Personal Narrative Essay: How I Changed My Life

Submitted By CuervoWiliam12
Words: 1435
Pages: 6

The year was 2009. I had just finished my freshman year and was on my way to sophomore year with only one thing on my mind: wrestling. I had had a pretty respectable freshman season, ending it with a 5th place at freshman states and placing several times in a few East coast tournaments. My life then was minimal studying, lots of chewing tobacco, and lots of wrestling. I would practice like a madman every day for at least two hours; one day, in the dead heat of July, something happened that would change my world forever. It’s an event in my life that would forever make me believe in hard work. It was the middle of July, and I was finishing up the usual ridiculously intense summer practices at my high school, we practiced long and hard, even in the off-season. I would picture myself winning every tournament at every practice, but I failed to see how I would win. Then, my coach pulled me to the side and asked me if I would be interested in wrestling in the Poconos with a few of the more experienced guys. I, of course, happily accepted and was giddy with excitement for a chance to compete in, what was at the time, the largest tournament to which I had ever been invited. Little did I know that said tournament would result in one of the most painful injuries I have ever experienced and, more importantly, one of the most important life lessons that I would ever experience. My life would never be the same again. My wrestling at that time in my life was a lot like my attitude towards life: shoddy and not nearly bold enough. I was quiet and harbored little care in the world for anything to be done precisely or accurately; this was reflected in my time on the mat as well as some of my schoolwork. I was in all honors and advanced classes with mainly B’s and B+’s, yet teachers would always love to send, what at the time had seemed to me as miniscule and unnecessary notes home, such as “needs improvement” or “not working to full potential.” I felt this advice to be meaningless, and rude in nature. I felt that all that these teachers were just saying what they were supposed to say to each and every student. Naturally, I would lie to my mother when such allegation would arise and proceed to tell her that I was most definitely working to my full potential and that the teacher was simply not a fan of me. My performance on the mat was noticeably lacking as well. I was extremely well conditioned, and yet I still was afraid to take basic risks, which were usually necessary. The problem that led to my demise would be that I was never willing to do what is considered a “bucket step”. This small step is essential in assuring a takedown, which would in turn lead to points and a hopeful victory. This small movement of my foot to the left, or lack thereof, would be my wake up call. It was a simple movement: simply step to the right with one’s right foot while attacking and lunging forward, and proceed with the takedown. An extra step that, due to my ignorance at the time, would always skip and it would usually work out for me. Just as taking an extra step in prewriting in an English or writing class would benefit me, or taking out the trash at home when not asked would be a nice gesture, or how just taking the extra time out of my day to be a better person would help, I ignored the right thing to do. I can sit here and lie to myself by saying that I skipped the step because I was lazy, but the cold hard truth is that I thought I was above it. So the morning finally came, I woke up at 4:00 am and ran about 3.5 miles and did a few drills in order to make sure my weight would be low enough to wrestle at 1:00 pm the same day. The black Ford pickup truck picked me up at 9:00 am promptly, and we were on our way. The whole time on the drive down I thought about winning, the glory of winning a big tournament like that as a sophomore, just the sense of pride and glory. What ceased to be on my mind was technique, movement, and proper strategy,