You talk about being born with one leg and doctors being unable to explain the cause. Is this still the case? Do doctors still not know why?
A: Growing up the doctors couldn’t explain what happened with me and I struggled with that for quite a long time because I wanted an answer. The way I see it, this is who I am and I am not ashamed or embarrassed that I have one leg. So I’m in a place now where it doesn’t matter to me if I ever have an answer for why I was born this way.
When you were growing up, did you ever feel like you couldn’t do things that other kids were doing?
A: Absolutely not. My parents raised me just like my siblings, so I didn’t receive any special treatment. They never treated me like I was handicapped or had a disability; I grew up believing that I was just like any other kid. I never believed that there was anything I couldn’t do; I just needed to figure out a different way to do certain things.
How do you believe wrestling helped you in life?
A: Wrestling has taught me the value of hard work (even if outsiders don’t see much glory in it), self-discipline, and a lot of mental toughness. Above all else, self-confidence. When I wrestle, I’m out there all alone, just me and my opponent. So If I lose, I have nobody to blame but myself. That’s what I love about the sport—it all comes down to my best against my opponent’s best and really a battle of wills.
You certainly turned your disability into an opportunity over the years. What is your message for people facing adversity?
A: My message to others is that we all face challenges, we all have something we have to “wrestle” with in our lives. There are always negative people out there who, no matter what we do, will try to bring us down. Despite all these challenges we can be unstoppable.
What is your next challenge in life?
A: I’ve been blessed in my life. I’m keeping busy, working on my book and traveling, sharing my message of being unstoppable. My next personal challenge is with my prosthetic leg. I was fitted with one a few months back and my long-term goal is to be able to run with it. I’ll get there one day.
Anthony Robles first book, Unstoppable, will be published September 27th.