We spend 8 hours a day, for 10 months a year, for nearly 17 years, sending our kids to school to prepare them for life.

In all of that time, there is never a course on sacrifice, on goal setting, on perseverance, on overcoming adversity, on being a great teammate.

I guess that is what the sport of WRESTLING Is for.

One of the greatest assets in my life, other than my family and friends has been the sport of wrestling.

It has made me into the person I am today.

A person who can handle whatever adversity life throws at me.

The disciplines of wrestling are impactful on a young athlete’s life.

At first, one wrestles to win championships.

Then, after many years, one realizes it wasn’t the pursuit of championships what wrestling was all about – the sport of wrestling is about preparing one for life.

I owe a great deal to this sport, that is why I write about it passionately.

I have written about the sport in my memoirs, “6 Minutes Wrestling with Life,” “Again,” and “Your Soul Knows,” and I continue to write about it in my blog www.johnpassaroblog.com

This book is a compilation of all my writing on this great sport.

The book is designed to be read like each chapter is a short story, separate from one another.  Chapters can be read in order or randomly, that is your preference.

Some stories are excerpts from my blog, while others are from my memoirs.

I felt it was necessary to compile all my writing of this great sport under one cover.

The chapters that are excerpts of my other books have been slightly edited to preserve the integrity of the story they come from.

I hope you enjoy reading Wrestling Writing, as much as I have enjoyed living it.


Get ready to laugh, cry, smile and think. There is a club in this world you do not join knowingly.
One day you are just a member.
It is “The Life-Changing Events Club.”
The fee to join the club is hurt beyond belief, payable in full, up front, for a lifetime membership.
The benefit of the club is a newfound perspective on life, and a deep understanding that you may not be happy about your current situation, but you can be happy in your current situation.
The club does not provide a directory of its members, but when you look into a member’s eye, you can tell that they, too, are part of the club.
Members are allowed to exchange brief eye contact that says, “I didn’t know.” Being a member of this club is the last thing anyone intentionally wants in their life.
Being a member of this club is the best thing that ever happens to a person in their life, and there is not a person who would ever give up their membership. If you really look and know what you are looking for, you can spot the club’s members. They are the ones who perform a random act of kindness; people who do something for someone who can never repay them.
They are the people spreading joy and optimism and lifting people’s spirits even when their own heart has been broken.
I have paid my dues.
My lifetime membership arrived today.
Not by mail, but by a deep inner feeling I cannot describe.
It is the best club I never wanted to be part of.
But I am – for life.
Here is my story.
Twenty-six years ago, my mission in life was to win a New York State Wrestling Championship.
I committed myself to a lifestyle, I made the sacrifices, I put in the time, I starved myself, I even shaved my head.
I had the hunger, the desire, and the determination, but I came up short. 
For many years, after I graduated it seemed like I got nothing out of my six years of total dedication to the sport. That the trade-off of what I gave and what I got in return to this sport was way out of whack.
I hated wrestling for it.
To put every ounce of your soul into achieving something and to get nothing out of it in return was beyond my comprehension and I just could not justify it in my head.

Until I had adversity in my life.

And slowly but surely, I started realizing how much the sport of wrestling actually has given back to me.
Much more than I ever knew.

Every Breath is Gold is much more than a wrestling book.
It is an inspirational book on life, love, loss and belief.

You will never look at life the same way again.

Every Breath Is Gold Trilogy - includes:
* 6 Minutes Wrestling With Life (Book 1)
* Again (Book 2)
* Your Soul Knows (Book 3)
In the Eye of the Storm is a collection of inspirational stories, and thoughts on converting adversity, loss, and grief into a newfound perspective on life.

In The Eye of the Storm

I have come to realize my ideal place, my right place, my one true home, is in the eye of a storm.

For it is the storm, which has made me appreciate the calm.

It is the clouds, which have made me see clearly.

It is the rain, which has caused me to grow.

It is the odds, which have taught me to believe.

The ocean, which has made me feel vast.

The waves, which have made me feel directed.

The oars, which have made me feel purposeful.

The solitude, which has made me soulful.

The empty boat, which has made me resourceful.

Yes, I am most at home in the eye of a storm.

For, the eye of a storm has magnified and extracted from me my greatest asset.

My fight.

The eye of the storm has pounded me into the best version of myself and revealed to myself who I am.

And what I value.


