Freshman Female Wrestler Inspires Others with Courage, Grit

Menjivars%27+wrestling+squad.
Menjivars' wrestling squad.

Menjivars' wrestling squad.

Menjivars' wrestling squad.

Peyton Hijar, Staff Writer

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   It’s always surprising when a freshman makes the varsity team their first year, but when that freshman only has one leg, people’s heads turn.

   Alysa Menjivar is a freshman at Clairemont High School. She recently decided to join the wrestling team for the winter season. It was her very first time trying to wrestle; she soon found out she was a natural. She made the varsity team after practicing for just a few weeks. Though she was surprised by making varsity so quickly, it was exciting. “I’m not super strong, but I would say I’m strong for someone on their knees all the time,” she said.

   When wrestling, she tends to be matched up against people who are in the same weight class as her, so it is always a fair fight. She trains hard by practicing every day. The conditionings are the hardest part. “When I first went, I was dying, but if you keep going it really builds your strength,” she said.

   What makes her story truly different from the rest is the fact that Menjivar wrestles with only one leg. “I was born without a tibia, and that’s the bone that you need to walk. So if you don’t have the tibia then how exactly can you rely on the support of that bone?” she explained.

   “There were only two options: I could either get my leg amputated, or I could just stay the way I was born and stay in a wheelchair all my life,” she added. She is very grateful that her parents chose to amputate. She is able to walk and wrestle, something she might have been incapable of doing if her leg was not amputated.

   People usually see her with a prosthetic leg on, but for wrestling she almost always takes it off. “I’ve had to learn how to do all of my moves while basically being on my knees,” she shared. Sometimes she even stands up on one leg, but it hurts. Along with wrestling, she has also played soccer, basketball, and swim. She’s had to learn to deal with the different reactions people give her, and just focus on competing. “I get lots of different looks. I either get the sad, pitiful, disgusted, admiration, or sometimes just neutral looks.”

   Through it all, she continues to inspire athletes from all over San Diego. “When I’m in action, some people have told me, ‘Oh my gosh you’re so inspiring, and it’s amazing that you can do what you do. You do it with such confidence,’” she said. She has learned to keep going, and to be grateful for what you have. “It’s hard for me to look at everyone else and see what I want, knowing that I can’t have it, but in reality I’m just happy I have a prosthetic and that I can still walk,” she said.

Her goal is to inspire anyone that they can do whatever they put their mind to. And she plans to continue working hard to make her wrestling season the best.

1 Comment

One Response to “Freshman Female Wrestler Inspires Others with Courage, Grit”

  1. Ella Marchal on February 8th, 2018 9:41 am

    This is a beautifully written article. I love how inspiring it is! Great job Peyton.

    [Reply]

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