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Overcoming Adversity & Going for Your Goal

Anthony Robles says he can't remember even once feeling sorry for himself.

His mother was 16 when she gave birth to this child born without a right leg.  She cried.
But after the initial shock his parents raised him to believe he could do whatever he set his mind too.  His condition was not going to hold him back.

He learned to ride a bike when he was five.  He runs (or crutches) the mile in 8 minutes—faster than a lot of people with two legs.  Football?  At 14 he hopped out to his position as a defensive tackle on the junior high team.  At first blockers knocked him over like a bowling pin.  But by the end of the year he had hauled down his share of ball carriers.

In 9th grade he went out for the wrestling team.  His goal—avoid being the object of pity.  He lifted weights, “ran” for miles on his crutches and climbed the stadium steps.

He progressed from a 90-lb. freshman to an Arizona state champion as a junior.  For Anthony, wrestling was a way to show that he was too strong, in every sense, to be held back just because he had only one leg.  It was about overcoming adversity.

Said Anthony about this experience, “It's about overcoming obstacles.  Everybody has their own unique circumstances and obstacles they have to deal with. It's all about rising above that and going after your goal. It can be done."

During his high school matches, grown men would cry being inspired by this young man overcoming such adversity to succeed and compete.  “Grown men would come up to him after his matches, just to shake his hand,” said his coach, Bob Williams.

Anthony wanted to continue his wrestling career in college but most people doubted he could overcome such an adversity to compete at the highest level.   He realized that there would always be doubters.  But he was determined to turn his adversity into a strength.

“It doesn’t have to be missing a leg,” he said.  “You could have any obstacle in your life, but that doesn’t have to prevent you from doing things.  You don’t have to let the doubters stop you from going after your dreams.”

Anthony’s dream was to become an NCAA Champion…on one leg.

In March of 2011 that dream came true. Anthony Robles capped off a perfect 36-0 record and a career during which he was named a 3-time All American for Arizona State, by winning the Division I NCAA Championships at 125 pounds. 

Anthony Robles, NCAA Champion, defined himself by what he could do and the adversity he could overcome, not by what he couldn’t do.
And again, grown men cried.     

Expect to face adversity along the way to achieving your goals.  Just make sure your attitude is one of  expecting to overcome it.