So, give me a rowboat and some oars.

Throw me into the ocean, far from land.

Pelt me with rain and stun me with thunder.

I will never go under.

For I’m not looking for any port in this storm.

For it is in the eye of the storm where I yearn to be.

Right here, turning into my best me.

Thank you, adversity.


The book is divided into sections:
Chaos and Adversity
The Journey
Intuition and the Soul
The Universe and the Divine
Writing and Words
Family and Community
Life Through Sport
Gratitude and Appreciation
Belief, Confidence, Enthusiasm, and Hope
Working, Fighting, and Never Giving Up
Fear, Pain, Failure, and Discouragement


I never won a National Championship.

I have never been an All-American.

I never won a State Championship or even a Sectional Championship.

Heck, I don’t even have cauliflower ear.

Not even on one ear.

But 36 years after wrestling my last match I still consider myself a wrestler.

That is because wrestling to me is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle.

For the longest time, 26 years to be exact, I wanted nothing to do with the sport as I felt the sport took everything I had and gave me back nothing in return. I pledged I would never let my kids wrestle as I never wanted them to experience the pain that I did from this sport. But something brought me back. And my kids did wrestle. And 26 years after leaving the sport I would come to realize what this sport has given back to me in my life. When I needed it the most. It taught me how to fight against unbearable adversity. To have an unbreakable will. And to be delusionally optimistic, among many other things.

I’ve experienced this sport from every angle. I was a wrestler myself for six years. I’ve been a father of a wrestler for ten years. I’ve been a father of a wrestling coach for three years. I’ve been a coach all my life. And I will forever be a fan of this sport. Looking back over my time in this sport, it is clear to me that there are two types of former wrestlers.

Wrestlers who successfully bridged into life by applying the discipline and principles they learned on the mat, and those wrestlers who hadn’t. I noticed that it didn’t matter what a wrestler’s accolades were, each type of former wrestler existed at every level of success or non-success in the sport.

I am amazed at the disparity of the quality of life between the wrestlers who had applied the principals they lived on the mat and those who didn’t. The wrestlers who didn’t, never used their resources to propel them into life to be able to handle the adversities life would throw at them. They seemed to be beaten by the exact principles wrestling taught. How ironic, the very people who lived the principles on the mat didn’t apply them off the mat.

I have been blessed with the understanding that wrestling is much more than a sport, it is a lifestyle.

That has been invaluable to my life. It has made such a difference in the quality of my life.

So much so, that I feel compelled to share the principles that I’ve learned.

My hope is that these principles will ring true to wrestlers who need them the most.

Champions who need help in life.

My other hope is to bring homage to a sport that when all the accounting is complete has given to me more than I gave to it. And I gave it everything I had. And in return, it gave me everything that I am.

I am a wrestler.

I’ve lived 6 years on the mat. And a lifetime off the mat.

“Wrestling Rules For Life” are the principles that have been so valuable to me.

Have you ever wondered why two wrestlers can wrestle multiple times with drastically different results?

Or why – Wrestler A beat wrestler B, Wrestler B beat wrestler C, But wrestler A lost to wrestler C?

The answer is hidden in plain sight.

Styles make matches.

Choosing to create advantaged positions and avoid disadvantaged positions, is the most underutilized strategic asset in wrestling.

The wrestler who wrestles in his highest advantage position, for the longest time in the match, will have the greater probability of winning.

That is the reason why two wrestlers wrestle multiple times with drastically different outcomes, and why the logic doesn’t hold that if one wrestler beat another he should be able to beat the wrestler his prior opponent beat.

If you watch and research matches between the same wrestler’s you will see, more times than not, the reason there was a different outcome was because one wrestler was able to wrestle in his highest advantage position in one match and was not able to do so in the other.

Your job is to understand which position is your most favorable matchup position versus your opponent.

Where you have the greatest advantage.

Where you have the highest probability of scoring points as quickly as possible.

And to get to that position.

I believe, you don’t get to that position by chance,

I believe, you get to that position - 

By Choice.

"Choice, not chance, determines your destiny" - Aristotle


"Choice" is part of 

"Wrestling Writing"

40+ inspirational wrestling stories capturing the people and culture of the greatest sport on earth.

Each single is written true to length, ranging from 10-40 pages. These singles are purposefully designed to be written short and concise and are a sampling of the book "Wrestling Writing"
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