Workout of the week.
Monday night post kickboxing workout, explosive legs and shoulders. It’s basically the same sort of format with supersets. This workout is designed for maximizing your shoulder’s push potential and adding an explosive leg dynamic.
Warm up: 5 minute round jump rope. A few failed attempts at criss-crossing your arms is acceptable.
1. Snatches. 65 lb kettle bell for 6 reps each arm for the initial set. For the next 4 sets barbell snatches at 135lbs. 3-4 reps each set. Squat wide with overhand grip and explode throwing the weight over your head and catching it with arms strait up.
Superset 1. Squat to high jump. 6 reps for the initial set at a moderate height. Next 4 sets alternate between 3 reps maximum high jump and 6-8 reps of squat jumps for distance down a large open space.
Now, complete superset 5 times at minimal rest before moving to next exercise.
2. Hanging cleans. 135 lb barbell for the initial set at 5 reps. Next 4 sets increase weight to allow you to do no more than 3 full out reps. In my case it was no more than 5lbs per side. Hanging at your waist, with overhand grip thrust hips forward catching weight in clean position, explosively press the weight overhead.
Superset 2. Machine upright rows. 15 reps at decent weight, I don’t understand those damn machine settings.
Superset 2b. Jumping lunges. 10 reps. Final set blast out 20 or more.
Complete superset 5 times yadda yadda.
3. Shoulder shrugs. Heavy dumbells or load up one of those shrug levers with plates. 12-15 reps all sets.
Superset 3. Swiss ball hamstring curls. Lying on your back with swiss ball under heels and ass in air. Pull the ball in as you explode onto your shoulders from the mat. 15 reps each set.
Superset total is 5.
Finish off on the bosu ball alternate lateral jumps while passing a medicine ball for 3 sets of 10.
Stretch out and the next day, which for me is today, shoulders and legs are destroyed, 3 classes of MMA tonight were rough to get through, but that’s how it goes.
It is now 2 days since this workout, traps and quads are still a wreck.
Okay this meal is a sautéed BBQ salmon filet (6-8 oz.) with roasted garlic and red onions. Served with a salad of 1 cup steamed broccoli, 1 cup of cut steamed green beans and low fat mozzarella cheese. 55 grams of protein with 16 carbs and 7 grams of fibre.
I guess I should reflect on this past weekend with it being such an important one for me professionally. Wrestlemania weekend in Atlanta, GA, Ring of Honor held two of their biggest events on iPPV with “ROH takes center stage.” Adam Cole and I wrestled Jay and Mark Briscoe on night one in an awesome encounter which saw the Briscoes finish off Cole with the Doomsday device. Night 2 (or day 2 I should say) would pit Adam and I against Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli in another top notch performance, however I would fall victim to Claudio’s pop up European/a double boot to the face. Adam and I are really proud of the fact that we could both stand ourselves up in honor after each bout and walk ourselves to the back despite the loss.
On Sunday Tony and I got an early start to our 10 hour drive back to St. Louis. Tony always has these adventurous routes that he likes to take, so we ventured through the scenic highway through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. “See a little piece of Heaven you might not get to see otherwise” Tony matter-of-factly puts it. That’s also his excuse when he gets lost, so take it as it is.
I was extremely glad we took this route because we stopped in Memphis, TN at the Lorraine Motel. The motel is the famous site of where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on April 4, 1968. It has since been turned into a civil rights museum. Very surreal to be at a site of such an American historical significance. It being the day before the anniversary also added to the moment. We then ventured to Sun Studios of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash fame. Only to be completed by Tony taking a wrong turn on a 1 way street, and he couldn’t give a sweet Christ who he offended. “Well I’ll be damned.”
This weekend is another pack one which starts on Friday as I wrestle Davey Vega at the St. Louis Anarchy show. Saturday I’ll fly to Philly for WXW’s United States tour for the highly anticipated re-re-match of Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole vs Zack Sabre Jr. and Marty Scrull. We tore it up in England and Germany, so we’re stoked to bring it to the US. Later that night I’ll compete in CZW’s Best of the Best tournament and my opening round contest will be myself vs Johnny Gargano AND Adam Cole in a 3 way dance. Versus Adam Cole you say? Interesting to see how this will play out.
On Sunday in New Jersey it’s another afternoon show with CZW versus Sami Callihan who is a tremendous fighter. And that night WXW to face Marty Scrull in an anticipated singles match.
Should be a wicked weekend of wrestling fun. I’ll have earned my cheat meal come Sunday night. I’ll post it if there’s some mad destruction, don’t judge me! Also, a massage will be in need come Monday, 5-7 matches in 3 days!
