PA State Champ Mark Rappo: The Art of War

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71892_10151243753686044_1663814220_nBy Mark Rappo

February 4, 2013

The Daily Pennsylvanian 


As a fifth-year senior at Penn, I have always felt that the wrestling team was misunderstood to a certain extent. Not many people have been inside a wrestling room, let alone No. 23 Penn’s exceedingly competitive Division I room.

Wrestlers are a different breed. We carry around battle scars and the mental anguish of every match we have ever lost. Wrestling is as intense and mentally demanding a sport as there is. It is the ultimate test of strength, flexibility, conditioning and character.

Unlike most sports, wrestling is one-on-one. It is a seven-minute war. There are no pads, no timeouts and nobody to hide behind. At its core, wrestling teaches personal responsibility above anything else. If you lose, it’s your fault — and yours alone. And to a wrestler, nothing hurts more than losing.

Ask any wrestler on our team if he has any of his second-place medals. The answer is no. My 2011 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships silver medal is somewhere on the shoulder of I-76.

I’ve seen grapplers smash trophies, punch holes through walls and even rip out a bathroom sink in the heat of the moment after a loss. It’s hard to convey that disappointment to people who haven’t experienced it. Losing is emasculating on a very personal level. Try to imagine having your mom tell you that you aren’t her favorite child — it’s that kind of feeling.

Read the full article here.


About the Author:

Owner & Operator of PA Power Wrestling • 2015 PA Wrestling "Person of the Year" • Former Central Dauphin Wrestler

One Comment

  1. art durland 02/07/2013 at 7:34 am - Reply

    ask a parent or grandparent about their feelings after a loss. I know those feelings because I have to grandsons who wrestle in high school.

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