This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Wrestling Ministry’s Champions Breakfast at the NCAA National tournament. This opportunity was provided by the very charitable and totally Christian company that I work for, The Cochlan Group, inc.
TCG sponsored the event and sent me down there to try to recruit some new guys to hire. Our criteria for application are; business degree, wrestler, and Christian. Needless to say, the FCAW Breakfast was the perfect place to find such candidates (if you think that you may fit this mold, or know someone that does, contact me).
This was an amazing experience for me. Not only did I get to hang out with some of the most inspirational wrestlers of our time, like Jordan Burrows and Anthony Robles, but also with high level Christian business men, whom I hope to imitate. I loved the opportunity to listen and chat with men who are older, wiser, and more experienced/accomplished than me. In the short time I was there, I learned a lot, and here are some of my notes:
Mark Mestemacher – FCAW board member, successful business man, and huge advocate/supporter of wrestling in Illinois – Mark reaffirmed my belief in the power of a wrestling based Christian ministry. To give you some background, Mark had invited me to an FCA Wrestling "24 Hour God Camp" a few months ago that had a huge impact on me
Mark said that the power is two-fold; 1) for the older wrestlers that are Christians, these camps gives them a platform to share their faith to younger guys that look up to them in an atmosphere that the feel comfortable- I couldn't agree with this more. There are not many places that I feel more comfortable than in a wrestling room with a bunch of wrestlers.
2) The young guys who may have never been exposed to the gospel feel comfortable talking about faith with peers and older wrestlers that they look up to. Wrestling is a very niche culture. Us wrestlers like to stick together because, let’s be honest, it’s hard for other people to understand why we do what we do (i.e. skip parties, run in plastic suits, spit in cups, etc).
Jordan Burroughss – Olympic Gold Medalist. Jordan was at the FCA "24 Hour God Camp" that I metioned. He was also a guest speaker at the breakfast this past weekend. What Jordan said was likely the coolest part of the weekend – as it turns out, Jordan gave his life to Christ at the "24 Hou God Camp"!!! I had no idea this happened, and I was there! If wrestling ministry has the power to impact an Olympic Gold Medalist, then just imagine the positive influence it can have with young wrestlers all across the country!!! (read the blog I wrote about the 24 our God Camp)
Hearing this inspired me so much to push forward with a Beebe Trained affiliated wrestling ministry. I am still not sure exactly what this will look like but I truly believe God has a big plan here (check out the BBT Ministry page here).
Anthony “Unstoppable” Robles- NCAA Champion (the guy with one leg from ASU). Anthony was another guest speaker at the event. He talked about God’s calling for our lives. His mom always told him that God had called him to do something special with his life. Through all the obstacles that he had to overcome, she always told him that quitting was not an option. If God calls you to do something special with your life, to not do so would be disobedient.
One of the biggest things that stood out to me about Anthony was his outstanding character and humility. I can’t help but think it was forged through all of the struggles he had to overcome throughout his life. This reminded me of one of my favorite verses:
(Romans 5: 3-4) Rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
John McGovern – head coach at Dubuque University. John is a long-time family friend and a very wise man. Some things that he said in our conversation really stood out to me. As we were talking about MMA, I told John that my motivation for fighting is to use the MMA platform to try to inspire others for Christ. But, I have been struggling to do that in a tangible way. It’s one thing to grab the mic after a fight and say, “All the glory to God,” but I want to see people’s lives changed!
John told me that there are different seasons of life. If God is calling you to be a competitor and you think that you should be on the pulpit preaching, then you are not pursuing you calling correctly and God will not be with you. He said that right now might be the time to fight and focus on competing so that later in life I can speak and contribute in a more tangible way.
John also said, "standing on the pulpit is a dangerous place, because one may start to think that the impact is coming from their own power and forget that it is really coming from God." I totally agreed with this and thought to myself that I really need to develop my maturity and humility before I think about speaking to others. I can see how pride can overcome someone in ministry and I need to be aware and make sure that doesn't happen to me.
Stay tuned for more developments and more blogs. Please comment on this blog and give me some feedback! Thanks for reading.
Recent news has come out that the IOC has voted to drop the oldest sport in the world from the Olympics. This is terrible news to anyone who loves or has been impacted by the sport of wrestling. While wrestling has not reached as large of an audience as many other sports, the impact has been much deeper for those individuals that it has reached.
