I will always be most thankful to wrestling for two things: friendships, and self-confidence. It is consistently teaching me lessons that can be translated into “real life” problems. As many of the boys say “Life is wrestling, and wrestling is life”. When I think of that small, but significant quote, I remember all the lessons that I have learned since I began this journey, and wanted to share a few.
The first being “actions speak louder than words”. Everyone has always heard this quote, and if you haven’t before, now you have. In the wrestling industry, I truly believe that this is something that is applicable every single day. No one is exempt from it, from bookers to wrestlers, managers, trainers and support staff. Many may have good intentions, but many have the opposite. In many circumstances, I need to see things before they happen. Some will give you lip service to say what you want to hear, but real friends in this business will tell you not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear to be better… to challenge you to be better.
Some wrestlers will be your friends until you hear through the grapevine they’re sharing their true opinion about you, but never once spoke to you about it. However, not all wrestlers are like this. You will come across the few that want the best for you. These are the people who will pull you aside, and challenge you to be better. It is very hard to know who your real friends are within the industry. That’s because everyone is trying to get a spot and be better. Just remember, watch their actions, because words are useless.
The second life lesson wrestling has gifted me is this quote. “Not everyone will understand why you’re doing this, but the best people will support your madness anyways”. As I noted above you find who your real friends are very quickly. And the people who are there for the wrong reasons.
I try to keep my wrestling life very separate from my real life by following two rules: no dating in the workplace, and try to keep wrestling focused on certain days. I have been successful in both (so far). I have some past relationships not care to understand why wrestling is so important to me. On the contrary, I have also had some people only care about that one aspect of my life.
Trying to explain to “normal people” why you’re a wrestler is the greatest icebreaker. It’s so great in fact, that my best friend uses “My best friend is a professional wrestler” as her icebreaker too. (Yes, she does use it on her dating profile, and brings dates to my shows). This is just a small example of the people in my life, and how they support my madness. My best friend knows nothing about wrestling, besides the fact that I disappear on the weekends to get beat up. However, she is also the person who tries to understand the most. She cheers (boos) the loudest at any show she comes to.
The final lesson I want to elaborate on is: You never truly fail, as long as you tried. This lesson hits home the hardest and the most applicable to any aspect of life. Every single time someone asks me about wrestling, the topic of the bigger companies come up, asking if that’s my ultimate goal. To be honest, I don’t have an ultimate goal. In fact, I do have two internal goals that I have wanted since day one.
I just want the audience to want to see me wrestle, and for other wrestlers to want to work with me. Those two things are the highest compliments in my books. I just want to ride the wave that the wrestling industry is, and have fun making memories. The fact that I have even had a match means that I haven’t failed, because I have tried. Which sounds so cliché, but there is no way I could fail now.
With this article, I wanted to thank any person who has come to a show of mine, or anyone I have been on a card with. Even though I only listed a few things that wrestling had helped me realize, it just made me learn how to deal with these obstacles in life, with confidence. For that, I thank anyone who I have come across.