Slow and Steady Wins the Race

How Putting in the Work; Works

Maggie Williams

When Adam Gerstner started his freshman year at HSE, he emanated such an exuberant, yet aloof, persona that one could find resemblance between him and a professional race car driver. He raced across the track of life at such a speed that everything around him was indecipherable, but with an attitude so bright that Gerstner’s presence was undoubtably apparent. Regardless of whether he was playing Friday night football or wrestling on early Saturday mornings, everyone could always count on Gerstner to boost the team’s spirit.  

At just eight years old, he took up football, and when he was 12, took up wrestling after being encouraged by his older brother Jack Gerstner, who wrestled throughout high school. Today, after 48 varsity wrestling meets and 26 varsity football games, Gerstner’s athletic ambitions remains consistent with his 14-year-old self.  He remains spontaneous and sprightly, the player to admire for his attitude and work ethic.  

But after almost three years of high school under his belt, something happened to Gerstner: He grew up.  

Now 17, he has become a well-established character- a businessman, an esteemed figure in the HSE community and a student athlete on his way to graduate summa cum laude. And with him becoming a senior next school year, he has begun transitioning into the role of a leader through adapting a more responsible and exemplar persona.  

When asked if he preferred one sport over the other, Gerstner indicated that wrestling and football are such distinctive sports that its unfeasible to compare the two. 

“Both [wrestling and football], have greatly impacted who I am as a person,” Gerstner said. “They’ve taught me to make no excuses, to keep working and keep fighting, and to never let pain win.” 

Gerstner further elaborates on this impact by emphasizing the difference between the student he was freshman year and the student he is now. 

“My work ethic has 100 percent improved since my freshman year,” Gerstner reveals. “I’ve become a lot better at not procrastinating my work and making sure that I’m proud of what I’ve done before turning it in. I mean, I’ve always been somewhat smart, so my grades have never been an issue, but this year my stress levels and time management have improved a ton.” 

Junior Alex Billman, the kicker for the varsity football team, has noticed Gerstner’s growth throughout the years.  

“I’ve been best friends with Adam for over four years now,” Billman said. “From freshman year to today, there’s no doubt that his work ethic in the weight room and as an athlete has improved. He’s always grinding and putting in the work to get better.” 

While Gerstner greatly appreciates the effect both wrestling and football have on his overall persona, he finds more enjoyment being on the mat rather than the field.      

“In wrestling, the effort you put in leads to directly to how you do during meets,” Gerstner said. “In football it doesn’t matter how much work you’ve individually put in, whether we win or lose depends on everyone’s skill level, not just your own. I am somewhat type A, so it’s hard for me to not have total control over the results.”  

Although Gerstner has started taking life with less triviality, his cheerful and happy-go-lucky attitude is still ever-present. Dominic Burgett, a senior wrestler and friend, emphasizes the impact of Gerstner’s attitude: 

 “Adam is everyone’s number one hype man,” Burgett said. “He’s always encouraging the team to keep pushing, and he carries such a positive and outgoing demeanor that it’s contagious.”  

Gerstner takes great pride in being a Royal, and constantly strives to become more connected within the HSE community. During football and wrestling season, Gerstner also participates in HSE’s National Honor Society, the finance academy and DECA. Gerstner maintains several of his own businesses throughout spring and summer, of which include cleaning boats, mowing lawns and fixing landscaping. Through taking on these extracurricular and laborious activities, Gerstner hopes to improve himself and his ability in leading others.  

 “There are still times where I make mistakes and wound the athletic and personal progress I’ve made,” Gerstner said. “But football and wrestling have taught me that pain is just weakness leaving the body.”