Winners Pull the Trigger

Winners Pull the Trigger

By Steve Fraser

July 29, 2014


The day I started realizing that “going for it, all out” was one of the biggest keys for me to compete at wrestling’s top level was the day I started to dramatically improve my skills, my physical conditioning, and thus my success in the sport of wrestling.


I remember the day. It was a cold, dark morning, around 6:15 a.m. in the month of December, 1981 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was struggling to get out of bed, tired and sleepy, not wanting to get up. I was so not a morning person! I remember thinking, “What am I doing here? Almost everyone I knew was still sleeping comfortably and warm under the blankets of the cozy, snug familiar place they called their bed.” 


Here, I was scheduled to meet my boss, the Washtenaw County Sheriff Thomas R. Minick, on this frigid cold winter morning at the department for a workout together. We would regularly run outside and then end up lifting weights at the department’s work-out facility, prior to starting our day on the job. 


Sheriff Minick, who was a tough and rugged man, was in great shape and always kept a great workout regimen. He was the “top dog” in the county, respected fiercely among his peers and county officials. He was the ultimate example of what a Sheriff should be like. And I was in awe of him.


He had hired me at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department to run their County Jail “Community Work Program” (an alternative jail sentencing program) with the idea that I could also continue my quest and training for the 1984 Olympic Trials and Games. He allowed for some flex in my eight-hour work day to still train and make my afternoon practices at the University of Michigan, where I wrestled daily.


Sheriff Minick was doing me a great favor in supporting my Olympic wrestling goals while employing me. Needless to say, I did not want to disappoint him in any way. Thus I had no choice but to get my behind up out of bed and go to meet him for our workout. Now keep in mind there were many mornings when he did not show, for various reasons, but I did not ever want to guess wrong and not show up fearing that he would. 


It was this morning, as I contemplated whether or not he might show, that I came to a realization and decided that I had to totally commit to this whole idea of training like a mad-man and pulling the trigger 100 percent. I decided that I was not going to second guess myself or my training and I was going to “go for it! All in! Both barrels a-blazing!” Tom Minick was the catalyst that helped me determine this.


I think it comes down to making a conscious decision in life. Am I going to do this thing or am I going to keep holding back?


I don’t know what holds us back sometimes; fear or failure, past experience, over analyzing, doubt that we can actually succeed? Whatever it is, we must realize that all great champions have the same issues. The great champions become great champions because they don’t let these emotions keep them from pulling the trigger. They take action regardless of their fears. Action is the main ingredient that moves athletes and people forward.


I remember thinking that I was going to “act” no matter how many setbacks, failures, and obstacles got in my way. I took the attitude that I was going to exhaust all the mistakes I could possibly make, until there were no mistakes left to make. The only thing left would be success!


I took the approach that I would pull the trigger, shooting first, and then aim later. Too much aiming (analyzing) was holding me back. I thought better to “shoot first and aim later”, and yes, I was going to make some mistakes but at least I would be “all in.”


Few people might think that a hitter who struck out the most times in baseball history would be thought of as a good player, much less a Baseball Hall of Famer. Tell that to Mr. October, Reggie Jackson.


Let’s go for our dreams, all out, no hesitation, no holding back! Pull the trigger each and every day and our dreams will become reality.