One positive outcome of this whole “dropping wrestling form the Olympics” fiasco is the over whelming support that it has inspired from the wrestling community through media coverage, videos, interviews, and testimonials about how wrestling has impacted people’s lives.
Wrestling is the greatest sport on earth and the recent coverage and support for the sport has given me substacial evidence on which to build my case.
From a child’s perspective:
Wrestling is an equal opportunity sport, more so than any other sport. It doesn’t discriminate against the small, the weak, or the slow (or, like I was as a kid, all of the above). Wrestling doesn’t even discriminate against the poor or the underprivileged.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from or what resources you have. If you are willing to work, you can be successful a wrestling. Wrestling has weight classes so the smallest guy can be successful, and the biggest guy can be successful. Anybody can be successful but it requires hard work.” Cael Sanderson- Olympic Gold Medalist, 4x NCAA Champion
From a wrestler’s perspective:
Wrestling is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. And as such, it penetrates all aspects of your life. For many sports, after practice or a game, the sport is over. But with wrestling, the weight cutting, and overall discipline required, wrestling is on your mind 24/7.
“The discipline of wrestling carries over to all aspects of my life. It makes me a better husband, a better father, a better son, and a better friend.” James Yonushonis- Olympic hopeful.
“Wrestling has taught me how to live my life; how to be tough, determined, good work ethic, all the things you need to be successful in life. It has taught me how to learn and how to teach. I owe everything to wrestling.” Reece Humphrey NCAA Champion, Olympic hopeful.
“Gotta finish, never give up, push after you goals and walk away knowing that you did everything to pursue your goals.” Michael Mitchell- Olympic hopeful.
“We aren’t in it for the fame or the fortune, cuz there is none.” JD Bergman
From a parent’s perspective:
"I have kids and I don't care if they are champions, but they will wrestle. Wrestling will make up for all of the mistakes I make as a parent because it teaches humility, hard work, and it teaches everything that you need to be successful in this world." Cael Sanderson
Cael said it best. No additional input from me is needed on this one.
From an employer’s perspective:
I personally can attest to this point because I was hired, less than a week after my last final exam, solely because I am a wrestler. My boss is an ex-wrestler and he understands the mentality wrestlers have and how that can transfer over into the work place. In fact my firm is looking to hire more, but prospects must be high level wrestlers.
“Current research indicates that individuals who have competed in elite level athletics, i.e., collegiate, international, or professional level competition possess higher levels of emotional intelligence than their non-athlete counterparts” Richard Mendelson, a human capital consultant/researcher.
"I specifically like to hire wrestlers that have experienced success in the sport because they are sharp, passionate, tenacious, disciplined and they have a huge desire to succeed." Steve J Cochlan, President/CEO of The Cochlan Group (my boss)
“Olympic champions display higher levels of specific attributes directly linked to success, in particular emotional intelligence, stress management, interpersonal skills, and self-regard.” Forbes Magazine
“Wrestlers have a capacity to push themselves harder than most and display an unrivaled mental toughness” Forbes Magazine.
“Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy” Dan Gable.
From the perspective of human nature:
(Not sure if that makes sense ^ but keep reading and you will get my point)
Wrestling is as old as mankind. Kids are wrestling before they can walk. As far back as history goes, there has been wrestling. Wrestling penetrates all cultures and all generations. It is a battle of one man against another man. Who is the best? It doesn’t get more basic than that.
“The beauty of wrestling is that it is the epitome of sport. It’s a combination of strength, speed, flexibility, stamina, mental toughness; all those things that make sport. It’s the base sport. When kids grow up they say, ok, who is the fastest? Who is the strongest? And who can win in a wrestling match?” Cael Sanderson
“I swear it upon Zeus an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler.” Socrates
The moral of this story is to support wrestling and get involved. The first step is to come by Beebe Trained and sign your kid up for our wrestling program ;) On top of phenomenal wrestling training, your kids will learn all of the life lessons mentioned in this blog. Get in and get better… at life!!!
By Carson Beebe
Written 9/25/2010 (I wrote this 2 years ago after I left Purdue.)