Friday, November 27, 2009
I finish loading up my car, my gear bag, and my backpack. A road atlas, my laptop and a booklet of every CD I own. It is a warm afternoon; fresh out of the gym I reside comfortably in sweatpants and a loose t-shirt. Perfect road trip attire, seatbelt rests uncomfortably across my shoulder, I sit alone in my car, reflecting for a moment. Sixteen hours to Philadelphia, Dragon gate USA, the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m used to tackling the road with companions, fellow wrestlers, to share the cost and split the driving. This is my first solo journey of such an epic proportion, I feel like I’m departing into the woods without food or water, to not return to my village until I see a vision of our forefathers. Only not like that at all. Needless to say I’m excited, this is something I feel I need to do alone. I drive confidently onto I-44 west merging onto I-55 north and finally onto Interstate-70 east, towards Indianapolis. Listening to: Come as you are, Nirvana
Almost two hours in. I look into my rearview mirror; a beautiful orange and red sunset merges into the dark abyss of nightfall. I try to snap a picture as I almost swerve over the median. I am full of energy and valiantly sing alone full heartedly to every song that passes through my speakers. Stomach grumbles and I pull over for Subway and to fuel my car with gas. First pit stop, so exciting! Listening to: I go blind, 54 40
One thing about a solo road trip, or even a substantial amount of time alone with one’s thoughts creates an environment of self-reflection and an array of various thoughts. I begin thinking about my entire existence, the solar and planetary alignment, and the smell of freshly cut grass. Another deep sip from my gallon jug of water and a sharp pain emerges from my lower abdomen. I gotta pee, NOW. I have no idea when the next exit is, but it can’t be long. I hate pulling over on the side of the highway to take a leak, 18 wheel semi trucks scare me, especially when passing at ridiculous speeds within several feet when I have my dick in my hands. I’ll wait, painfully, until the next exit. I find a ‘Pilot’ which is possibly the best gas station chain ever. They have everything one could ever want for the road; the best protein bars and energy drink selection, and most importantly a washroom. OH, by the way, how come whenever I ask an American where the “washroom” is they look at me funny. “You mean the bathroom?” they obnoxiously reply. Listen fucker, I don’t see a bath in there, I see some wet floor, a broken stall carved with profanities, and some stinky urinals, no bath. I wash myself after I pee, hence ‘washroom’. Back on the road, 100 miles from Indy. Listening to: All about you, Tupac
It’s actually only 8:17 pm. I’ve switched over to the Eastern Time zone. Lost an hour, where the hell did it go? “Where is my mind?” I ask myself. Here I am, driving by myself to Philadelphia. Why do I do these things? Why have I gotten myself into this unknown situation? This entire journey from September onward has been a struggle. Why did I leave my job, family and friends for a steering wheel and headlights on the highway? This is the life I’ve always wanted I tell myself. Listening to: Where is my mind, Pixies
I pull into a gas station to stretch my legs. Emerging from my car I yawn and arch my back, rotating my head and rubbing my eyes. I walk into the gas station to walk and look around. A young man no older than 18 exits with his family as I enter the store, he looks younger than 18. I only assume his age at seeing his skinny arms emerging from a camouflage t-shirt, complete with camo pants and army boots. His shaved head glistens in the moonlight as his family enter their vehicle and drive off. Thanksgiving weekend brings one family together despite war ripping other families apart. Doe’s it strike you as odd that a boy, is unable to legally drink a beer in the country he is defending, yet will be encouraged to take a gun and die for the sins of his own government? ‘Soldier boy made of clay, now an empty shell’. I fully understand and am aware that joining the National Guard is a very admirable and respectable thing to do. For hundreds of years, boys younger than the legal age have volunteered to fight overseas. I am not an expert on the subject, but I consider those wars to be just. The war in Iraq has been based off of lies and innocent civilians and soldiers continue to die every day, he is another poor man fighting a rich man’s war. I sigh and continue entering the store. Suddenly I feel fortunate and free, I guess its people like him that through time have provided us with a sense of freedom. How free are we really? Listening to: Disposable heroes, Metallica
I am entering the city limit of Columbus, Ohio. A beautiful city skyline emerges from the side of the road, and I admire the city lights, turning my attention away from my appetite. I am friggen’ hungry. I suddenly witness a glorious sight to behold, like a mirage seen in a desert, teasing a watery oasis to the weary traveler. An exit sign that states what restaurants are to be found at the next exit, claims a Tim Horton’s is at the next exit. Tim Horton’s. Tim Horton’s. Mother of god and all that is holy, I haven’t seen that glorious calligraphy red logo in 3 months. I cut off a tractor-trailer and make a speedy escape for the exit, a smile on my face is extravagant and I began to laugh out loud to myself. I can already taste the delicious ham and Swiss sandwich, maple dip doughnut (bad boy) and the sweetest of coffesta’s, that’s 2 parts coffee, 1 part fiesta. Pulling into the parking lot and a skidding stop I hop out of my car and jolt to the front do….. OH FUCK ME! It’s closed. Tim Horton’s is closed at 11:20 pm in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Where doe’s one begin with how much is wrong with that sentence. First and foremost I thought Timmy Ho’s was exclusive to Canada, and furthermore why the shit is it not 24 hours. I tug on the door to be sure, locked. The Mexican janitor lady inside is moping and looks at me shaking her head. I give her the middle finger and get back in my car, horrifically disappointed. Listening to: Monster Hospital, Metric
I find a Ruby Tuesday restaurant and make last call for food. Although I’m still saddened about the Tim Horton’s fiasco, Ruby Tuesday is still delicious. I order the Bison Burger with broccoli and I get the salad bar. Mmm, satisfying. I pay and leave, extremely full and eager to get back on the road and gain more ground. Listening to: Jealous again, The Black crowes
As I am about to merge back onto the highway I see another sign for Tim Horton’s, a gut instinct drives me to the location. The lights are on. It’s open! I’m instantly so happy again! But I’m full I remind myself, a large coffesta it must be. Pulling into the drive thru lane, I place my order and hear an unfamiliar voice that is usually depicted with the Tim Horton’s image. I arrive at the window, smiling ear to ear, $ 1.65 for an extra large ‘festa is a helluva deal by the way. $ 2.19 for a venti at Starbucks is getting old really fast. A large black woman hands me the coffee, and I ask her to take my picture. The coffee smells soo good. Listening to: Kids, MGMT
‘Festa finished, I’m delightedly wired. Listening to: Sex and Candy, Marcy playground
I begin to wish I had a road trip companion. Just to take a break from driving, I’m getting really bored and the highway begins to blur in between substantially long blinks. Traveling with Tony has proven to be a much enjoyed experience. But overall just having someone to trade shifts with and keep you awake makes a huge difference.
A One-Act Play
TONY and KYLE up early for the start of a long weekend of wrestling and driving. Knoxville, Tennessee and Crystal River, Florida. Both are tired from a late night prior and not much is being said. Both characters are in a rental car, TONY driving.
TONY: Well shit, I need a ‘festa if we’re gunna get this party going.
KYLE: Yeah, stop at that Starbuckle’s.
Both lazily mumble and walk into Starbucks for coffee. Rainy outside. Tony walks into line followed by Kyle. Tony rubbing his eyes, Kyle yawning.
TONY: I’ll have a Grande coffee please.
BARISTA: That’ll be $2.02, room for cream?
Tony, blushing, nods casually. Takes his coffee as Kyle steps up in line.
KYLE: I’ll have a grande ‘festa.
BARISTA: Pardon me?
KYLE: Er.. I’ll have a coffest.. a COFFEE.
Tony hardly containing his laughter walks to the sugar stand. Kyle pays and joins him. Tony now laughing and jumping up and down, subtly.
KYLE: Jesus Christmas, I don’t even know what I’m saying.
