CHANCE LAWSON RETURNED TO WRESTLING AFTER BEING STRUCK BY A CAR
Back in 2015, Chance Lawson was, as he puts it, just an average kid.
His biggest concern at the time was how to make the varsity wrestling team.
Early in the school year, he went running with one of his friends in order to increase their cardio.
“We went to the local high school track to time our mile,” he said. “I still remember that exact time to this day: 6:27 p.m. On our way back, we had to cross a four-lane highway, which wasn’t very smart to begin with.”
Darkness was coming quickly. Chance began crossing the street.
“My friend yelled at me,” he said. “When I turned around, a car hit me going over 45 mph.”
The next thing Chance remembers is laying on the ground. Everything was moving in slow motion. When he started to come to, pain flooded his entire body.
“I underwent emergency surgery,” he said. “The last memory I have before going under was my wrestling coach telling me I’d be a future state champion. Almost storybook, right?”
Chance had to get around 40 stitches on his arm and shoulder, and he messed up his knee pretty badly. Somehow, from an injury perspective, he didn’t come out too bad comparatively – no broken bones.
“The survival rate of pedestrians hit by cars going over 30 mph is about 10% and I somehow came out with zero broken bones,” Chance said. “I ended up wrestling until my junior year when I quit so I could focus 100% on powerlifting. Around the time I got hit by a car, I was 135 pounds and now I'm weighing about 170. Before that day, I thought I was tough and knew what pain was. The truth is most of us have no idea what pain is like. When I found APEMAN STRONG, that's why the brand spoke to me so much.
“It's for the people that aren't the same as everyone else.”
Chance said the hardest thing he’s ever had to overcome was fear. At his first varsity wrestling tournament after his injury, he beat an opponent that kicked his ass the previous summer.
“Then I went on to get my ass kicked in the next match,” he said with a laugh. “The guy I faced lat-dropped me and beat me in about 30 seconds. The next weekend, I faced him again and I was incredibly nervous and scared. I came out there telling myself this kid thinks he's going to roll right through me.”
It was a close match… that is, until Chance broke the guy’s nose and they had to carry him off the mat crying.
“I looked at my coach and said, ‘Does this mean I win?’” Chance remembers. “That same kid came back towards the end of the season from his nose injury and won state.”
Conquering fear is vastly easier said than done, and the exact way to do that differs for each individual. Chance’s experience taught him to never quit. It sounds cliché, but it’s absolutely true.
“Always keep pushing for whatever your goal is even if it seems impossible,” he said. “My wrestling coach taught me that your body is capable of way more than you think, and he always told me that none of our practices were hard. He was right. Physical stuff might bring you pain, but it's all just in our heads.”
Chance let's out all of his anger from the world in powerlifting. There were some dark days he went through, but he would go to they gym and lift until he couldn’t feel the emotional pain any longer.
Sometimes, that’s what it takes.
“The POWERED BY RAGE shirt is what I identify with the most,” Chance said. “There is a part of me that is so angry when I lift. I use it to my advantage. I think about the most fucked up things about this world before I go for a PR. I think about people being homeless, stepping between my mom and her ex-husband, how a guy can rape a girl easily and get away with it, and so much more. People think it's just some saying on a shirt, but it’s deeper to me. It doesn't matter how good everyone else is because you should go in there knowing you work harder than everyone else.”
Powerlifting is a part of Chance now. Just like wrestling was before.
“It keeps me as sane as I can be in this world,” he said. “Luckily I found this instead of drugs or alcohol.”