It has been 4 years since Jesse Marunde passed away. He passed away doing what he loved, training. He was the #1 reason I got into strength athletics. I saw him doing strongman (And a lot of weightlifting training) and I believed I could do it because he wasn’t the typical strongman build. He was incredibly athletic as well as strong. The best part about him was how charasmatic and approachable he was. I met him out at Venice Beach in California right after my senior year of high school, although I had been a fan of his long before.
Most of you that know me know I went through a pretty rough patch after my jr year of high school. I had placed 3rd as a sophomore at state in wrestling and went 42-1. So as a junior the only acceptable placement was to win the title. I got beat in overtime in the semifinals and again had to go home disappointed. This time, a feeling that I let one slip away. I was absolutely devastated. I skipped school because I was too embarrased to talk to anyone or see anyone. Out of nowhere I decided to send Jesse an email just as a source of venting. This is what he replied to me:
“I lost the match that would have sent me to state by one point. I was crushed. Absolutely heart broken. The only time I can ever think of in my athletic carreer that I have cried. Some people never accomplish anything after highschool and their teen years remain as their pinnacle of physical achievement. If you do great things in your life, then not winning state becomes a small issue of your past.