A fearsome double-leg


I’ve been posting a lot about startups lately, but I feel the need to get this wrestling issue off my chest…

About a year ago I read a blog by Todd Tarpley, a man who is now a children’s book author. But in the 1987 he was a wrestling obsessed twenty-four year old man who dreamed of placing at the US freestyle nationals. In his diary, he wrote:


“Either I end my wrestling career now and be happy about what I’ve done, and move on with my life…or I devote myself to it 100% until I’ve done what I need to do.”


And so as a result he packed up his life in New York City and moved to Iowa to wrestle under the legendary Dan Gable and the Hawkeye Wrestling Club.  It took a while, but I ended up reading every entry in the diary which was about four years of Todd’s life.  Despite the fact that he had basically put his life on hold in order to achieve this goal, Todd did it and placed at the US freestyle nationals.

Todd’s story has had me thinking ever since.  With sports like wrestling, it’s generally understood that during your thirties your physical body begins a decline which you never recover from.  I’ve just turned 30, and I guess I can see the clock ticking away.  Recent injuries such as tearing my pec, which had never occurred previously, have proven to me that the decline has either started or is going to start soon.

For many years now I’ve had the goal of perfecting a technique known as the double-leg takedown, such that it would be an unstoppable move.  But even though I’ve spent hours doing countless repetitions, my double-leg is still very much a stoppable move.  To progress beyond my current level, I think some real commitment and hard work is required.

Similar to Todd, it’s a goal that I want to achieve.  I want a fearsome double-leg, and no amount of convincing me otherwise would make me want it any less.  There are many things which I can do when I’m older, such as intellectual pursuits, but obtaining perfection of the double-leg isn’t one of them.

Time is certainly running out and this is the kind of thing which if you don’t achieve while you’re young, then you’ll never have it for the rest of your life.  While I am thoroughly enjoying the startup journey I’m on, I do often think whether or not it requires me to sacrifice my pursuit of the double-leg, or am I able to have both?  Only time will tell.

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