My name is Alex Martinez. I am a high school senior in Gettysburg, SD.
Time is flying past me during this last year in high school; I’m a very busy person. I am a State Qualifying Varsity wrestler and maintain a 3.2 GPA.
My days are split between school, practice, homework, and wrestling meets. I have found that organizing my time in order to give my best performance in all areas of my life is a must.
I never procrastinate; waiting until the last minute is a pet peeve of mine. I have worked construction for my family business for years and have also been employed as a lifeguard at our local pool. I have been involved in my high school chorus since I was a freshman.
Although massage therapy wasn’t a career that would have occurred to me as a child, the more I research about it the more I believe it is a good path for me. I’m physically very strong, so I believe that the rigors of the job would be less an issue for me than it might be for some people.
I am very easy to talk to and am an especially good listener. People love the sound of my voice. I know that might sound odd, but I have a very low, bass tone and people say they find it very calming to hear me speak. I have been told I should consider broadcasting, but I don’t really enjoy being the center of attention.
I prefer to help other people and be physically active; health and fitness are very important to me. I think a career as an LMT would be a good fit for my lifestyle and is also very much in line with my priorities. I have applied to a AMTA certified school (Headlines Academy, Rapid City, SD) and am awaiting my approval.
Success is something that I have come to understand as a very relative term. When I first began wrestling as a third grader, it didn’t come naturally to me. I had quite a few matches before I pinned my first opponent; I’ll never forget it. There were guys on my team who always won, but that wasn’t me. As the years passed, I improved steadily but still wasn’t the guy who made it to the top of the podium every meet.
There were times I wanted to quit; it’s really difficult to keep going when you feel like you’re not succeeding. The problem with my thinking was that success can be measured only one way. I have been very fortunate to have a step-father who helped me understand how to accurately gauge my success.
He would always tell me that he saw my success in terms of progress and growth. “You didn’t win today, but I’m so proud of you! You took the shot and you got the takedown! Last week, you were afraid to try…That was a real breakthrough!” It was that kind of thinking and positive approach that got me to where I am as a senior.
I have a winning record and was honored by my coaches with the “Most Improved” award last fall. Last month, I was chosen by 20 coaches at a tournament that hosts 400 wrestlers to receive the “Never Give Up” award. It’s been moments like these that solidified my understanding of success as being a very personal and variable concept.
There have certainly been more than one time that I thought I was ahead, only to hear the whistle blow and watch the ref raise the hand of my opponent. What a huge let down! I guess what I learned from these times is that it’s not over until it’s over and that you should never lose sight of the clock and scoreboard. In a life that didn’t include wrestling, that would mean that a person should push forward until the end, even if you feel confident that you will prevail. Sometimes, losing focus on the end result can change your outcome.
In my opinion, we do have to focus on success to be happy. However, we need to set goals that are attainable and appropriate for ourselves and not measure our wins and losses in life by what another person has accomplished. I think that succeeding on my path is paramount to my happiness; I have learned that sometimes it’s necessary to modify the path as I go.
To lose hope in myself based upon another person’s standard isn’t beneficial to me. What I must always remember is to continue to challenge myself and not be afraid to try something because I might fail. In wrestling, we say “don’t leave anything on the mat!” That means, give 100% all the time and every time. Not quitting is a success in itself.
Can we be successful without happiness? For me, the answer is no. Personally, happiness is a big part of success in my life. I think if I’m committed to knowing myself and what I need, I will seek success in areas that will lead to happiness. I don’t need to be rich to be happy; I want to know that I am helping others and doing my best.