Competing for a National Championship in anything is incredible.
The dedication, effort, and talent needed to put yourself in such an elite class is unique and Anthony Robles certainly fits that bill. As a senior at Arizona State, Robles is about to compete for a NCAA Wrestling National Championship in the 125 pound weight class.
He came into this season as a senior, two-time All-American, and two-time Pac 10 champion at the 125 pound weight class. Robles has won a National Championship as a high school senior and proved a dominant force throughout this season as well. The athletic prowess to achieve such greatness as a collegiate athlete is remarkable. To maintain academic standards and a very demanding training schedule is admirable at the least. I could give Mindset Moment honors to several individuals and teams for that alone, but Robles gets it this week.
Oh… did I mention he was born without a right leg?
How many times have you seen or heard of someone giving up on life because they have a supposed deficiency? "It isn’t fair because I’m not like everyone else!"
Not only does Robles not focus on the absence of something I’ve spent my whole life taking for granted, he doesn’t like being referred to as disabled. He doesn’t see it that way.
"I’ve got great coaches that help me focus on my strengths and develop my technique from there," says Robles.
There’s a concept… focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Which would you rather have? A bucket-full of moderate weaknesses or a handful of dominant strengths? Give me the handful! It’s easier to manage and I have fewer things to focus on. Plus, I grew up carrying buckets so I try to stay away from them.
How has this approach worked for Robles? Aside from the laundry list of wrestling honors he’s received, it doesn’t take long to find people on the Internet complaining that he has an advantage. Yes, an advantage because he is missing a leg!
"He really has the body of a 157 pounder, but because he’s missing a leg, he gets to wrestle in the 125. Totally unfair!"
If he was down trodden, complaining, and laying his birth "defect" on us as to why his life is so rotten… people would rally to his side with claims of how unfair God must be to afflict this poor soul with such a disadvantage. No one would dare attack a disabled person. Maybe this is the greatest part of Anthony’s story. He has turned a disability into an advantage.
Because he is on top, people take shots. May we all work so hard and be so fortunate to have the whiners and nay-sayers take shots at us. Good luck Anthony.