Jun 15, 2016 316

From Wrestling Mats to Dragon Boat Paddles

Hey everyone! I'm Anton Oyung. My fitness journey began my freshman year of high school when I joined the wrestling team. All my life I had searched for a sport I enjoyed from soccer to track to badminton, just to name a few. But none of the sports seemed to fit with me, until I joined wrestling. When you’re on the mat wrestling, there’s only you and your opponent. There is no one to rely on, and only yourself to blame for losing. When you’re only counting on yourself to perform, you have to train that much harder to make sure you succeed. Because when you lose it was because you didn’t train hard enough, and when you win you know you worked harder than anyone. Wrestling helped me grow so much as a person teaching me about dedication, hard work, and the importance of both mental and physical strength.

I initially began weightlifting my sophomore year of high school as a way to gain an advantage on the mat, but it soon became a defining piece of my life. In my experience I’ve found that staying fit and healthy shouldn’t be about seeking something, like a six pack or bigger biceps, but rather adopting it as part of your lifestyle and not giving it too much thought. Lifting has become an outlet for me to clear my head and destress and it’s a great way for me to get a break from my work and my world. Lifting lets me clear my mind and—for a second—not worry about anything.

I joined Dragon boat my first semester in college as a way to try something new and stay active. While I had planned on going to the gym, I knew that lifting wasn’t the same as actually playing a sport. Dragon boat was completely different from anything I had ever done, and as different from wrestling as possible. I learned the importance of working hard not just for myself, but also for the people around me. Instead of working alone and training to be the best version of myself for myself, I began working together and training to be the best for my team. The motivation to succeed was different from wrestling. The bonds and friendships that I created made me want to work hard so I could help my team win rather than myself.

My fitness journey has helped me grow so much already. I’ve learned dedication and mental toughness from wrestling and teamwork and compassion from dragon boat. I’ve gained so much, but in my mind I’ve only started my journey. I hope to continue training and pushing myself to always improve and gain new experiences.