Each month, Revolutionary Paideia selects a person who embodies the spirit of “unsettling, unnerving, and unhousing” that founded this blog. It is not often that Revolutionary Paideia is unsettled, unnerved, and unhoused by someone, but a truly exceptional young man has been able to accomplish this feat. Anthony Robles, who will graduate this May from Arizona State University with his undergraduate degree, has won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Wrestling Championship. Guess what? This young man won the NCAA Division I Championship in Wrestling with only one leg. He was born without a right leg. What an amazing accomplishment! What is even more amazing is the mental strength that Anthony Robles evinces. You would think that a person with only one leg would not even consider participating in Wrestling at the NCAA Division I level, but this young man did not allow what others would consider to be a lifelong physical disability to prevent him from doing what others who have two legs were afraid to do and/or did not have what it takes to compete in Wrestling at the NCAA Division I level. Let’s not overlook the fact that Anthony Robles is a student-athlete who is graduating. Far too often, many people try to make it seem like student-athletes don’t graduate from college. However, in a little over two months, this young man will be graduating from Arizona State University. Read more about his story here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/22/earlyshow/living/main20045830.shtml
We all can learn a great amount from Anthony Robles. This man did not simply allow his physical disability to keep him from achieving great things. He understood the real struggles that he would face in life with having only one leg. Mr. Robles knew that his physical disability would require him to have to work that much harder than people with two legs. Do you really understand the courage that this young man has? Do you really understand? If you have even a slight idea about Wrestling, you know that it is a physically demanding sport. Just imagine how difficult this sport is for something with only one leg.
When we feel like things are too challenging for us to accomplish, we can think about what Anthony Robles was able to accomplish with just one leg. His example can give us the courage we need to face our current and future challenges and problems. This man developed a mindset focused on victory that was crucial to materializing his victories against his opponents. For those of us who have all of our limbs, we need to realize the advantages that we have. We need to recognize that if Anthony is not complaining about what his body cannot do, then we don’t need to be complaining about what our bodies cannot do. A dominant and powerful message about his story is to fearlessly face all of your challenges and problems because you can conquer anything if you have the courage to do it.
It is with great pleasure that I name Anthony Robles as The Revolutionary Paideia March 2011 Person of the Month. Anthony Robles, keep doing great things! You’re such an inspiration!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison