Nick Delpopolo put up a picture of his gold medals in judo on facebook and it made me think about what judo and jiu jitsu means to me today and in the bigger context of my life in general.
I have a very similar collection of medals, as do many active competitors. Of course, Nick won them by fighting some of the best people in the world. (PS: Support Nick as he makes a run at the 2012 Olympics in judo.) But, we all had our battles, and these medals represent not just victories, but little snapshots in time along a seemingly endless pursuit of a dream.
The annoying thing is that they take up so much space My favorite kind of “snapshots” in my own life are the pins (aka safety pins) that I got in high school wrestling for every opponent that I beat by pinning them. I’ve had a good number of them. Somehow they told a more dramatic story than medals do. Every pin represented a battle that didn’t just end in victory, but in dominant victory. I always loved that. It’s a silly thing of course for a glorified computer nerd such as myself to assign much value to these pins, but it seems like the silliest things can sometimes bring the most pride.
To this day, I’m most proud of the wrestling battles I remember: both the ones I lost and won. But I’m not done yet. I still have a few left in me. I still have room for a few more gold medals in my closet