KEFI: Wrestler

Yiasou fee-leh! It’s rewarding to have this opportunity at WindyCity Greek to spread KEFI in the name of Positive Energy; and this day we link energy to an ancient Greek sport.

In today’s dose of Kiki KEFI, we’ll examine a sport of the gods. A sport that required discipline, plus mental and physical agility, in order to win. You’re wondering what KEFI  has to do with a wrestler? Read on.







The Wrestler

Zeus, the God of all Gods in Mythology – had one objective – TO WRESTLE.

We as humans add another dimension to wrestling; and that is the mental side of wrestling with our emotions and our thoughts.

The dynasty of wrestling is a magical and colorful as the stories in foregone mythology, dating back to the ancient Olympics in Greece with the category of oldest competitive sport B.C.  Wrestling has been on the program every modern games except 1900. In 2013 the sport lost its Olympic place, but was reinstated for the 2020 Games when the IOC overturned a decision.


Ancient Wrestler

Historically speaking, the sport is remarkable with cave drawings of wrestlers being found as far back as 3000 B.C., it was introduced into the ancient Olympics in 708 B.C. Today, wrestling is just as relevant as in the pre-historic days in that it teaches boys to become men and spectators to become entranced with the mano e mano skill and strategy battled out on the mat.


Wanted: Wrestler

Gold medalist and 10-time national championship coach at the University of Iowa, Dan Gable, and said point blank:

“After you wrestle, everything is easy.”

I believe this since wrestling is such a physical sport of one on one, where no parents can play favorites and not everyone gets a trophy.  Such life lessons are about competition.

Goldman Sacks on Wall Street actively recruits wrestlers over the Ivy League wiz kids because of the competitive nature on the knock down- get back up success attitude you receive from the grind of wrestlers.

“Give me a wrestler over a valedictorian and they will take on any challenge and turn lemons into lemonade.” ~ Jamie Dimon, fellow Greek and former president of Chase Bank


Wrestler lessons

What is tough about wrestling?  Everything; from the second the foot hits the mat, and the hands come out for combat, it’s either take down or be down. The Greek word for wrestle, πάλη, is a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other and which is decided when the victor is able to hold him down with his hand upon his neck.  

Coach Weber, the winningest Iowa high school Wrestling Coach in history at Don Bosco high school, said there are three lessons that are critical in match day preparation.


The Journey: you gotta live it – so why not love it and learn from it?

Calm Down: Save your energy for the match – not the hype.

No Negativity: Rid Yourself of Negative Thoughts. Prepare yourself to respond in a positive way to any adversity you encounter.


I believe these lessons are directly associated to everyday life.


Wrestler: engage body and mind

As you can gather, wrestling is not only a physical sport, but a mental one. Enter the notion of wrestling with one’s emotions or thoughts, which we do all day long. We wrestle thoughts of doing one thing or another; buy or not to buy, invest our time or spend our time, eat or not to eat, drink or not to drink, fight or keep quiet and the exercise extends a mile long.  The key is to prepare your mind to choose with diligence.   


Wrestlers have KEFI

Here in the KEFI cafe, we pay homage to a sport that teaches and disciplines from the mat and the mind. Wrestling prepares us for the contest of life, to go head-to-head with our opponent, whomever or whatever that may be. The principles of wrestling are the same today as they were thousands of years ago;  strive with humility, perseverance and strength.   

Legend has it that the Gods recognized Zeus for these same qualities of being humble and persistent – thus proclaiming him “God of all Gods”.  As humans we can take a cue, and live out our days with a wrestler’s fortitude.  

Find more KEFI-inspired stories at

Other articles by Kiki Vale:

KEFI: Creativity and Passion Inspire Hellenistic Ethos

KEFI: 55th Wedding Anniversary – PERSEVERANCE

KEFI: The Theotokos – Most Holy Mother

Hippocrates had KEFI- Essential Oils have KEFI

KEFI – Bucket List


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