A visual and interactive designer working with corporate branding in Austin, Texas.
I was probably one of the last people you'd expect to find on the wrestling roster when I joined my sophomore year. At the time, I had never done any actual sports, and knew basically nothing about wrestling. There were a few times during my first season that I wanted to quit--I had only won two matches that entire season, and I didn't feel like I really fit in with the wrestling crowd. But I wanted to prove to myself that I could succeed. I didn't want to walk away wondering what could have happened had I worked a little harder...
So I pushed myself and tested my own limits. I was constantly in the wrestling mindset. I made each practice count, and in the end, it definitely paid off. Nearly twenty tournament medals later--including two from the state tournament--I had achieved more than I ever could have possibly imagined.
Even today, several years after the conclusion of my high school career, I utilize knowledge I learned from wrestling. Wrestling taught me how to be confident even when I doubted myself. I learned what hard work truly was, and how to push myself mentally. Wrestling threw me into a stressful environment, and taught me how to deal with it.
I can't even imagine my life without wrestling. It shaped me into the woman I am today. When I look back on my high school days, my best memories come from my time on the mat, which is an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
An undergraduate majoring in chemical biology & statistics at UC Berkeley, Ca
When I became the first statistician for the wrestling team in the 2015-2016 season, I did not know what to expect. I had always been intrigued by the sport, so it was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the technique, strength, and art that goes into each match. During this season, the team had significantly grown from one girl the previous year to about fifteen girls, so I was able to support this significant growth by developing a novel system using statistics to track and analyze the team’s athletic and technical improvement in order to tailor the training throughout the season.
My favorite aspect of the role as the team statistician was its selflessness and its commitment to continual improvement on both the individual and team level. The focus required to watch and record up to three matches at a time at multi-day tournaments and the hours spent cleaning, analyzing, and reporting this collected data would always be rewarded by seeing my teammates improve their strength and skills. Communicating with the coaches about the different strengths and weaknesses I saw in the team led to more productive trainings and therefore a more robust development of the wrestlers new to the sport. I especially enjoyed being able to communicate with my teammates on their specific strengths and weaknesses, as their unceasing desire to become better wrestlers motivated me to keep working hard and reaffirmed the value these data-driven training decisions.
My experience on the team still influences me to this day. The drive and resilience I saw in the team motivate me to work hard and to give 100% in all of my endeavors. In addition, I decided to study statistics as a second degree, and am constantly looking for ways to use data to make life easier. Every season, I look forward to seeing the team’s dedication to the sport pay off!
When I joined I thought it sounded like a great way to get in shape and prove that a girl can do anything a guy could do. So I signed up and never un-signed up.
I fell in love with the team and a community of people who supported me. I met other girls who were doing the same thing I was, and was kicking butt at it. I also got to work with some of the hardest workers probably in the state: the M-A Bears wrestling team. These people were a group of students that pushed themselves to great lengths and, in the process, taught me how to push myself.
As the years went on, I just never quit, no matter how much I wanted to, and I really wanted to. This sport broke me down, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, as a result of all of it I have an awesome story to tell, and a team of girls that I love spending time with. I was proud to be a part of a program that was an anomaly. Girls wrestling isn’t all that common and we got to, not only build upon a sport that could use more recognition, but also promote female empowerment.
Wrestling was hard and I had an aversion to competing and the fear of getting injured and having to exert that much energy, but I did love what it stood for and the fact that I pushed myself harder than I have probably anywhere else. I was terrified every time I stepped on that competition mat, and that fear never went away, but I still was able, with the help of the coaches and teammates, to get on that mat and do what we all came to a competition to do, wrestle. I learned about how strong I was, despite my lack of confidence. I also learned that my opinions mattered and that I had the strength to speak my mind. I developed inward strength as well as outward strength.
It’s hard to imagine what high school would be like if I never met the girls on the team. They were the best part of wrestling. The support and the sheer noise that we made cheering on one another was just insane and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I have so much faith in these girls who are younger than me but displayed wisdom, intelligence, and strength beyond my years. I wish all the best upon everyone who walks through those M-A wrestling doors and gets on that mat. I know they are going to crush everything.
Come back later for the update!