Aspen and Tasha, Phase I Scholars

Aspen: I never thought about wrestling until the wrestling coach approached me freshman year and told me to check out pre-conditioning. Two weeks later, I decided to try it out, and, before I knew it, I fell in love with the sport and ended up being on the team.

Tasha: I have been wrestling for five years. I started because one of my good friends came up to me and asked me to join so she wouldn’t be the only girl on the team. I wanted to try something new, and I ended up loving it! Now wrestling is the main sport I do every year.

Aspen: Being deaf affects my playing because I can’t wear my cochlear implant during practices or matches. This means I can’t hear what my coach is trying to tell me what to do and it’s very hard to concentrate on the interrupter. On the other hand, I am easily able to drowned out the crowd noise and additional unnecessary noises as well. Because deafness had caused me to be more aware of my surroundings and be more sensitive to what I am feeling, I am easily able to make the next movement based off sight and vibrations.

Tasha: Wrestling is a hard sport, and it doesn’t help when you have a disability. I have sickle cell. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that causes red blood cells to break down. Having sickle cell makes is hard for me to do some of the wrestling workouts and go on long runs in the cold, because I end up in a lot of pain. This can cause me to miss school if I have to stay home and heal. However, I love the person I am, even if sickle cell helped make me who I am.

Aspen and Tasha: Wrestling is a difficult and challenging sport. It’s hard finding girls that want to be on the team and compete. We try to inspire other girls to be on our teams by talking with them and discussing their worries. We like to share our wrestling success stories and challenges. Wrestling can be challenging, especially eating the right amount to stay in your own weight class. However, wrestling can make you stronger and feel very accomplished.