‘Wrestling Didn’t Change My Life – It Became My Life’
By Antonio Segura (Colorado)
I became interested in wrestling through a football coach when I was about six years old. At first wanting to try something new, I really got involved when I experienced the challenge it presents within oneself, an independent sport aspect that football does not provide.
A vivid wrestling experience that taught me a valuable lesson was when I lost my first run for an RMN Triple Crown. I was about 8 years old and on a winning streak with tournaments but ended up taking a tough loss in the finals to a future teammate. Thus, I had to realize that winning doesn’t always happen even when you train hard. It taught me to train harder than before, even when I felt like I couldn’t give more than I already was.
My parents Gary Segura & Alicia Inchaustegui have been very involved and supportive of my participation in this sport since Day One. I am very fortunate to receive the love and support my father and mother have provided to me in my life and in my wrestling career.
This includes wrestling trips ranging across the state or country to compete, taking me to the best wrestling rooms available, or even just helping me and trying to improve my trade by giving me the best opportunities I could have.
The coaches who have had the biggest impact on my wrestling career and my life so far form a very long and memorable list. The most influential of the bunch are Coach Phil Nowick, Luke Morris, Jeff Estrada, Chris Pérez, Brent Bieshaar, Ben VomBaur, and Bo Schlosser.
Each of these coaches have sacrificed and dedicated their time, putting effort into me, making me feel truly worth someone’s time. All had their input on who I am today, but their common denominator is that each coach is a person who truly wants the best for me, helping me achieve and become the best me.
My peers have helped me in my wrestling career by helping me strive to become a better wrestler, providing me a second family aspect that many people don’t get in life. My younger sister has let me see a new aspect in wrestling with her being a female wrestler and also as someone I can coach. It does help to see her struggles with situations similar to those that I also experience in the sport; these teaching moments help me self-evaluate.
Wrestling has helped me succeed in the school setting by developing a sense of self-determination and brotherhood, even when alone. Wrestling is a grueling yet beautiful sport, with an aspect of always striving for more. Having a “hunger” to achieve the unthinkable truly does help me apply this lesson in real life scenarios, including school.
Participation in RMN events is very rewarding, challenging and enjoyable because it brings a very different atmosphere to the wrestling world. Personally, the self-challenge of having out-of-state competitors enter my home arena in Colorado for Rocky Mountain Nationals is one rivaled to “home field” in football.
Rewarding and enjoyable are the ways in which RMN events tie into one other. Ultimately, it’s not about winning and receiving an RMN trophy, but the sense of self-accomplishment, being able to compete against other elite athletes, seeing my training come together, and learning where I need to improve more.
My future aspirations in the sport are to wrestle in college at the D1 level and possibly represent a World Team of some kind one day. Wrestling is a lifestyle, not just a sport; the drive it builds in me helps me believe I can achieve anything.
Some words of wisdom I have for a new wrestler are to trust the process. The process is one that is beautiful because it is always unexpected when it appears, but it is definitely grueling and heartbreaking. Always persevere through the hardships and continue to strive forward. If you love and trust the process, then the process will love you back always no matter the amount of time and effort.
Wrestling hasn’t changed my life – it became my life. I could not even imagine a life without wrestling and frankly I don’t know what I did before wrestling. It’s become something I eat, sleep, and breathe; it will always be a part of my life either as an athlete, referee, coach or even as a fan.
The sport of wrestling has helped me meet some of the greatest people in my life including friends and coaches. Many of the closest people in my life I have met through the sport of wrestling; I consider them flesh and blood. Without wrestling I would not have been molded into the young man I am today; now I am blessed that it is part of my everyday life.
After my competition lifetime as a wrestler has come to a conclusion, I plan on being involved as possibly a referee and/or coach for youth wrestling. I am a firm believer that everyone should wrestle because of what it has done for me as a person.
When older and unable to wrestle myself, I hope to get involved in my areas wrestling community, helping younger children learn to wrestle, then guiding them through the life journey that is wrestling. Hopefully, I will give them an even better experience than I have had.
Wrestling has molded me into the person I am today through the interactions I’ve had with teammates and coaches, the relationships I’ve developed, and the life lessons I’ve learned and currently apply to my life.
The sport has taught me lessons in my life that can lead to future success on and off the mat. Through this sport I have met people that will remain in my life as people who matter to me. Wrestling is truly something else; it is like no other sport to have ever existed. Maybe that is why it is the oldest sport known to man (or woman).
NOTE: Regis High School (CO) Junior Antonio Segura is both a Cadet and Junior Fargo All-American. With RMN Events, he has earned all the gear and belts from Tri-State through Ring of Fame.
Most notably, at the 2019 Colorado High School State Championships, wrestling in the semi-finals at 145 pounds, sophomore Antonio faced former club teammate, senior Theorius Robison of Pomona, who was competing for his fourth state title.
With the regular match tied 1-1, and no score in one minute of sudden victory, in the first period of overtime Antonio selected bottom with a strategy in mind. The next 27 seconds defined a new legacy – his own.
Antonio stood up and, while standing executed a hip heist. This change of direction caught Theorius off-guard, allowing Tony to whip his friend to his back. Both the secure hold – and Theorius’ unfamiliarity with this position – earned Antonio a fall at 7:27.
A stunned crowd roared to its feet. One history was done, while another had just begun. In a less climatic final, the 4th-seeded Segura clinched his first 5A championship with a 2-1 decision over Legacy’s Joey Joiner. – Bill X. Barron
2019 CHSAA State Champion Antonio Segura (Regis Jesuit HS) celebrating his semi-final upset pin of Pomona's Theorius Robison.