What One Man Can Do
“What one man can do another man can do” is a famous quote spoken by Sir Anthony Hopkins in the movie The Edge. This line has always fascinated, inspired, and motivated me to continue forward in moments of adversity. Fortunately, there are many people whose lives are an example of what can be accomplished. Although that list may be long, three stand out to me: Pablo Popovitch, submission wrestling world champion and my teacher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Mr. Olympia, Hollywood leading man and current Governor of California, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, The Head of Tibetan Buddhism.
Pablo Popovitch is not well known outside of grappling and mixed martial arts circles. However, he has succeeded in doing what not even George “Rush” St. Pierre could do by becoming the Abu Dhabi submission wrestling or ADCC champion. Popovitch first competed at the ADCC when he was just 22 years old; he defeated the defending champion only to lose in the semifinals after a grueling 20-minute contest. He would continue this trend of falling short for the next 6 years, placing in 2nd in both the 2005 and 2007 tournaments. He was submitted in each by Marcelo Garcia, who was undefeated since 2003 and considered by many, the pound for pound best grappler in the world. Going into the 2009 tourney, he would once again face his nemesis Marcelo Garcia in the final. The match was a back and forth war which went the full 20 minutes and ended with my teacher finally overcoming the man with 3 submission victories over him. My teacher showed that if you continue to believe in yourself and train hard, you can overcome even the most seemingly impossible adversary. The victory at ADCC and more importantly the opportunity to see him train taught me about the sacrifice and dedication needed to become a champion. It inspired me to never be frightened by life’s obstacles as long as you work hard and never give up; you can persevere against anything or anyone.
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