On July 20th, 1988 Anthony Robles came into this world with only one leg but enough determination to accomplish something incredible that most young men with both legs could only dream of.
Anthony cast aside his prosthetic leg at the ripe old age of three. His mother tells people that his sense of determination was prevalent in his little personality even then. As he grew up he worked to strengthen the rest of his body with various exercises to compensate for the missing limb, and in his sixth grade year he set a record for the most pushups by any student in the school.
Two years later, in eighth grade, Anthony became fascinated with wrestling by watching one of his older cousins practice. Not to be deterred by the fact that he was missing a limb and would sacrifice some level of mobility on the mat, he began pursuing his dream. Anthony was determined to be a successful competitive wrestler, and he conditioned his mind and body to attain that goal.
Monday Morning Perspective:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
– Henry David Thoreau
“All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.”
– T.E. Lawrence
So what became of the one-legged young man who wanted to become a wrestler, you may ask? Well, the story certainly didn’t end with his conviction and drive. That was merely the beginning.
Robles wrestled for his high school in Mesa, Arizona and graduated with a competitive record of 129-15, going 46-0 in both his junior and senior years earning him two Arizona State wrestling championship titles.
He went on to Arizona State University where he wasn’t recruited for the wrestling team. He chose to redshirt his freshman year and proved he was worthy of belonging to the squad when he finished that year nationally ranked. In the next three years Anthony defied all odds competing at 125 lbs. He left Arizona State University a three-time All-American, a three-time Pac-10 Wrestling Champion, and the reigning NCAA Champion. Talk about making dreams come true! Anthony did that in a big way!
When you think about the challenges that Anthony had to overcome to realize his dream of becoming a competitive wrestler, the story is amazing. If he had never won a single match, it would still be a story worth repeating. The real golden nugget in Anthony’s example is that he wasn’t satisfied with completion- that wasn’t enough. Anthony wanted to win. He dreamed about it. He practiced for it. He embodied the fighting spirit that has to exist for an athlete to succeed at that level, and he realized his dreams through sheer determination and will.
No matter what the obstacle or challenge may be, we can always overcome it- so long as our desire to win is stronger than our fear of losing. Anthony didn’t recognize his limitations, and neither should you.
Have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2011. All rights reserved.