The 2017 Senior Perspectives is the 12th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
Henry Cousins, Wrestling
Hometown: Lincoln, Mass.
Concentration: Molecular and Cellular Biology
House Affiliation: Dunstar House
Wrestling packed its bags just a few months ago, but what did it leave behind? Scars, of course. They’re more like tattoos at this point, reminders from moments I barely remember about the events that defined me. And lessons too. The experiences that have guided the whole mission.
It’s a special kind of test to love something when your motivation for doing it changes abruptly. It is one thing to wrestle for accolades, for the thrill of seeing opponents stare and whisper to each other when you walk by. It’s a different game when that vanishes completely and every bout is a war. Then one finds out if he loves wrestling itself or just the prizes it can bring. I suspect this happens in most pursuits at some point.
I laced my shoes on the mat every day because I cherish the lessons of the sport, which never really stop coming. It’s taught me about pride and family, about attitude and courage and the skill of doing what’s right at any cost. I never understood Kant until I learned a double-leg takedown. Now, my time passed through, I consider myself a teacher of its lessons as well. There is no better course to learn, and few more full of honor to teach. Thank you, Harvard wrestling, for it all.