Sometimes in life we are forced to make very difficult decisions. The most difficult
decisions are the ones that seek to answer such questions as; what should I do
with my life, what is my calling? When I was 20 years old I was in a situation
where I had to make one of these life changing decisions. I had just finished
my freshman year wrestling at Purdue University. I had been wrestling my whole
life and the sport had pretty much dominated my life since I was a child. For
as long as I can remember I had dreamt of being a NCAA national champion. After
winning the starting spot on a Big 10 team my freshman year I was doing
everything in my power to chase my dream. Unfortunately, this pursuit was not
making me happy. I found myself questioning a lifetime of work. I found was
only wrestling because I thought it was what everyone else wanted me to do. I
was wrestling because it was all I knew. But was this what I really wanted?
When I took an honest look at myself and thought about what I really wanted to do
with my life, wrestling wasn’t it. My calling was to be an MMA fighter. My
brother was an MMA fighter and I had trained with him a lot and gone to all of
his fights. I loved to train MMA, I loved the MMA shows, and I loved everything
that had to do with MMA. I just couldn’t get enough of MMA. I found myself
waiting for my college wrestling career to be over so I could begin my MMA
career. If I was going to be truly happy I knew I had to pursue my calling and I
needed to pursue it now! But could I really abandon a lifetime of work in
wrestling and the dreams stemming from my childhood of being an NCAA champion?
Not to mention the sacrifice of a scholarship to one of the most prestigious
universities in the country. Needless to say, this was a difficult decision to
Important decisions are never easy but then again nothing worth doing is easy. If a person
truly wants to be happy they must pursue their calling. God calls each of us to
do something special with our lives. We have the choice to listen to God’s call and pursue
a life of happiness, or to disobey and live a life of struggle and
disappointment. I was living the later.
The first step in decision making is to identify what God is calling you to do.
God’s calling for you is something that makes you happy because true joy comes
from God. It is something that you love, because God is love. It is something
that you will stay up all night thinking about, then wake up in the morning and
get right back after it. Figuring out what your calling is can be difficult
enough but once you find your calling you must then find the courage to pursue
The decision to pursue your calling is a difficult one. When you make this decision
great sacrifices will almost certainly have to be made. While these sacrifices
are very difficult to make they will make any accomplishment you have in the
pursuit of your calling worth so much more. Without sacrifice achievement is
meaningless. So give these sacrifices willingly. Give them to God. There will
be a great risk involved. The risk of failing is what most people fear most,
but there is no such thing as failure unless you quit. There is such thing as
shortcomings, but shortcomings lead to perseverance, perseverance to character,
and character to hope for a better tomorrow. Have faith in God and give all of
your doubts up to Him. This will give you the strength to pursue your calling
with the power of God on your side. If God is for us then who can stand against
The next step is to do it! Don’t do it for others, and don’t do it for yourself, but
do it for God. No matter what it is that you choose to do, make your ultimate
goal to glorify God. Represent Him in whatever you do. God calls each of us to
do something special with our lives. Whatever God calls you to do, be the best
at it. Go after it with everything you have and be the best you possibly can be.
Live out your calling loudly and boldly. Others will notice your success and
they will see you give all the credit to God and they will want what you have.
Be a warrior for Christ, others will notice and join the fight.
After some time of deep thought, mental struggle, and a brutally honest assessment of
my own life I decided to pursue my calling. I decided to pursue a career in
MMA. I was forced to make huge
sacrifices and these sacrifices were very difficult to make. When I broke the
news about the new direction of my life my teammates and family they were
shocked. I knew I had to attack my calling with everything I had if I wanted to
be happy. The day after I told my coaches I was done wrestling I was in the gym
Here I sit a year and a half later a professional MMA fighter. I am 11-0 (pro/am).
I give all the credit for my success to God. He is the one who led me down
this path. I gain the strength to train hard and fight well from Him. I do not fear losing because I know
that a loss will only lead to perseverance, perseverance to character, and
character to hope. I don’t fight for myself or for others. I fight to glorify
God. My goal is to be the best fighter in the world and to represent God well
inside the cage. My hope is to lead others to Christ though my success in this
sport. I draw attention to myself through my performances and thus draw
attention to the power of God. I seek to show people a glimpse of Christ though
the way I fight, the way I act, and the way I carry myself. I live everyday for
Christ and do what I can to spread his good name though that which He has called
me to do.
With 5 boys in the family, it's not hard to see where our competitive drive comes from. Throughout out childhood we learned success come only through hard work and didicated. Iron sharpens iron as one brother sharpens another. We are very blessed to now have an opportunity to sharpen others.