TONY: You asked for a FESTA! More laughing. Ah man, she was hotter than hell, I almost puked when I saw her.
Kyle confused look on his face, looks back at the barista. Definitely Tony’s type.
KYLE: We’re only a half hour into this bullshit and we’re already losing our minds.
End of act 1
I chuckle to myself at the random shenanigans of being on the road with Tony Kozina. Listening to: Anemia, Tool
After stopping for another energy drink and a violent long awaited urination session, I seem to have caught my second wind. I begin to wish a camera were documenting me for a self-reality show. The effort I am putting into my head movements and singing and steering wheel dancing is getting to the point of insanity. I am starting to believe I am some sort of hummingbird. I begin to wonder where some of these songs came from that are on my Ipod, hooked up to my stereo. And furthermore, how do I know the lyrics? Listening to: Like a prayer, Madonna
Pennsylvania turnpike, tolled highway. It begins to snow; my window has been wide open for the majority of the trip. I find the fresh air revitalizing and it seems to waft away the offensive smell my body has created sitting in this car for the better part of 10 hours. The snow falls silently across the highway and peacefully creates a sense of calm. It is almost hypnotizing. I begin to realize that it might be wise that I find a place to crash for the night. Something about snow makes me want to curl up in a warm blanket and dream about a cure for diabetes. Listening to: Call it off, Tegan and Sara
I pull off at an exit and see an array of hotels and motels. I stop at a gas station and ask for the WASHroom. I am informed it is out of order and I grow angry again. I walk outside and take a refreshing leak on the side of the gas station. Pissing in the snow might be the most relaxing experience imaginable; I guess at this point anything is ridiculously relaxing. Out of my choice of hotels I naturally decide on “The Budget Inn” something about the name captured my attention. After spending 6 minutes trying to find the entrance and Indian man finally comes out and angrily tells me to get inside. Why are you angry Indian man? Don’t you understand that your accent makes your anger incredibly comical? I purchase a room at the backbreaking cost of $50. Ouch I says. Room 106. Listening to: Interstate love song, Stone temple pilots
Finally curled up in a cold, rock hard bed. The name ‘Budget inn’ now rings clear, but why was it anything but a budget? If I ran the Budget inn, I’d pay YOU to stay there. Why are there two beds in my room? I’m finding it hard to fall asleep, but eventually I am succumbed to the comfort of a pillow and blanket. Listening to: Snow falling softly and a rackety old heater.
A wakeup call, which I requested, rings loudly in my ear from the phone beside the bed. I punch the phone across the room.
I wake up on my own accord. Looking around and realizing that I need to get moving. A quick shower, brushing of my teeth and an enjoyable bounce on the bed and I’m out the door. It’s friggen’ freezing outside. I fill the car with gas and pay at the register. This gentleman, maybe about mid 30’s asks the clerk for rolling papers. She informs him that they don’t have any. I see a vein bulge on this guys forehead and he storms out of the gas station. As I’m leaving I see him in his car with his wife and toddler in the backseat. He’s yelling, and swearing loudly, speeding off. This angered me greatly. Calm down buddy, you have your daughter in the backseat and your wife in the front. Treat them with respect and calm the hell down; it’s not the end of the world. Suddenly I realize how angry and worked up I am about this guy and take a deep breathe, maybe I should take my own advice. Listening to: Jesus of Suburbia, Green Day
To find the Denny’s. First one must exit the tolled highway and pay $5.15 to do so. Left turn and a right turn. Enter a new state. Follow the unmarked taxi to the intersection of 7th an seventh with a cloaked man on the street corner, wink at him thrice, he’ll point to a window 10 stories up, suspended by nothing, floating there, one must enter the window while humming the intro to “golden girls” and thou will find themselves at Denny’s, tip well. This bullshit Denny’s took forever to find and tasted horrible, my morning is not going well thus far. Listening to: A day in the life, Beatles
I finally see the familiar skyline of the city of brotherly love. Philadelphia, I have returned. I head to the Sheraton by the airport to meet up with Davey and head to the show. Listening to: Feeling this, Blink 182
I pull in once again to the famed ECW arena, in South Philly. It is grungy and dark, moist and weathered. I love it. I walk up the back steps and enter the backstage area. Butterflies in my stomach migrate to life and the greatest anticipation overwhelms me. I introduce myself to my opponent, as well as the other wrestlers on the card, I am hesitant to walk up to the Japanese talent and introduce myself, they are intimidating. Of course I do regardless. Listening to: Champagne supernova, Oasis
I am dressed in full gear, jumping up and down, shadowboxing, and stretching dynamically. I do a jiu-jitsu warm-up exercise, which simulates attacking for a triangle choke while lying on my back, the cement is cold on my back, yet soothing. An agent runs down the ‘Paul Heyman’ stairs, which I have dubbed as such. He asks for my music. Why am I always so unprepared? I run to my bag and grab a random CD, not entirely sure what is on it. I tell him to play the last track on the CD, thinking that it is Nirvana’s ‘You know you’re right’. I go back to warming up. I am more nervous than I have ever been before wrestling, yet extremely confident and prepared. I did not drive 16 hours to choke.
A familiar beat begins to roar over the loud speakers. Soon a flute and bagpipe combo chimes in. A smile emerges on my face; my former theme song has made its return. A song that over the last 3 years I have grown to immensely sick of that when turning heel I was so thankful to finally change my entrance music. I was wrong about the CD. The crowd begins to cheer and clap along with the beat, exactly as they did in ECCW. I have never been so happy to hear this song, and I know that this is my new home, my wrestling domain, and my creed. Listening to: I’m shipping up to Boston, Dropkick Murpheys
Panting and sweating I exit the ring heading backstage. The crowd is deafening and patting me on the back. I hear one cat say “YEAH, now THAT is how you do a FUCKING brainbuster!” I am pleased with my match as well as the fans and especially the promoter, who congratulates me as I enter back through the curtain. 5 minutes. 16 hours for 5 minutes in the ring. A fair trade off I decide, a trip well worth it. I am over in Philly, and I’ll be back for more. Listening to: Chants of “Dragon gate, Dragon gate!” 600 wrestling fans
We return to the hotel after an exhausting evening and a visit to the delicious Oregon diner. I had an omelet, of course. My legs are in excruciating pain, cramps from the road and wear and tear from the ring. I curl up fully clothed on the bed and shut my eyes. Listening to: The TV news talking about Tiger Wood’s car accident. Some jackoff (does anybody know what happened by the way, I don’t have cable and haven’t kept up with it?)
