Robinson Solidifies Personal Identity After Unsteady Roots are Uncovered


2021 NCAA qualifier Marcus Robinson of Cleveland State (Photograph/Cleveland State athletics)

Not like many different sports activities, wrestling offers an equal alternative to all youth, highschool, collegiate, and elite-level athletes no matter their age, dimension, gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic standing, familial construction, and numerous different components. These components alone don’t outline a person’s success. What defines a person’s success in wrestling is a mix of pace, agility, technical talent, and unmatched bodily and psychological toughness, all of that are met by an intrinsic motivation inside a person.

Each time a person steps out onto the mat, they carry with them invisible “baggage.” Though it will not be seen by spectators, coaches, teammates, or opponents, that baggage nonetheless incorporates weight. For a lot of people, that weight is considerably heavier than their opponents, affecting their id on and off the mat. Ideally, that particular person is hoping for a possibility to efficiently attain their last vacation spot; acquiring the prospect to empty their baggage by lowering the burden these constraints as soon as held on their life.

Marcus Robinson, a redshirt sophomore at Cleveland State College, isn’t any stranger to grappling with life’s challenges and discovering his id in and thru wrestling. Robinson was first launched to the game by his older cousin and pal; each of whom had an enormous affect on him. They wrestled at a small membership situated in his hometown of Arkansas Metropolis, Kansas. Robinson stated, “I wasn’t excellent at wrestling rising up, however I beloved to coach, and I wished to see how far I may push myself.” After years of centered coaching and pushing his physique to unimaginable limits, Robinson informed his dad, “I will be the following four-time state champ, simply watch.” In response, his dad replied, “Son, let’s simply give attention to making varsity first.” After Robinson’s 4 years at Arkansas Metropolis Excessive Faculty, he completed that after seemingly unattainable feat by turning into a four-time Kansas state champion, profitable every title in a special weight class. As well as, he notched 177 profession wins whereas additionally main his highschool workforce to a state championship. Robinson stated, “I nonetheless keep in mind that dialog with my dad in the present day. Even when I really feel like I haven’t got quite a bit left within the tank, that fuels me. It is one thing that has all the time grounded me again to my roots, and I proceed to press ahead.”

Marcus on the Kansas state match (Photograph/Marcus Robinson)

Robinson’s roots have not all the time been planted in stable floor. Throughout highschool, and amongst his most profitable wrestling achievements the place he was lastly discovering his id, Robinson realized that he and his youthful brother have been adopted. Though this information would fully derail most 16-year previous’s, Robinson remained optimistic and carried this extra weight with satisfaction. “My brother and I have been adopted at a really younger age; we have been each infants. I really feel like we got a second likelihood, and the parents I’ve now are and can all the time be our mother and father. They raised us to be respectable younger males and gave us a life we’d not have in any other case had. Once I came upon, I felt that it served as motivation for me, not solely within the wrestling room however in life. At instances it was troublesome to understand and discuss, however now I embrace it. It is a part of my story. Particularly now, I really feel like I am doing one thing that most individuals do not get the chance to do. I do not need to waste the chance, as I’ve all the time felt like I used to be going to do one thing larger than myself. I simply need to make my household proud,” Robinson stated.

Robinson added, “I need to give my little hometown of Arkansas Metropolis, Kansas hope. It does not matter the place you come from; you will be totally different and nonetheless accomplish nice issues. Finally, that is my story. I am totally different, and I am happy with it. I hope that I can encourage and inspire these round me, particularly with how I ended up, and the accomplishments I’ve had in my life to date. Your story is your story and thru a variety of onerous work and dedication, you really can do something.”

After grappling with this new info, Robinson set his sights on one thing greater than himself. He wished to change into the primary Division I athlete in his household. Robinson initially achieved that milestone by attending the College at Buffalo for 2 seasons, the place he gained over 40 mixed bouts. Most notably, Robinson positioned seventh on the MAC Championships in 2020 after profitable three matches as an unseeded competitor. Robinson competed alongside teammates Bryan Lantry, Alex Smythe, Jason Estevez, Kyle Todrank, and Michael Petite; all of whom contributed to Robinson’s success on the College at Buffalo. Robinson stated, “Bryan Lantry was the man I educated with on daily basis. He introduced out the competitor in me, telling me precisely what I wanted to do and the way I wanted to do it to be one of the best wrestler attainable. He actually believed in me.”

After two seasons on the College at Buffalo, Robinson set his sights on one other Division I wrestling program situated 197 miles away in Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland State College. Robinson shared, “I actually beloved the workforce, and I used to be near the blokes, but when I wished a greater shot at turning into an All-American, it wasn’t there. I wasn’t having fun with myself anymore and I wished extra for myself. I used to be underachieving at what I had initially got down to do, and I felt like I used to be getting held again. If I actually wished to do that factor the correct approach, Cleveland State was in the end the place I needed to be.”

