Benjamin had never considered himself an athlete. Then, while in a class at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School his freshman year, a group of friends encouraged Benjamin to join the wrestling team, which led to competing at the national level.
Watch Benjamin's Story:
From a young age, Benjamin has been driven to find out how things work, “When I was a kid, I used to love to take apart machines to figure out how they worked, says Benjamin. “My mom had to lock certain things away from me.” While in a class at CH-CH his freshman year, a group of friends encouraged Benjamin to join the wrestling team. After a few losses, he began winning match after match, gaining a spot in the national tournament. “The competition was insanely tough, but it sparked something in me,” he says, “I now consider myself athletic and I work hard at staying in shape. It’s really changed who I am.”
Transcribed From Benjamin's Video:
I would not have considered myself an athlete before I came to Chapel Hill, and I didn't ever expect I would be. When I was a kid I used to love to take apart machines to try to figure out how they worked. Things that really confused me that I didn't understand or didn't see how they could possibly work… that was what I was really interested in. Now there’s thousands of topics I am interested in and would love to explore and have taken classes in; psychology, neuroscience, biology, biochem.
I came here and I was in a class with a bunch of older, bigger guys, and they encouraged me to join the wrestling team, and that's had a huge impact on my life. I went there freshman year, and I lost my first two matches. I was told I fought really well, and they were both really tough opponents. I went through the year like that, and I had a lot of fun, and I ended up winning a lot of my matches. I ended up qualifying for the regional tournament, so I went there, and there were 14 other wrestlers. I went in and did my best, I wrestled hard, and I ended up making the top six regional placers, which qualified me for the national tournament. The competition was insanely tough, but that sparked something in me, and ever since wrestling has been my sport.
Like I said, before Chapel Hill I was never really athletic, but now even if I don't ever go back to nationals, I think that's had a huge impact on my life and how I define myself. Now I would consider myself athletic. I work out, I frequently run, I joined the cross country team, and I played varsity soccer for a year. I now work hard at staying in shape and it's really changed who I am.