A memoir from Valentina Bailón - Class of 2019
Everyone has that one moment in which alters the course of their life. For me, one of those moments was when I first stepped into the wrestling room by the cafeteria. It was through the sport that I learned not to give up. In my first year of wrestling, I lost more than winning any matches. In those moments where I lost, I kept telling myself that I had to get better and it's the reason I started to give it all I could during practice. When we would run or do exercises, I wouldn’t cut corners because I kept thinking “someone out there is also practicing, you have to give it 100% so when you are on that mat you can confidently say that you tried your absolute best”. That thought was also the reason I would go to extra practices in the city on weekends and why I would still practice during spring and winter break. I truly believe that wrestling taught me not to give up on myself and bring confidence to my abilities. I didn’t give myself a limitation and led to me being city championship, winning 2nd in the state, and wrestling at Maddison Square Garden my senior year. Even to this day, I don’t allow myself to give up on my dreams or allow myself to belittle anything I want to accomplish. Sports are more than just a hobby they teach you valuable skills such as leadership, discipline, proper communication, patience, and more. These are just a few of the skills I learned in wrestling and continue to use them every day outside the walls of Grover Cleveland High School.