Davey is shaking me to wake up, I have to drive him and the young bucks to the airport, and get a start on the final leg of my journey. We grab a quick breakfast and are blessed with terrible service, yet again. Why do we keep going back to Denny’s? After dropping them off at the airport I take my car back on I-70 west and towards the Pennsylvania turnpike. Listening to: The Trooper, Iron Maiden
5: 59 am
I stop for gas at a service station along the turnpike. These 3 Iranian men working the back counter explain that it will be 5 minutes before I can purchase gas. I am not in the mood to wonder why, as I watch them begin to cash out and changeover for the next day. Isn’t this supposed to be done before midnight? After 23 minutes of agonizing impatience on my behalf they finally are up and running. THE most inefficient work ethic and processing of customer service I have ever dealt with. Plethoras of other people are lined up behind me just as pissed off. I pay fill up my tank and continue. I’m so irritable on this trip eh? Listening to: Innocent, Our Lady Peace
My eyes are growing obscenely heavy and I begin to nod. 13 miles until the next service station. I will have to wait a few minutes, I struggle to stay awake and put on some loud hot licks to keep me up. Listening to: Hawt Lixx, Daggermouth
I awake in the front seat of my car. Such a satisfying snooze and I even have slumber lumber to prove to myself how relaxed I actually got. I wait a couple minutes then stand up to stretch out. Walking into the service centre and am blown away at how packed it is. Families everywhere, kids running and screaming, the elderly saying their “How dos you dos”. I realize that thanksgiving weekend has a plethora of people out on the road to visit there loved one’s. I am swamped with holiday traffic for the rest of my trip. I grumpily wait in line 12 minutes and grab a coffesta and back on the road. Getting impatient, I just wanna get home to my bed. Listening to: Goodbye yellow brick road, Elton John
My sleep-deprived state has driven me into completely the wrong direction. I missed my exit some 100 miles back. And reflecting now upon this incident, it came out a lot easier in type. I first started noticing the wrong signs then realized I was in gridlock traffic to enter another tolled highway which I was forced to enter and then pay to exit and back track a huge distance while trying to look at my Atlas to realize what’s going on. Listening to: Fuck, Shits, Ass, more swear words, Kyle Greenwood
Finally back on track when I notice a disgusting image. In the blue sky over head I see the largest mass amount of chemtrails I have seen in my life. Now most people just disregard these as simple contrails left from a jet liner. Contrails aren’t sprayed in a criss-cross fashion; they also don’t expand and become thicker and denser. I fully believe this is a government project in which some sort of experiment is going on. There are tons of theories on chemtrails and I wont get into it now, but I fully suggest you Google ‘Chemtrails’ and see and decide for yourself. I really am going insane right? I look in the mirror and nod at myself and do a silly face. Why did I just do that? Listening to: Endgame, Megadeth
Seeing the chemtrails got me in a weird mind space and I begin to think of government cover-ups. I recall a billboard that I saw while driving through Georgia on my way back from Florida the previous weekend. A huge billboard along the highway demands “Wake up America!” alongside a picture of the smoking twin towers of September 11th. “Profiling could have prevented this terrorist attack”
What?! Did I actually just read that? “Profiling could have prevented this terrorist attack” This statement basically blames Americans for not being racist enough and puts the blood on their hands for September 11th on them. Disgusting. Only in the South I reckon’. Listening to: These Days, Nico
I think about what I was fortunate enough to witness last night. Dragon kid and Shingo vs Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino was probably the best tag team match I have ever seen. It was badass, these guys ripped shit up for 20 minutes of non stop action. It was literally mind blowing, and makes me realize that Dragon Gate truly is the premier wrestling promotion in Japan. The fact that they have been successful enough to cross overseas and open up an offshoot promotion in the US says a lot about their success. I’m glad and honored to be apart of such a prestigious organization. Listening to: Hey you, Pink Floyd
I pull into a rest stop alongside a large amount of family vehicles. I get out of my car and begin cartwheeling for about 1-2 minutes. I get back into my car and drive off watching the confused looks on people’s faces in my rear view mirror. Feeling random and looking for a rush to keep me awake. Listening to: Can’t stop, Red hot chili peppers
Super hungry I pull into a “Waffle House” to eat and hopefully have myself some waffles and ‘festa. This place is disgusting and looks like a gas station bathroom. The food was greasy and undercooked, imagine if the “W” on the sign outside was burnt out and you have my opinion of “Waffle house”. Listening to: Officer, Slightly stooped
I finally pull back into my apartment complex relieved that this journey has finally come to an end. Much like this blog it has drawn on far too long. I sit on my car for a minute, proud of myself. Not a lot of people would be willing to do what I just did, or so I assume. I wrestled for Dragon gate USA and I am damn proud of that fact. Nobody can take that away from me, and nobody can say that I never work hard for something or that I am undeserving. I’m glad I made it on my own. Listening to: Sometimes you can’t make it on your own, U2
My alarm rings and I get ready for work. Really wish I had the day off today, I could have used the sleep in. I drive to my boss’s house, which he requested for some “extra help” around the yard. I arrive to find out I’m digging him a pool. Who installs an in-ground fucking pool in December?! Turns out I’m quite the digger, but that’s discrimination, my people prefer to be called degroes. I honestly think I may have been a World War 1 soldier in a past life, because I’m busting out badass trenches like nobody’s business. I am now a pool boy extraordinaire. I return home and turn on my computer to begin this very blog, I instantly crash and stumble to bed. Sleepy boy.
At the end of it all I am fully satisfied with how the trip turned out. To be honest, it was easy; I did and will do it again. I don’t have many bookings until the New Year. I’ll be in Chicago December 5th for ROH but then a much-deserved break. Looking forward to the holiday season’s sights and sounds and smells. 8 energy drinks, 7 large coffees, 1772 miles, 5 minutes. Evolving soon. K
South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A historic Bingo Hall, bear witness to some of the most influential moments in wrestling history. I pace back and forth as I listen to a restless crowd heckle and yell, it is dark and cold. My neck rotates and I begin to throw knees and shadowbox in a ritualistic pre-match fashion. Agents, writers and personnel from ‘HDnet’ scatter through the small hallway in which I await, I step over thick electrical cords and cables connected to the extravagant lighting and entrance system stage. I look to my left, as I pour water from my one-gallon jug over my head, a set of stairs lead up to a balcony that overlooks the arena. The same set of stairs Paul Heyman delivered his famous speech prior to the very first ECW pay per view.
