Traveling the world for a wrestler is often all a part of the plan. For Miles Patton, it was his trip to Berlin, Germany this summer that gave him the chance to live in another culture, while also completing classes.
Patton, redshirt sophomore this upcoming season, immersed himself in the culture while he was there. He stayed with a host family for seven weeks, and joined a German gym to stay in wrestling shape.
“I always wanted to go to Europe. Just to experience new culture, new ideas and new people. In high school, I took German and I liked it quite a bit. One of my professors said that if I was going to study German, that I should go to Germany, because it will change your life, so I listened to him.”
While most people want material items on during the holiday season, Patton had other thoughts. He asked for his gift be a trip to Germany. His parents were able to help him out and by the middle of summer; Patton was flying the 10-hour flight to Berlin.
Patton knew that this was his chance to witness things he would never have the chance to see in the United States. He woke up at, or before, 6:00 a.m. so he could get a workout in, then take a train after breakfast to class before returning home to go find somewhere he had not gone to yet.
“The most interesting things I was able to see was a holocaust museum. For me, going to Germany was my opportunity to see something like that. It was pretty powerful and crazy to be able to see it in person.”
Patton’s visit to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was one that he said moved him. The memorial consists of a Field of Stelae covering an area of 204-thousand square feet with 2,711 concrete blocks. The exhibition attracts nearly half a million visitors per year.
“There is an area with statues when you get to the museum, and you can walk into an underground area where there are quotes on the wall from Jewish people who wrote in their journals,” Patton explained. “It was the most horrible quotes about wondering if they would make it out alive. There were stories about how families were separated from one another; overall, it was remarkable to be able to see.”
With all of his classes, and adventures in Germany, Patton said it was the perfect opportunity for him to focus on things outside of wrestling.
“I actually didn’t step onto the wrestling mat for about seven weeks. Constantly wrestling can really wear you down, so I really like breaks to reset and reevaluate why I wrestle and why I do what I do,” said Patton. “Towards the end of the trip, I was really eager to get back and wrestle with guys here. I woke up a few mornings and would get into my stance and practice taking shots.”
This season, Miles said that he expects to be around 157-pounds, which is up from 149 where he was in seasons past.
With his summer journey over, and the start of classes, the plan now shifts back to the mat, back to the Gopher Tough mentality.
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