. Here is a little bit of what I have been up to to pass the time.
I am still in Moscow getting ready to wrestle in the Ivan Poddubny wrestling tournament. There should be a very strong field of competitors this year, and I am looking forward to wrestling with them. Here is a video with a little bit of what I have been up to while I’m here.
Well I made it to Moscow, Russia, and I will be spending a couple of days here before I head to Tumen, Russia to wrestle in the Ivan Poddubny tournament. Here is a little video of my first day here.
February 2nd, 2008
It is Saturday morning, and I just couldn’t sleep. This usually happens as I am still adjusting to the time zone. Anyway, yesterday was a pretty good practice. I lifted weights in the morning and drilled a little bit. I am really trying to get better at my body attacks. I have decided that I definitely have to have some better attacks on my feet if I am going to win in Beijing. I have been watching a couple of guys who have mastered the body attack and they are very successful in their matches. I am also still thinking about the tournament in Turkey. The first Turk that I lost to pretty much just out hustled me on our feet, and I am upset about that. I don’t think that an American wrestler should ever get out hustled on our feet. Most of us have been through the college grind and really know how to battle, and that is definitely something that I want to start taking advantage of in my wrestling.
In the afternoon practice, we wrestled matches. I am still feeling a little under the weather, but I am getting a lot better. I am still waiting to get my lungs back to full capacity. I wrestled with the Italian guy and the Kazakstan guy. The Italian guy has a good reverse lift and a good straight lift to the right side. I am glad that we can have foreign guys come and train with us so that we can get the chance to wrestle with them and figure them out a little better. The kazakstan guy has a good side lift and a good reverse lift not to mention a good gutwrench. He is pretty solid on the feet as well. He doesn’t do a lot from the feet, but he is really strong and holds good position. If you push the pace on him though he starts to open up a little bit.
We have this weekend off of training, and then I leave to the Chicago cup on Monday. We are going to be wrestling at Welsh-Ryan arena at Northwestern university and tickets are ten dollars. If anybody lives in the Chicago area it would be great to see you there. Today I will probably be packing. It seems like I just got my bags unpacked and now it is time to hit the road again.
February 1st, 2008
I am ın Istanbul, Turkey. The trıp over here was relatıvely trouble free. We made all of our connectıons and had no trouble, except that when we arrıved ın turkey, no one was here to meet us at the aırport. we waıted around for at least an hour before we were able to get some cabs and head to a hotel. ı was so exhausted last nıght but ı was able to stay up untıl nıne oclock before ı went to bed. ı am hopıng for a quıck sleep transıtıon thıs tıme around. my last trıp was pretty rough as far as adjustıng to the tıme zones go. ı am determıned to stay up today so that ı can sleep well agaın tonıght.
last nıght after we settled ınto our hotel we went out to eat at a restaurant. they have some pretty good food here. everytıme that ı have been to turkey ı have lıked the food and last nıght was no dıfferent. ı had a lıttle meatball plate that was delıcıous as well as some chıcken shıshkepab that was amazıng. I am sure that ı have wrıtten thıs before, but as long as ı lıke the food somewhere anythıng else can happen on the trıp and ı wıll stıll be just fıne. ı have a lıttle cold rıght now but ın a couple of days ı wıll be feelıng great. ı thınk that weıgh ıns are on frı and saturday and then we are rollıng.
after dınner we walked around town a lıttle bıt last nıght and looked at some dıfferent shops. there were a couple of stores that were sellıng some really nıce suıts that were pretty ınexpensıve. ı hear that they are even better ın some of the bazaars. hopefully we wıll be able to make ıt to one of those soon. there ıs also a lot to hıstory here. there are some really cool mosques here and there ıs even a sultans tomb here. ıt ıs a dıfferent culture.
Well when I was in the middle of writing that post while I was Turkey, my time ran out on the computer that I was using so I didn’t get a chance to finish it. Anyway the trip was alright. We ended up changing hotels and it was a pretty nice place to stay. The food was good and the hotel was clean, and they had a nice sauna. I was sick all week though, and that wasn’t a whole lot of fun. I pretty much just stayed inside of the hotel and watched the seinfeld seasons that I took with me. We have all nine seasons and I watched about six seasons so you can see that I had some time on my hands while I was laid up in my room. I weighed in okay and wrestled. I must say that I didn’t have an outstanding performance. I won my first match against an american. Can you believe that we traveled however many thousand miles and then we end up drawing each other for the first round of competition? After that I wrestled two turkish wrestlers who I lost to. I really just didn’t show up to wrestle. I don’t have an explanation for it. We had a couple of guys place. Durlacher made it to the final, and we had two guys take fifth place. Mark Rial 0ur 66 kilo guy got some really bad calls in the semifinal. He should have been in the final. He turned the turkish world champion in a front headlock, put him on his back and pinned him. The turk passed out while he was in the front headlock though so after they called the fall and were getting to raise Rial’s hand, some guys fr0m the side table called the official over and they waved off the fall and the pin. Rial ended up losing the match. It was definitely some homecooking as far as officiating was concerned, but I guess that is going to happen now and then.
Most of the other guys went downtown in Istanbul to check out the market. I guess they had some really nice suits that were pretty inexpensive, and there were several guys who ended up buying some. There were also some nice hand tied rugs there that a couple of guys bought. I am not much of a souvenir guy so I usually don’t buy a whole lot of stuff on trips. When I first started traveling internationally, I bought a lot of little trinkets; but they were mostly just junk. I try to remember to take pictures now and then on my trips and I write in my journal while I am gone so that usually suffices to provide memories.
We have a bunch of teams in town right now getting ready for the dave schultz tournament. I have been wrestling a little bit, but I am still a bit under the weather so I am trying to get some rest and get healthy. Yesterday while I was wrestling, I felt like I was working with half a lung. I am hoping to feel better by the end of the weekend. I am competing next Tuesday in chicago at the chicago cup. We are having a dual meet with Bulgaria. Then next weekend we are wrestling in the Dave Schultz tournament here in Colorado Springs. All of these competitions right now are practice to get ready for the pan am championships at the end of the month. That tournament is an Olympic qualifier, and I want to be fully prepared for it.
Anyway on a side note I just want to thank everyone who is helping me and supporting me to do what I am doing. The Wrights have been extremely helpful. BJ has been keeping up the site and doing a great job with it. He is always ready with whatever I have for him. Josh has been real helpful in setting up a clinic and some other fund raising. Thanks guys. I really appreciate it.