“Tonight we have a chance to say, yeah you’re right. We’re too extreme, we’re too wild, we’re too out of control, and we’re too full of our own shit. Or we have a chance to say hey, fuck you you’re wrong, fuck you we’re right, because you have all made it to the dance, ‘cause believe me, this is the dance!”
A generic music begins playing and the voice of Adam Pearce brings me back to reality of where I am and what I’m about to do. “O’reilly, you’re up!” No more time to be nervous, I bend over and punch each of my shins, and stand up slapping myself in the face. It’s go time. Pushing the black curtain aside I step up onto the platform and enter the infamous ECW arena towards rabid, bloodthirsty fans, towards my destiny. I’ve never felt so far from Bridgeview Hall, Surrey BC, in my life.
It’s brisk outside of the car as the highway engulfed by a wintering forest captures my imagination. Driving in my car, Tony, Davey and myself are nearing Philadelphia. I am tired and a lingering anticipation rumbles in my stomach. I have no idea what to expect and what is awaiting me. As we near closer, the skyscrapers overtake the view, and is by far what looks to be the largest city I’ve encountered so far on my quest. Although Chicago is technically the larger city, something about Philly seems so intimidating and vast. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States, it’s where the declaration of independence was created and signed. I think a lot to myself about history and the way things have come to be, about the culture and vibe a certain area or city gives off, always excites me. Here I am in the ‘city of brotherly love.’ Something I’ve never literally known, I suddenly have a longing for home, I text my sister, that I miss and love her, and where I am. She tells me she’s proud. Sisterly love seems more wholesome.
We exit off the highway into the downtown south side of Philadelphia, the sides of the streets are littered with cars and apartments crammed together. Cars are parked literally in the middle of the street and newspapers flutter through the wind resembling man’s imitation for leaves and the natural occurrence of fall. The city is old, and weathered, beaten down, begging for sympathy. Passing through four way stop intersections, people show little disregard for others, as well as their own safety. All driving etiquette is thrown out the window and cars honk and speed through stop signs to deliver people to their apparent important destinations; everyone is late for something I reckon. We join the club and almost run over Spike Lee, or at least a chapie with a similar appearance to the famed director. I am on edge as I basically expect gunshots to start blazing; Philadelphia is home to the largest percentage of gunshot murders in the US. I now full heartedly understand why Will Smith’s momma made him move with his aunty and uncle in Belair. “When a couple of guys who were up to no good, started makin’ trouble in my neighborhood”.
Crossing some train tracks and turning the corner we pass the front doors of the ECW arena, a small white building on the corner of Swanson and Ritner, underneath interstate 95. A barbed wire fence is the behind the building and we drive past a gate into the parking area. A giant semi production truck labeled HDnet is parked back end towards the back entrance. Let the excitement begin. As I exit the backseat of my own car, I bash my kneecap on the seat extender so hard I think I’m about to explode with profanity. Biting my lip I encourage my composure and walk it off, it’s extremely cold outside and I realize now how significant my geographical location is. North east coast of the US, the Atlantic breeze rolls over the town as my breath turns to a visible fog. I grab my bags and walk towards the door, time to go to work.
Philadelphia truly is a fascinating city. Full of diners I noticed, as well as liquor and gun stores. We must have eaten at the ‘Oregon diner’ at least 8 times over the course of two days spent in Philly. Extremely convenient as it is a mere 4 blocks away from the venue. Breakfast food is so my favorite thing ever, however the service in Philly is not. Maybe it’s the way people are raised out here or just the low morality of constant lack of civility, but every waitress I encountered here was rude and crude, with the exception of one dear lady, who on the first evening there, kept calling me ‘babe’ and ‘sugar.’ Old enough to be my mother, she resembles my couch. A weathered, messy face with wrinkles and a full-hearted smile. She brings more coffee every 30 seconds. I suddenly realize that possibly the fact that the Philadelphia Phillies lost the world series to the New York Yankees the night before may be in connection to the conspiracy of the local rude awakening? Will investigate further.
The air outside is cold and stabs at my exposed neck and ears. A smell of pungent garbage mixed with exhaust fumes interrogate my senses, as I bear witness to a homeless man pushing his shopping cart full of treasure. I suddenly realize how insignificant I am as a sole human being, in this large city full of millions of people. People with different priorities, different goals and problems. I’ve made what I perceive as a sacrifice to move to another country, work an under the table job, drive 16 hours for a single chance at glory. How petty is this in comparison to others who are struggling to breathe or get out of bed in the morning? Robin very wisely told me that there is larger complete mass of ants on this planet than there is of humans. So even as a whole the human race is insignificant to natures will, which through millions of years has outlasted and out produced the entire existence of man. In the past 100 years alone, humans have done more unchangeable damage to the planet than good. Wars against our own species cause more death and cost more money every year in an endless malicious cycle that warrants no distinct positive outcome. When I was walking into my apartment the other day an orange peel was being demolished by a colony of ants, working united and together, serving a purpose to provide sustenance to their population. Once the peel has been used and the ants have enough ‘product’ to dispense amongst the colony, labor and production will cease for the time being. A simple, natural mentality, yet a possible dictatorship of hierarchy. I guess the political system of ants is somewhat of a socialist belief system. Basically what this all comes down to is that regardless of where I am or who I am, I feel as small as an ant and the world is made of fire.
