Chapter 08: We Train for Overtime

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2000-01 AJ Champs

My wrestlers continued to gain confidence, self-esteem, and the respect of the entire school.Our work ethic inside the wrestling room improved.

Mark Lewis absorbed everything we taught. He set the standard for how to wrestle, workout, and run, run, run. He was so infatuated with wrestling that after practice, he ran some more. Partly because Mark didn’t want to go home. Both of his parents had drinking problems, and Mark saw wrestling as his escape. As a kid, he once fought someone to protect his mom. The next day, he showed up at school with a black eye. After that, he made up his mind to be an MMA fighter. That would be his way out. Out of being responsible for putting his parents’ money aside for rent or utilities. Out of worrying about being homeless. Out of the feeling of helplessness. He’d no longer have to struggle to survive.