When There Is Laughter: Joe Rau’s Tale Of Pain, Perseverance, & Inspiration

A well-worn man knows the worth of his scars.

To adequately envision Josef Rau, take him off the mat. Transport him somewhere different. You’re hoofing it in the Arctic Circle, stranded alone and in the distance, you happen to spy a man less than a click away. He is walking with a slight hunch as he drags what’s left of his belongings towards a warmth you both know doesn’t really exist. No matter, with one foot in front of the other you trudge just a little quicker to catch up with this man. He is happy to see you, smiling wide despite the fact his skin is cracked and sore and incapable of painless movement. Even his laugh lines nearly come to a full rest before retreating back into the confines of such tattered flesh. The man greets you, he wants you to know the snow isn’t as deep as it seems to be, it is simply that the gear you’re wearing is weighing you down.

That is the secret the man knows. He has more of them should you listen. You should. Your pleasure in the moment keeps him upright during the hellacious trek through the unforgiving.

Rau is many things. This is common knowledge. He is his own Renaissance, hopelessly in love with a career in international Greco-Roman wrestling while also slumming it up with forays into stand-up comedy. Correct. You read that right. The 26-year old goes between practices at one of the country’s top Greco-Roman programs, the Minnesota Storm, to sometimes implausibly seedy clubs and the (naturally) hipster’ish coffee shops his other vocation calls for. You don’t call this a balancing act, no. That would mean there is adherence to a plan of some sort. Rau makes plans and breaks plans. He does what he wants, a point he repeatedly comes back to. It’s not that Rau is adverse to organizing his life-set. He wants to be more in-tune with the time management skills his loves necessitate. Improvement is gradually arriving. Continue reading at www.fivepointmove.com

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