I know, it sounds insane. When I tell people I’ve been working for a collegiate wrestling team for two years and different wrestling organizations for the last six years I get the same confused look and a demanding “Why?” I am a five foot four inch blonde, with a love for wrestling. So what? Being surrounded by men and testosterone for multiple days on end, traveling to different states and spending long days at tournaments, does get a bit exhausting. Most bus rides end up averaging around six to eight hours, and you really get to know people after a devastating loss and sharing a confined space with them for an extended amount of time. And that’s exactly where I found myself, at three in the morning coming back from multiple losses in the day and in a heated discussion about what I believe in.
Each wrestler is an individual athlete, but also a part of a team. It’s weird, but I’m obsessed with it. Every guy on the team is filled with so much passion and drive to the brim of their existence to the point where everyone feels like winning is a necessity. There will be those tough matches though, the ones where they get caught in the wrong position, the ones where all they had to do was score one more point but the time ran out. That’s where I fell in love with the sport. Those losses are what defines a person. When they fall hard though, every person I know gets back up and refuses to go down again.
So sitting on the back of the bus, surrounded by ten incredibly resilient men, talking about what I believe in has never been so easy. Because even though this group of men varies in personality and basically everything else every single guy on the IU Wrestling Team taught me the exact same lesson: refuse to fall.
I was never the most outspoken person, shy at first but I open up when I get to know someone. When people use to ask me my opinion on things I would just default to whatever theirs was. I had innate need to fit in. But sitting on the back of that bus I’m standing ground for what I believe in, because they taught me to refuse to fall. When things get rough in life and I don’t know what to do, I go to wrestling meets because it reminds me that I may be down right now but all I have to do is get to my base and knee slide up (a little wrestling reference) and refuse to go down the same way next time. When I don’t feel confident about what I’m wearing or about myself in general, wrestling kicks in and tells me “who cares?” Other people make you fall, situations in life make you fall, you make yourself fall sometimes but all that matters is that once you stand up you adjust, you correct, and you learn.
So what I’m trying to say is: I found my confidence, my voice, myself all because of the sport of wrestling. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to support and I hope to be doing this for a very long time. Go Hoosiers.
Name: Megan Diveto
Hometown: Franklin, IN
Degree and Major: Journalism and PR
Graduation Year: 2018
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