Another thing I’ve come to appreciate through my travels is architecture. Sometimes buildings and structures that are created constantly boggle my mind. The effort and forethought put into designing is very admirable, weather it is a hundred year old cathedral beautifully engraved with statues and artwork, or a modern skyscraper that depicts nature is some fashion. I’ve never been one to get excited about people, such as famous wrestlers or promotions. I enjoy seeing buildings and places of historical significance. Hence my excitement over the ECW arena. ECW was a small wrestling company that had big dreams. Over the years they created their own unique style and foundation for what would later become a global phenomenon. Out of this small, damp, dark and dusty bingo hall, ECW was born and they would run regular shows here to the most blood thirsty and hellacious fans ever witnessed. The first ECW pay per view was filmed here. As I look around the building I see various landmarks. There is the balcony that Tommy Dreamer got choke slammed off through 4 tables. Over there is the ledge that Rey Mysterio jumped off onto psychosis with a Frankensteiner on a chair. I remember first getting into ECW as an early teenager and ordering bootlegged tapes off the internet. The first ECW tape I ever owned was ‘House party ‘98’. The main event featured The Sandman vs. Sabu in a ‘stairway to hell match’. They bled all over the place through barbed wire, ladders and tables and chairs, it was brutal and gory and I pooped a solid gold egg in excitement. I had never seen anything so cutthroat and revolutionary. The massive wave of fans seemed to go on forever as the rowdiness never ceased as they constantly chanted “E C DUB, E C DUB, E C DUB”. I can honestly say I never thought I would have the privilege of performing the sport I love inside that famed arena. It was a cool feeling knowing that I was about too, however very anti-climatic. It just wasn’t the same place as on all those old tapes, it looked smaller, darker and it didn’t smell as bad as I thought and hoped it would. Needless to say I am proud of the fact that I wrestled there anyways.
I hop onto the ring apron and wipe me feet, scanning the sea of faces surrounding the squared circle, the ROH wrestling ring. I leap over the ropes with an effortless spring and look across the ring from myself. In the opposite corner my opponent, Chris Hero, 6’5” 225lbs. A significantly larger human being that myself, known as “that young knockout kid” Chris has been elbowing people in the face until knockout to gain victory. I’m intense and viciously prepared to fight nonstop, I will not be knocked out I tell myself as I crack my iron jaw with the heel of my right palm. We shake hands and begin, as I dart towards him to use my speed and explosiveness to overcome his strength. We wrestle and he tosses me down with ease, I return the favor by arm dragging him down to the mat. He throws a quick elbow at my face, which I dug and throw my own roundhouse kick to his chest. “THWAK!” the sound echoes as the crowd “Ooooo’s”. I immediately launch another full speed roundhouse to his head as he ducks and exits the ring to catch his breath. I quickly follow and chase him back into the ring, as I begin to enter myself, his lackey grabs my foot from behind causing a quick distraction, Hero runs full speed with his boot at my face knocking me off the ring back first strait onto the concrete floor. The wind has instantly been taken from my sails and I’m struggling to inhale. He begins a relentless beat down complete with elbows to my jaw and sentons to my torso. He goes to finish me by hitting the ropes full speed, I counter his attack by kicking him in the quads like a lumberjack hacks at a large tree before “timbeerrrrrr”. I clinch his neck and begin throwing Muay Thai knees at his face connecting with 4 of them before opening up and simultaneously hitting a rock solid chest kick right into a leg sweep which knocks the big guy down. The crowd approves my efforts and the momentum begins. I nail my leaping enziguiri head kick to his face, a running elbow smash, a leaping yakuza kick to his jaw and a running up the ropes tornado DDT. 1…2… big kickout! I can’t believe he isn’t finished! I signal for the end as I lock in a hooking suplex, he spins out quickly, but I counter his counter by spinning behind him and going for an O’Connor roll, he hangs onto the ropes as I back roll onto my feet and white. All I see is white. I am limp and lifeless. I don’t remember anymore. I am backstage now with an icepack on my head. I was knocked the fuck out and I have no idea where it came from, yet there is a bruise the shape of Chris Hero’s elbow on my jaw and on the back of my head.
Okay maybe that was a little exaggerated. Chris and I worked a solid 7 minute match and he put me away with his finishing rolling elbow strike which I sold like a champ, and then a follow up elbow to the back of my head. However I really did see white, he’s not called “that young knockout kid” for nothing. All in all a solid weekend, well worth the trip. 16 hours coming home I reflect on things, thinking about why I’m here and what I’m doing. When I say back to the drawing board that simply means I need to push myself harder, I’m not giving up on anything yet. Keep your jaw tucked in, I remind myself. K
Variety keeps life exciting. When it’s raining it’s usually only a matter of time before the sun shines again and vise versa. Life is always going to throw you a curveball, and a changeup, and a slider, and a fastball. One has to make your mind, body and soul as thickly woven and dense as a catcher’s mitt, to absorb the brutal endless onslaught of uncertainty. I guess I’m being a little over-the top philosophical in the sense that luck (or an occurrence) in this situation is grandly exaggerated. Things will get better. Things will get worse.
Thursday started off as any other morning would. 3 parts oatmeal, 1 part protein powder, 1 part peanut butter and a dusting of cinnamon. I’m not exactly sure what constitutes a ‘part’ or if most meals make up 4-5 of these so called parts. I suppose when you never measure things regarding to food, portion consistency can be thrown out the door. Damn good breakfast though, and eggs of course. And coffee. And toast. Ketchup. I like eating in the morning, as well as in general. Okay, 6am, on the road for Tennessee. A Thursday night shot in Morrisville, about an hour and a half outside Knoxville. Thunderous, belligerent showers make the roads uneasy causing us to be behind for the start of the show. Ericules Wrestling Promotions, had to make a good second impression… ahem. Arriving late I missed my match and luckily got booked in the main event to tag with the local baby face “Menace” a large, black, masked wrestler who is quite talented. Upon talking to Menace I was shocked to learn he was 45 years old. He is unbelievable shape for his age and I pray to various gods and deities every day that I age as well as he has. Sitting in a desolate corner in the cramped dressing room a weathered pair of gentlemen slowly put on kneepads and lace their boots. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson are known to legions of fans as the ‘Rock-n-Roll express’, former NWA world tag team champions in WCW. Things always work full circle in wrestling it seems. Here I am, getting my start, a young and hungry (relatively) injury free supple young lad. The same dressing room as a broken beat and scarred duo of men, living paycheck-to-paycheck continuing their passion, their love of the squared circle. I have the upmost respect for these guys, I can relate and learn so much from these pioneers of the sport.
