Tribute to the life of Jesse Marunde

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.

Yours in strength,
It was at that point I decided that I was not only going to win state my senior year, but that I was going to promise myself that I would not surrender a single point without me letting them. I decided the only points my opponents would score would be if I let them escape so I could take then down again. I accomplished both. I began seeking out othe resources to add to my training- training with Justin Kerber under a great weightlifting coach named Greg Kustra in Carroll, IA. I had ZERO doubt that I would do it. Ever. I just knew I would. The biggest thing I took out of it was that the only thing a fighter knows to do after a knockout is to GET BACK UP!! What is the other option? To quit? Give up because you are too disappointed in failing? Did Dan Gable give up after he went undefeated in high school, then all the way in college until his FINAL match?? No, he went on and won the Olympics without surrendering a single point. Don’t wait until you feel good to get back up, pick yourself back up no matter what and move forward.
So thank you Jesse, you were a huge inspiration of mine and are missed by a lot of people.
I must say- this is a pretty monumental day for me for a few different reasons as well. July 25th, 2011. A great day to remember and to celebrate for the rest of the year moving forward.
“Invest in yourself and earn interest.”

1 Comment

  1. Awesome Post, Jared.

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