“Let’s just have fun…”

In 2004, I had the best season of my collegiate wrestling career, finishing in the top 12 at D-I nationals. Nothing really changed physically from the prior year; it was more of a mindset shift. I distinctly remember taking my dad and my brother aside at the ESU Open (the first competition of the year) saying, “This is it. I’m sick of the pressure. I just want to have fun. I love wrestling, but I hate the pressure. This is the last year of my wrestling career. Let’s just have fun and finish this out on a high note.”

Up to that point in my college career, I was hovering around a .500 record. I actually had my first losing season in college. It was not something I was used to or OK with. I hated it. I hated losing. I hated putting that much time and effort into something and seeing no return on my investment.

I had let the previous years accumulate into too much negative energy within myself. I needed to change my frame of reference. I had hit my tipping point. And all it took was a moment of 100% realness with myself and those closest to me to change my trajectory. I didn’t care about the outcome; I just knew that I needed to change my direction or I’d implode. When I took my dad and my brother aside, i was getting all of that weight off my chest. I was bringing it out into the open, setting it free. IT WAS A DECLARATION. A 100% authentic declaration.

I went on to a 35-11 record that year, one win away from All-American status. I deem that season a success. Even though I didn’t get that medal, I came about as close to maximizing my potential as possible. That was the most peaceful losing experience of my life. I am OK with that one.

So go make your DECLARATION. Change your current mindset or path. It worked for me.

I’d love to hear your declarations. Heck, send them to me to be held accountable. Your feedback is always greatly appreciated.

Also, be sure to connect to all my social media. You can find it all on my website: charlie-brenneman.com

– Spaniard