Menace and I worked a match vs. Tony Kozina and Davey Richards, and tore the house down, Ericules was pleased. Although a man with a giant capital ‘E’ shaved into his chest, pink makeup, pink wig, arm covers and pom pom’s hanging from his trunks, he may have just been overall pleased for reasons beyond our control. He offered for us to crash at his house, which we graciously accepted. Upon arrival it was apparent he lived in a house with his wife and children and younger brother, a family man. Just shows how far of a spectrum a wrestling gimmick can help one to get away from their normal life, a weekly escape from reality, drug free.
I wake up trying to swallow. My throat is swollen and my nose is plugged. Sick, great. Luckily just on the right side of my face, my glands are swollen, so if I stick to drinking fluids on the left side of my mouth I should be okay. No such luck. We begin our drive to Dayton, Ohio, which should be about 5 hours. Tony suggests a shortcut, which takes us through ‘Deliverance’ back roads Tennessee, and eventually gets us to Ohio. Traffic and gridlock makes the potential to be late for the start of the next show. I grow increasingly nervous at the thought of missing my Ring of Honor debut.
Ring of Honor is the premier wrestling company in the United states, and by that I mean ‘wrestling’ company. WWE and TNA on a grand scale are much more elaborate and mainstream; however it’s all a movie. Grand larger than life characters, storylines and production values have taken what the sport was built off of and sent it spinning in a whole new direction. It’s not about the wrestling anymore, there is barely any wrestling on their shows. Ring of Honor was built off competition and hard working wrestlers providing standout matches for a loyal, cult like fan base, Much like ECW was in the late 90’s. Needless to say, I am grateful, excited and nervous for the opportunity to wrestle here and fulfill one of my major goals for getting into the sport in the first place.
‘Jump around’ by House of Pain erupts on the stereo and a smirk graces my face. I take a final gulp of water, crack my neck and enter through the hanging black curtain alongside Tony Kozina, my tag team partner. I have never tagged alongside Tony before, yet at this moment, my mentality had to be that were a well oiled tandem machine bred for the destruction of everything, possibly sent back through time? I hadn’t decided yet, but we were badass. Seas of faces mesh into one and the sound of the crowd dims, as they clearly have no idea who I am. “Who the fuck is this guy” is literally the first thing I hear. Enter the Bravado brothers, two brothers who look so nervous and shaky that the wind will send them fluttering from branch to pavement like a leaf. Our victims. “Put your working boots on” Tony says to me, staring me in the eyes. I knew he meant this is where it counts. We work a decent match and I go over on one of the brothers after an elbow smash in the corner followed up with a running Yakuza kick. He kicks out right into an ankle lock. The crowd that didn’t know my name are now clapping for me and cheering us on. “Jump around” ensues and I bust out my flawless ‘running man’ dance move, much to Tony’s disapproval. We did it. We entertained.
Saturday arrived quickly and it was time for my second chance to impress in the ROH setting. Chicago ridge Illinois, one of the companies more successful places to run. I walk in expecting another shot on the pre-show, I am notified by an agent that I have been bumped up to the main show. I must have done something right the night before. 6 man mayhem, Kyle O’reilly vs. Silas Young vs. ‘Sugarfoot’ Alex Payne vs. Rasche Brown vs. Sal Rinauro vs. Grizzly Redwood. I’ve never set foot in front of a crowd so large, demanding and rowdy. I’ve dreamed about it though. After 10 minutes of high risk dives, timely false finishes and sheer dominance by Rasche Brown, I make my exit clutching my neck and selling to the crowd, absolutely the biggest rush and most fun I have ever had came from performing that night. I came back through the curtain confident in knowing I did what I had to do. I didn’t rush or get flustered. I hit all the spots I needed to hit, I wasn’t selfish in thinking I needed to get this move in or do that cool thing, All I did was sell well and make everyone else look as good as possible. I’ll get my chance to shine I needed to solidify that opportunity first. Feeling’ great.
After changing, I begin watching the remainder of the show from the backstage monitor. I look beside me and there is an older, battered and gray man sitting beside me. He is worn, yet has a youthful abundance to him and an aura that is spreading like disease from across the room. Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart was one of my all time heroes’ growing up. His matches I have studied endlessly, from his work in Stampede to his legendary run in WWF. He looks to me, and his eyes study my face with an unrecognizing yet dignified approach to knowing I’m about to pick his brain for everything it’s worth. I introduce myself and shake his hand. He needs no introduction. For the next 25 minutes I ask him every possible question I can think of while my mind is racing to continue the conversation and prevent any possible awkward silence. I want to tell him that the first time I saw him win with the sharpshooter I grabbed a pair of pants and practiced recreating the move until I had it down. Or while watching his match with Davey boy Smith at Wembley stadium I re-created the entire spectacle vs. a pillow. I was Bret. I decide to ask him about working heel instead, smart move. Stories from his past engulf my ears and invade my imagination. Many of which come strait from his autobiography, but hearing them in person relays such an authentic feel. He explains his departure into the United States for the first time. A customs agent inquires the reasoning for his entry, in his best impersonation of his father, the legendary Stu Hart, “He’s American, let him in” a scratchy, bitter voice suiting of Stu. It was time for Bret’s in ring appearance and the classic guitar rift hits the speakers and 1200 some odd fans lose their minds, as well as my self, (my mind losing being much more subtle). I felt 10 years old again, hearing Bret’s music running around the house flickering light switches on and off in excitement. He thanks the fans of Chicago and the fans of ROH for supporting such an expanding company. He walks to the back area, and seemingly disappears from the building as quickly as I had noticed him sitting beside me. I wanted to thank him, but I missed my chance, for the time being. His saddened, knowledgeable eyes smothered in wrinkles of wisdom make me think about the wrestling business as a long-term endeavor, in both the positive and negative lights.
The drive home was tiring. Stopping at a gas station, Tony and I bear witness to a beautiful site as a lady drives away from the gas station minus removing the gas nozzle from her tank. Notable sites and sounds from the road are what make the long, painstaking drives worthwhile.
A ONE ACT PLAY
TONY: Mmm Mmm, I got me some fried chicken gizzards.
KYLE: FCG? That’s disgusting Tony.
TONY: My momma used to make the sweet delicious geeezards all the time, I’m praising Jesus Christmas every time I find these gems at a gas station.
