An Open Letter To The Athlete Who Wants To Give Up

Subject: An Open Letter To The Athlete Who Wants To Give Up
From: Gerrit A
Date: 13 Apr 2020

You want to give up , you want to give up so badly. You want to stop completely and quit the sport for good. You think about how much you hate the 5 AM lifts , you hate the constant yelling , the constant diet , needing to write your weight down everyday. You hate not having a social life because every weekday and sunday during the summer you gotta lift in the middle of the day while maintaining a job. You hate the fact that you did not get to live out the normal “ high school experience “ by getting drunk and smoking every weekend because you were afraid of what it would do to your body. You hate having to spend half of your summer at wrestlings camps instead of hanging with your friends. You hate that you're afraid that having a girlfriend could cause you to lose focus in your sport which could produce bad results. You hate the weeks when you gotta lose 15 pounds so you completely drain your body of its hydration and life. You hate the punishment your body endures on a daily basis. You hate the last 2 pounds that you need to get off so you make yourself throw up in order to make weight. You hate the fact that your ear has swollen up due to repeated blows so now you need a huge ass needle stuck in your ear 5 times in order to get it drained. You hate the fact that no one even likes your sport so therefore you get no support from your school and no other students attend the events. You hate that people call your sport ‘ gay “ . You hate the fact that every single person imaginable overlooks the amount of hard work and dedication that you and your teammates put in every single day throughout the year. You hate that you will never know what school lunch tastes like because you can not afford that extra weight on you. You hate that you do not know what a party looks like because you did not want to get into a sketchy situation that could potentially ruin your season. You hate that everyone thinks that because you wrestle that you must have disease. You hate that your skin gets super dry because of the millions of showers that you must take and that your body does not get its proper water intake for 80% of the year. You hate that your main liquid intake is pedialyte to replenish your sick body after cutting 15 pounds. You hate that everyone at school calls your singlet a leotard and then call you gay because all wrestling is to them is “ touching other sweaty men “. You hate the fact that your mom constantly criticizes every single thing that you eat and is always calling you fat. You hate the weeks that all the food that you can eat is plain celery and the occasional steamed chicken breast. You hate the weeks when all you can consume are liquids and yet you go on these extreme diets while having practice everyday and following that up with the gym to get extra weight off. You hate that you constantly need to workout in a garbage bag or sauna suit in order to dehydrate your body more. YOu hate that you always have a tournament on the weekends so you can never hang with your friends or do anything fun. You hate all the extra miles you gotta run when your body is literally dying. You hate the long tournament days when the high school that you are at does not have wifi so you can not text your friends. You hate the nights that you are tired at 7 PM because you had a tough practice so you can not stay and text your friends because your body is exhausted. You hate the 20-30 your body quickly puts on after the season ends. You hate being forced to do every offseason tournament in the off season even if it is only 6 days after the regular high school season ends and your body really needs a break. You really really really hate the constant pressure but it is inevitable because you gotta be better than everyone else , you can not put in all of this work to get better. You hate the hours upon hours worth of driving when everyone else is eating but you can not because you are exactly on weight. You hate watching everyone eat at lunch when you don't even know if you can sip on water that day. You hate your daily practice partner and are a state champion and like to beat up on you but you know it is only gonna make you better so you live with it. You hate that you have to set up your own events even though no other sports team has to. You hate that your mother forces you to work out everyday because she does not think you are doing enough as is. You hate that everything you worked for your entire life was derailed your freshman year because you snapped your arm into 4 pieces and had to wait 4 months to get surgery on it so you had to sit out almost a year and lose so much muscle and gained so much weight , lost so much confidence. You hate EVERYTHING about this sport
But it’s worth it….
Seeing your mom happy and proud
Seeing yourself on the wall at the HS for forever
Seeing the self improvement you have made since you were 10
Seeing all the medals and brackets in your room
Seeing all the lessons you have learned
Seeing the friends you have made
Seeing all the memories you have made
It is WORTH it , don't give up , keep grinding it out