Well there’s always that one thing everyone has deep down inside them that they would secretly love to do. That small passion we all have that is the plot of so many random day dreams. You know how many people go ahead and give their passion a go? Hardly any. As humans we’re pretty much programmed to fear the unknown so of course most of the time we’re too afraid to give it a chance and see what it’s really like. Is it fear of humiliation? Most likely. Fear that it won’t be as great as you hoped it would be? Sure, why not. But I’ll give you this advice – shoulda, woulda, coulda people have nothing but disappointment. For me, that passion is wrestling. As any of my friends will tell you, I am a man obsessed with it. I have to be up at 9AM sharp on a Tuesday morning but I still watch Raw at 2AM every Monday night and PPVs whenever they roll around. I even watch dozens of matches and segments on Youtube every day. When I got back into wrestling, I started seeing it differently from when I had watched it as a kid. I started to appreciate the moves and the storytelling a whole lot more and picking out different styles and wrestlers that I liked. But for some reason just watching matches and talking about it to all the charming (sense the sarcasm) people you find in forums wasn’t enough. And luckily for me, there happened to be a wrestling school about half an hour away from where I lived.
It pretty much took me forever to actually get to my first day. I tried three weeks in a row to find the place but I had to e-mail them and ask for specifics, and they didn’t even have their name above the door (they had it up by the time I got there for week 2). But I did get there and the first day went as all first days generally do for me – I dread everything and I’m nearly killing myself with mini heart attacks and all my nerves. I was completely terrified when I walked through the door and I felt like a little kid who’s stumbled into a crowd of hardcore teenagers. Thankfully I was able to get out of the spotlight and just sign a form in an empty changing room. A couple of the guys were friendly enough but as I always do, I had my guard up. I mean, these guys did throw each other around for fun. There were two other guys on their first day as well so that felt a little better, and I was older than both of them. I feel a bit guilty for saying this now but it was a relief that one of them was slightly shakier than me. The big warm up was first and I was nervous about screwing up here and after a few unique exercises I was sitting on the toilet trying to keep my breakfast down. It stayed down and I got back up and finished the warm up. As far as I know, none of the guys had any clue.
The green guys got split up while the more experienced guys did in-ring stuff. We got to do stuff like bumping and chain wrestling. I see in a lot of interviews that wrestlers say bumping is always the hardest part of training but that was the easy part for me. It takes the breath right out of you but it was pretty fun since it was on crash mats. The chain stuff you take for granted when you watch it on TV but that was just the hardest part for me. I was pretty pathetic trying to get a hold of the sequences and I’m sure I pissed off the guy I was working with (who was considerably younger than me). I even had trouble locking up and I could really sense the two guys teaching me losing their patience (sorry, Sam). Then we got down to doing actual moves. We just waited in a line and two at a time would go doing a different move. We did clotheslines first and went around twice for them. Mine were alright but of course most of the other guys outdid me. I got to learn how to do a spinebuster, which I never thought would happen what with my lack of any upper body strength. Taking the spinebuster was pretty fun and it actually cleared up my back problems. The arm drag was probably what I was best at and it was a pretty fun move to do. I nailed the flying crossbody if I do say so myself, though the trainers would probably say otherwise...
I got thrown in the deep end again when it was time for a break. I just remember sitting rigidly on the floor in the changing rooms, nodding and glancing around as the other guys talked. I’ll admit I was proper intimidated by some of them but thankfully I was pretty much ignored, except when I actually spoke. The trainer Phil was a pretty interesting person to meet. Usually the different people I talk to about wrestling are kids and people my age but it was so cool to meet an adult who knew the business and had proper experience. He was very approachable and good to talk to. I can’t wait until I’m trained properly and I get to work with him. When they were having the matches at the end of the day, I started picking out the ones I thought were “must see” who had “it”. A couple of weeks later I found out that the two I thought were best had only been there for about three months. I guess there’s hope for me yet.