Kashing in with KJ: First Match Feels

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Photo / Bac kbreaker media

In my last article, I spoke about my experience surrounding my first training session. In turn, I figured that I should talk about my first match, and all my anxieties surrounding show day.

I have mentioned previously that I had really bad sports anxiety and burnout during my tenure in competitive soccer. Therefore, when I was informed my debut match would be coming up, all those anxieties I once forgot, shot right back up. “Would I remember how to wrestle?” “Will I actually be good at this?” “What if I fail?” “What if people think I am awful?”

The questions just flooded me, and all my doubts surrounding my talent were brought to question by myself. So I sat there at the training facility, and excused myself to the washroom, so I could stare at myself in the mirror alone. This didn’t last very long, since I actually had to go back to train, and a few min later some girl elbowed me straight in the jaw. As a result, having a dislocated jaw gave me something else to worry about for another few weeks.

Photo / KJ

Just a little over five months after I started training, it was the day. The day I never thought would happen. The day of my first match. I just want to set the scene for you. It was an outdoor Canada Day show; the weather was very hot, with a threat of rain looming on the horizon. I arrived early to the show, and did the usual match formalities. That is when I was once again left with my thoughts. So I decided to go force myself to run the ropes, and do some rolls. Except the thing was, the mat was very hot from the sun beating down on it all day. I never realized this until I hit the mat and it felt like my arm was burning, I stood up, and noticed my feet were also burning. I was so nervous; I didn’t even notice how hot my feet were on the mat, because I didn’t have my training boots on. If that doesn’t tell you where my mind was that day, I don’t know what to tell you.

I felt so numb that whole day, because of how high my nerves were. Thank goodness I developed a “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” attitude. However, getting that attitude was the result of a mid match concussion anyway, so we wont discuss that day.

To this day, I remember everything about that match. I remember everything I did and how I felt. Once the three count hit (No, I didn’t win. Spoiler alert) I was immediately hit with a wave of emotion. I knew I needed to get backstage as fast as I could. I did so very efficiently that many people thought I injured myself. However, it was not that. I was so in disbelief that I actually had a match, and that I never gave up, that I just needed to let out my emotions I have been feeling for months. Many of my friends and family can attest to the fact that I’m not a very emotional person. Therefore, when I do cry it’s usually the result of repressed feelings.  

Photo / KJ

This is where I give my shout outs to two very important humans, who I consider two of my best friends.  Chris Perish was the first person to run up to me and hug me when I burst into tears. He asked if I was okay and what happened. I remember saying “I cant breathe, I am so happy right now.” Very shortly after, a beaming Lumberjack Larry pulls me in for a hug. I will never forget our words “You just did that.” Yes we did Larry. Without these two men, I wouldn’t have survived my first year of wrestling.

Comparing my match days then to now, is like night and day. I still get very nervous, but it usually doesn’t appear till I walk to the curtain and wait for my music to play. My heart still beats just as deafening, but goes away at the lockup. I always ask my Grandma to watch over me, so I “Don’t be an idiot.”