Juan Colegio, senior Sharyland High School wrestler, spent the summer at an intensive wrestling camp in Wisconsin. Now entering their 40th anniversary year in 2017, J Robinson Wrestling Camps have trained more than 45,000 wrestlers with a teaching philosophy that focuses on developing technical skill, physical preparation, building mental toughness, and life skills. In 2017, 123 former JROB campers became state champions and 426 more placed at state.
James Penbrook, Sharyland High School Head Wrestling Coach, said “Colegio faced an incredible challenge at JRob. He faced 3 grueling workouts a day for 28 days straight with a great attitude and determination. I couldn't be prouder of him and expect great success for his senior season and for his future. A young man with this type of dedication will go far."
Juan Colegio shared his experience through the following paragraphs:
I’d be lying if I said I never wanted to quit, but I’m glad I didn’t. Traveling 1,517 miles to attend the most intensive camp in America for wrestling was first mentioned to me weeks after wrestling season finished. I received an invite to go wrestle at Australia in the summer and introduced the letter to my coach. He was impressed but promoted that I attend a month long intensive camp in Wisconsin. He gave me the info and I looked it up. I witnessed kids my age go through rigorous training and instantly wanted to sign up. My coach was pleased to hear that I signed up for it and preached about the transformations kids go through. So I started training even though I didn’t know what to expect. I ran every morning and attended the strength and conditioning my school was having. My coach spread the word to other coaches and they full on supported me. I knew it was a chance to not only become a better wrestler but a better individual as well.
Two months later, I journeyed through six states to get to my destination. The camp was held at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. They told us that our parents couldn’t help us register or take our bags to our dorms. From the moment we registered, we were independent. They handed us a personal interactive journal to write and a water bottle that would be checked daily. That day more than 250 kids from across the nation signed up for the intensive camp. We unpacked our bags and headed out to the field where they introduced the rules for us.
Always have our water bottle full and with us, never talk back to a coach, and don’t be out at curfew. They also tested our mile and split us up into running groups and wrestling groups. Every morning they had us line up for roll call in our running groups and check our journals that we filled out. After roll call we went for a jog for about 45 minutes. We showered and ate breakfast then prepared for a technique session in the wrestling compound that was ten-minute walk away from the dorms. After we rolled around the mat, we received a quick bite to eat for lunch and returned to the compound for a hard practice.
When I say hard, I mean we are soaked from head to toe with sweat. It was advised that we bring two pairs of wrestling shoes because they would be absorbing so much sweat. After every practice the coaches would give out “positives and negatives” for those who gave 110% and those who didn’t. Only two people per practice can get a positive and if the coach thinks no one deserves a positive, they don’t have to give it out. I heard that one time running group #1 all got negatives.
Every Friday was called "Red Flag Day" because the practices were so intense. I felt like it was the coaches’ personal goal to make us quit, but they were motivating us every step of the way. After every hard practice we sat and listened to the director of the camp J Robinson. Lakes of sweat formed below us as we sat and listened. It was mandatory to take a shower after every practice. I would feel accomplished after every hard practice knowing I got the hard part out of the way. When I would walk back to the dorms I'd reflect on the day and prepare for the next day. The final week was by far the best week. They took us out to a fair and we had fun. The day of graduation was the last Red Flag day and our parents were invited to attend. I'm sure everybody tried their hardest. Camp participants received graduation certificates. The next day was the final step. The mandatory 15-mile marathon. You had to pass it in under 2 hours and 45 minutes. I'm proud to say that I passed both the marathon and the camp and this is my biggest accomplishment yet. I feel that I have what it takes to reach my goal and be a state champion.