What you see above is my medal wall. Looking at it reminds me of questions I was asked when I helped to plan the first GrapplersHeart tournament. The question was "Should we give out participation medals? The obvious answer to that is no and I've went into detail on that in other posts, so I won't do that here. However, that does bring me to the subject of this post and that is, "What do medals really mean?"
Well, that depends heavily on who you talk to. Keenan Corneilus says he just tossed them all under his bed after a while. I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment as medals medals only represent how good you were on that day. I firmly believe as a competitor you're only as good as your last fight. The only thing on that wall that will forever hold meaning is the certificate itself. Why? Because that doesn't represent just one day or one weekend, over a decade of work went into that. Switching schools, injuries, helping keep a school afloat, being literally the only one that competed for almost 3 years just so people wouldn't forget the school actually existed. Those are things you don't see or hear about, but that's the struggle. That's the hard part. Competing is easy.