As soon as within the switch portal, Cleveland State’s Head Coach, Joshua Moore, started to curiosity Robinson. When requested in regards to the switch course of, Coach Moore stated, “On our finish, the primary time I came upon that Marcus was trying to go away Buffalo was after I noticed his identify pop up on the switch portal. I remembered that Marcus wrestled Even Cheek (2018 EWL Champ) a number of instances that 12 months, and so they have been each actually good matches. From my few interactions, I may inform that Marcus was a competitor, well-mannered, had nice sportsmanship, and was a really good child. I made a decision to ask one other one in all our guys, Justin Patrick, who additionally wrestled at Buffalo, about Marcus. He stated that he was very quiet, humble, and a hard-working child.”

Moore went on to say, “I began calling Marcus late March, and it took him two or three months to commit. He actually wished to make the correct alternative by going to a spot that was residence for him. With Marcus being so far-off from residence, he wished to make it possible for he had an excellent connection together with his coaches and teammates. Though he could not meet too lots of the guys throughout the switch course of, Patrick basically served as a well-known face and pal that Marcus wanted to solidify his resolution.” Moreover, “By way of our conversations about wrestling, what we have been doing at Cleveland State, our expectations, and just a little bit about what being a husband and a father meant to us individually, I believe he felt actually snug with us as a training workers. Finally, I believe that is why he determined to choose Cleveland State.”

Fortunately, solely 197 miles separated Robinson from his girlfriend, Sydney, who supported him all through the switch course of. As soon as once more, Robinson was compelled to revamp his id after abandoning one of the influential components in his help system. Robinson leaned on his girlfriend and her household for parental steering resulting from being so far-off from his hometown. Robinson stated, “My people again residence, my household, and my girlfriend have all been vital components all through my journey. They proceed to inspire me to no finish, and I’m perpetually grateful for his or her affect on my life. Every part that I do is to make them proud, and hopefully get essentially the most out of it for myself.”

Marcus Robinson (Photograph/Cleveland State athletics)

After making the transfer to Cleveland State, Robinson started to search out his id within the wrestling room and past. Robinson shared, “I did not need to be simply one other man at one other large program. I wished to be part of one thing particular. I all the time wished to be a trailblazer and go someplace the place I could possibly be a frontrunner and make an influence. I wished to have nice coaches who may push us to that subsequent degree. I wished to point out that you do not have to go to an enormous college to win. You’ll be able to win at these smaller colleges. I wished to be the man, not simply one other man. That is a part of why I picked Cleveland State. It is an up-and-coming program and we’re solely getting higher. Our coaches have confirmed they will wrestle, each of whom are NCAA finalists and multiple-time All-People. They know their stuff, and I totally consider in them and belief them.”

Robinson continued, “At Cleveland State, I’m one of many largest leaders. Even at Buffalo, I used to be a frontrunner. I did not all the time perceive and even ask for the function, however there’s simply one thing in me that warrants the blokes to rally behind me. At Cleveland State, I’ve realized to be extra vocal. I’ve beforehand let my actions present and do the whole lot proper. However now, I rally the workforce and decide up guys which might be down. I’ve stepped out of my shell just a little bit. On the finish of the day, I need to be one thing particular for my workforce. I’ve a variety of ardour. I’ve a variety of combat. It is what drives me. I attempt to carry that out via my work ethic, how I stay my life, and what I do on and off-campus, out and in of the wrestling room, and the classroom; the whole lot I do.”

Concerning Robinson’s addition to Cleveland State, Coach Moore stated, “Marcus is a really proactive child. He’s the man that reveals up early and units the tone for observe. With this being the primary 12 months with him on our workforce, he was working his butt off on daily basis. He was not solely drilling on daily basis to enhance his personal expertise, however his teammates. He has taken a captain-like strategy to assist the blokes he’s competing alongside. He is confirmed them that there’s one other degree that they might and must be working at.” He went on to say, “We now have seen a dedication in his lecturers as effectively. At Buffalo, he was a reasonably good scholar, however he struggled a number of semesters with a median GPA. At Cleveland State, after feeling snug and realizing what his mission was, he had two of the best GPAs he has ever had. It reveals that when a child is doing effectively in a sport, academically, and socially, they will overcome adversity and do very effectively. As time has gone on, Marcus has change into a vocal chief within the wrestling room. Everybody begins out as a frontrunner by actions and dealing onerous, however he slowly began to understand that he may have a much bigger influence on the workforce and that he may affect them. He will be one thing larger than himself.”

Robinson has utilized his unsteady roots as a diving board for his success, by no means letting the extraneous weight hinder his progress. Trying ahead to the long run, Robinson hopes to coach for the world and Olympic workforce as soon as he graduates from Cleveland State. There is no such thing as a doubt that Robinson’s challenges to date have given him the motivation wanted to be a beacon of sunshine to everybody he meets. Robinson acknowledged, “If there are folks on the market like me, I need to give them hope. Hope you can be totally different, and nonetheless try to do what you need in life. You may not all the time know the place you come from or your previous life, however you’ll be able to nonetheless accomplish your goals and your objectives.”

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