Leaving No Room For Excuses

Have you ever stared a goal down and said to yourself “I can’t” or “I won’t”? How many times have you labeled a task as too daunting, too difficult, or just too much? Honestly, we all have done it at one time or another. When I feel defeated, I look to personal heroes for some inspiration.  And a new inspiration of mine is Anthony Robles. Robles' wrestling career began as a 90-pound freshman at Mesa High School, where he would go on to be a state-wide champion. From there he continued to Arizona State University, achieved a remarkable 36-0 record, and topped it off with a NCAA championship win this past weekend. Anthony Robles has one leg. Yep, you heard correct. Anthony Robles is a one-legged wrestler who became a national champion in a hard fought finale against defending NCAA champion Matt McDonough of Iowa. No doubt - Anthony was a champion from the first moment he put on a wrestling uniform. Imagine how many times Anthony was told he couldn't or he can’t. But at end of the day he did. Anthony’s story is a reminder to me about what is possible. That no matter how tall the obstacle or big the climb, you can do it.  This attitude and inspiration keeps me going at the Ella Baker Center, when obstacles like the abusive California youth prisons or the power of Big Oil seem too big to tackle. Anthony’s story had a huge impact on me. To see him enter the wrestling ring on crutches for his final match made me very emotional. Coincidentally, this image motivated me during Oakland Running Festival where I ran in the Marathon Team Relay, running one of the longest distances I’ve ever ran in my life. When it was hard, I thought of Anthony and I felt inspired to keep going. Thank you Anthony for your courage. Congratulations on your inspirational win!

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