“Live your dream.” – A Message From Jake’s Sister

It may sound cliché, but some people actually do “live their dream.” My brother, Jake, was definitely one of those people. I wear my wristband with the Curby Cup slogan staring me in the face all day. It tells me to “Live your dream.” I truly feel that this is what the Curby Cup is all about. We may not recognize the faces of the competitors we see on the wrestling mat the way that we recognize current athletic icons such as LeBron James or Tom Brady. But, these wrestlers live out their dream the same way as the athletes who show up in our media today. They’re living it without the promise of monetary gain and without the fame. They’re striving to simply fulfill their dream of competing in the Olympic games and test their will to its limits. And to me, THAT is exactly who Jake is.
I recently read Lance Armstrong’s book, It’s Not about the Bike, and was reminded of Jake’s own battle with leukemia as a teenager. In fact, as I read the details about Armstrong’s quick decline mid-competitive season and dangerously high doses of chemotherapy that followed, the parallels between his story and Jake’s were actually uncanny. I was only twelve when my brother was diagnosed with cancer and did not fully comprehend at the time the battle he was waging against his tumor-covered organs and the aggressive chemotherapy treatments that nearly killed him.
After Jake’s cancer went into remission, he truly spent the next 10 years of his life LIVING. He was a man on a mission toward a goal so few achieve: competing in the Olympic Games. He traveled to so many amazing countries and tested his will over and over again without the reward of fame or riches. The most important thing to remember is that Jake’s dream is not entirely unique. So many amazing athletes and young kids have admirable dreams that have the potential to break their will and prove how strong they are. The raw emotion , battle, and intensity of wrestling is an awesome display of such dreams.
I never was a wrestler (unless being head-locked in the living room by older brothers counts—pretty sure it doesn’t.) Yet somehow, I love the sport of wrestling. I appreciate the struggle. I understand that wrestling is just a metaphor for everything in life that might beat a person down. I understand that sometimes we get tossed around and we lose. At better times, we make it out with our arm raised and a little bit stronger. But I also understand that it’s not about winning or losing. It’s about engaging in that fight to live out our dreams. This year is a very special year for the Curby Cup because I can’t wait to watch our very deserving Olympians live out their dreams!