This past summer, a group of young women made history. The Missouri Nationals Women's Wrestling team, coached by Scott Cutbirth, Sarah Bollinger, Miranda Bennett and Joshua Bauer went to Fargo, North Dakota to the USA National Wrestling Championships. They were the first ever all Missouri Fargo Dual Team.
The month prior to the Championship, the young women completed two 3-day camps to come together as a team refine their techniques and hone their skills. Right before they headed off, Paige Folkner (one of the historic team’s wrestlers) was tagged on a Conscious Ink page celebrating how far they had come as a team.
Inspired by their strength and devotion, we decided to interview them to highlight their success.
Why do you love wrestling?
Paige: Because it teaches me life lessons, and how to overcome struggles.
How does it make you feel to have come this far?
Paige: Proud, strong, happy, empowered. Plus the feeling of having you hand raised [when you win] is just, well - victorious!
What do they want other girls/women to know about this sport?
Paige: It’s not just a male sport. It changes your life! That’s hard to explain, I just know wrestling makes you a better, stronger (mentally and physically) person.
Paige also mentioned that for those women strong and brave enough to become wrestlers, that there is a lot of opportunity for scholarships.
Paige’s grandmother, Pamela Bredenkamp, bought her the Conscious Ink tattoo that she is wearing in her picture. I asked for her perspective on the tattoo she chose and her granddaughter’s team’s inspiring journey.
Why did the SHE BELIEVED tattoo resonate with you?
Pamela: I chose this tattoo because it was empowering, female specific, and appropriate for the challenge(s) [Paige] faced. (Plus it was just cool!) This past school year, [Paige] wrestled on the McCluer North High School team as the only (and we believe first ever) female wrestler. As a Freshman, she had to earn her place on the team. She not only earned her place as a Freshman, she was awarded MVP for the Junior Varsity team as she had the most wins overall.
If you could tell the world one thing, what would that be?
Pamela: Do not downgrade your dream to fit your reality.
One of the team’s coaches, Scott Cutbirth said when asked about the experience, “I was blessed to be a small part of these amazing girls journey that included matching the State’s 15 year combined program history of 9 All Americans.”
These young women, their devotion, strength, and teamwork inspire as do the people who support them. As a community, we wish them every success as they charge on with their passion and discipline.
So can you.
“OUR JOB is to simply EMBRACE who we TRULY are and LET GO of the details. The ENTIRE UNIVERSE conspires to pollinate a SINGLE FLOWER. We'll be just fine.”
~Frank Gjata, Conscious Ink Founder
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