Wrestling has provided me many opportunities to travel, meet new people and learn not only about wrestling, but different cultures and histories of different places. Beat the Streets Toronto has facilitated many wrestling trips and allowed me to have many amazing experiences. Through these experiences I have grown so much and become a much more well-rounded person and wrestler.
My all-time favorite wrestling trip is my trip to the country Georgia last summer.
Under the direction of Valentin Kalika, our group of wrestlers from all over North America were privileged to train in a beautiful facility in Georgia with amazing coaches and with multiple different partners throughout the camp. This trip ignited my passion for wrestling and taught me so many new things. It also sparked my interest of travel and seeing new places. I didn’t realize beforehand that I would love Georgia as much as I did and I really didn’t realize how much history and culture I would learn on this trip.
What I really loved about wrestling in Georgia was the great LOVE, RESPECT AND DEVOTION the Georgians had for this sport. It was not only part of their culture and lifestyle, it was part of their soul. While in Georgia we got to attend an International tournament. It was like no other sporting event I have ever attended. The intensity of the passion, pride and emotion of the spectators in the crowd was so energizing and inspirational. They love wrestling and their love for it echoed and intensified my own. It was the first time I was surrounded by hundreds of people who all lived and breathed this sport like I do, and I felt right at home. Well some of the spectators did take it a little ‘far’ when one of Georgians lost. But that chair smashing made for a great story.
I also felt at home in the training room in Georgia where the qualities of being 100 percent focused and committed to being your own personal best, being disciplined in your technique and committed to learning and growing through trail and risk taking was encouraged and fostered in a really positive environment. Everyone there wanted to grow and learn and challenge themselves. They also wanted to help others to do the same as well. My partners were intense and driven, but we also laughed and smiled together. But we really focused on technique and I LOVED that.
The diversity of coaches at BTS Toronto has given me a wide base of experience with different international styles of wrestling right in my own province. And this really helped me when I went to Georgia. The different techniques and style of the Georgian wrestling I experienced there weren’t as big of a shock or challenge for me because of my exposure to all the different coaches at BTS Toronto. The strong technical base the diverse BTS Toronto coaches had given me meant I could learn the moves quickly and effectively helping me to make the most out of my Georgia experience.
I am really looking forward to travelling again to Georgia to train and explore more of this country with a soul deeply in love with wrestling.