Kashing in with KJ: Brothers I’ve Gained

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Photo / Robbie Sutter

I have consistently discussed all the things wrestling has taught me or given me. The most unexpected gift that professional wrestling has given me is: brothers. I don’t just mean the wrestling term “brother”, but rather big or little brothers who are now my family.

This may sound ridiculous, but this article idea popped into my mind as I stood on the side of a highway in the cold staring at a flat tire. I will just set the scene here for you. It was almost 1 o’clock A.M on a Sunday, driving back home from an out of town show, and we hear that dreaded clunking that comes from your tire rim. Minutes before, Lumberjack Larry, Chris Perish, and I were having a heart to heart, eating Twinkies (because we “deserved” them), and now we are holding our iPhones with its flashlight on, trying to figure out a way to jack this car.

Photo / KJ

With Larry swearing at himself, and Chris counting out the rotations until the car is high enough for the spare tire to go on, this is when I realized that there are no two people I would rather be stranded with. Larry even expressed how happy he was that we were there, otherwise he would have “broke down like a child”. Before this, we were most angry that the gas station didn’t have donuts, so we had to settle for Twinkies. As a result, it took us twice as long to get home, but that just meant it gave Larry more of an excuse to tell anticlimactic stories, Chris talking about his fat lip, and me to rant about life.

Growing up, I always wished for brothers. As luck would have it, of course, I got sisters. Until I started training for wrestling, I was okay with never getting that brother I always wanted. As a result of wrestling, I now have many brothers that I can confidently say will still be my family when wrestling has come and gone.

Photo / KJ

I never knew how nice it would be to have that big brother figure, always watching my back, even if I never knew they were. Many times I have asked them why they wanted to work with me or become my friend. Almost every single one of them said it was initially because I wasn’t afraid to train, and they recognized our common love of wrestling. We have now become family because of the bonds we have formed away from wrestling, in our ability to be there for each other, even if it’s just to grab a beer and watch hockey or check up on one another after a tough week.

My initial thoughts towards the “boys” in wrestling were purely derived from stereotypes I have heard. In contrary to those stereotypes, they are filled with emotionally driven athletes. Contrary to popular belief, these wrestlers do have emotions, sometimes it is just a little more difficult to break through those walls (be warned, once the emotions start, they ever end).

This is one of the best parts about wrestling: the people you meet. I have met people from all over the world, but no one will compare to the boys I trained with, who are now my brothers. This is just another thing I can be thankful for towards wrestling. There are more of these amazing humans in my life that are not mentioned in this article, but they are irreplaceable, even if they do give me a difficult time about Beyoncé lyrics.

Photo / KJ