KYLE uneasily eyes the fried contorted pieces of black meat emerging from a greasy cardboard container.
TONY: Here, try one; they got a nice crunch to em.
TONY reaches the container towards KYLE as he reluctantly accepts the foreign American delicacy. KYLE bites a small corner off the chunk of gizzard, face of disgust and an exaggerated chew of a rubbery substance.
KYLE: What is a gizzard anyway, that red wobbly thing that hangs from a Turkey’s neck?
TONY: These are Chicken gizzards.
KYLE: I think it’s called a wattle.
As TONY enters car, KYLE turns to garbage can (stage left) and spits the remaining gizzard into the trash and continues a fake chew, entering car.
KYLE: Mmm gizzards.
TONY: I know, right.
END OF ACT I
Enter Monday morning. Davey and I return to Absolute martial arts for an ass kicking Muay Thai/ Jiu-Jitsu session. After a strenuous kickboxing session I am my usual soaked-in-sweat self beginning Jiu-Jitsu. We practice a seatbelt maneuver that brings the attacker locked into your guard, which leads to one getting a double under hook, into various submission attempts. We begin a rolling session. I hold my own as per usual and avoid any scenario of getting tapped out. Three 2-minute rounds changing opponents every time. I finally get to one of the pro-fighters of the gym. We begin and my inexperience and eagerness to attack gets me suckered into a triangle choke attempt, which I avoid. He’s slick and sly however, altering to an arm bar attempt which I roll out of into a standing position I lose grip of my anchor and I am caught in the most pain excruciating moment in recent memory. “TAP” I yell to no avail, “FUCK, LET GO!” at least that’s what I remember of it. What seemed like an eternity was probably more like 1 second (one-one thousand). I run clutching my arm headfirst into the cage and storm off the matt, elbow dangling in a gruesome fashion. Hyperextension of the elbow, for obvious reasons is a serious injury, and I’m pretty freaked out at this point. This relates to my opening paragraph, as to when things are going well, all it takes is one instant, in the final round of a workout to slip up and get caught in a trap. I’m not angry, just disappointed in myself. I think of when I tore my knee, the pain and the result, no wrestling for 4 months. Being optimistic had never been so difficult.
Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. RICE. I guess all I’ve been consistent with is ice. I’m too stubborn to take any time off. As it stands now, the elbow is severely bruised and full range of motion is still incapable. However I am fully confident it is not a serious injury. The progress it has made the last 2 days alone has comforted me greatly. A couple beers while losing my hearing at the Motorhead concert also helped me deal with the situation. 5 days later, full range of motion is there and I have begun weight-bearing exercises again. The only pain is when I walk elbow first into a doorframe, which shockingly happens so frequent it’s mind blowing. Wrestling tomorrow night again in Chicago (Saturday the 29). C’est la vie.
This post has gotten longer than hoped, I feel sorry for anyone who has taken the time to read this anti-climatic piece of work. It hasn’t really gone anywhere and been preachy with a lesson. I guess I learned from this situation, (don’t stand up in an arm bar). But as far as teaching others from my mistakes, I would recommend keeping nose to the wind and always pushing forward. Things happen for a reason, bad or good, however who even determines what bad or good is. I guess that is a perceived value to be decided by one’s upbringing and morals. Until next time, keep living, laughing and loving. K
Filed under: road trippin'
The long desolate highway remained a constant challenge waiting to be conquered. My eyelids grow heavier as the highway winds with each turn to be succeeded by another. The sounds of drums, yelling and heavy electric guitar rifts designed to keep the mind alert serve as a peaceful lullaby. Serenading my mind towards relaxation, slumber and a roadside catastrophe. Suddenly the thumping of the manmade road grooves jolt my conscious to the frontlines and it is as if I’ve slept for hours. “A few more minutes” I tell myself, passing a sign that claims the next rest stop is 12 miles away. Then I can break.
The United States is a fascinating country. We crossed six of the fifty on our quest to Missouri. When I say we, I refer to Brandon Marino and myself. Although ‘tired Kyle’s’ alter ego could be considered a separate personality. Out of the six, Montana takes first prize of being the most beautiful of all. A mountainous and green with timber laced stretch of road greeted the weary travelers. The night sky was alive with intergalactic explosive activity, poof. One can truly appreciate the dark of night, away from society and civilization’s light pollution. Along with the seemingly everlasting stars, the familiar face of moonlight provided a longing and sense of home. I could hardly take my eyes off the temptress that is her glow. Like many cultures and ancient civilizations I begin to ponder it’s existence as well as my own. A sip from my lukewarm energy drink brings me back to reality and mind on the mission. The morning brings an unimaginable and exaggerated glow of a golden red sunrise. Canyons and ridges engulf the horizon which when paired with the rising sun, give way to some beautiful scenery. I take more pictures of cloud formations than I can count. While driving that’s quite the skill. I begin thinking of cowboys, shootouts and saloons with the swinging wooden doors. I finish my energy drink.
The baron stretches of highway begin to lengthen between gas stations and rest stops. Only in America can such ridiculous names for gas stations like ‘Kum n’ Go’ be tolerated. Also, only in America can you walk into a gas station at 7:20 am and see an array of ninja stars and bowing knives for sale in a display case next to ‘fresh’ fried chicken and corndogs, beside a rack of ‘proud Vietnam veteran’ hats. At least the gas is relatively inexpensive. When asking a lady about Jim’s Grill, when considering breakfast options later that day, she claimed it was “good, but it’s spendy.” Spendy refers to something having a higher than usual monetary value. Expensive, One spends a lot, ect. Or so I concluded. My omelet cost less than ten American dollars. At least the gas isn’t spendy.
Wyoming sucks. That state brought nothing but grief. Getting pulled over by highway patrol for being ten miles over the speed limit and being 28 hours below the sleep limit left little room for arguing or explanation. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir. I hear you talking about a court date and issuing me a bond and having a BC drivers license making me susceptible for capital punishment, but its mostly in one ear out the other. I remember giving him $95 and then he picked up some highway debris consisting of wires and breakers. “You guys wouldn’t happen to be electricians, huh?” I mustered a fake laugh that had even me convinced. I lost my speeding ticket virginity in Wyoming. It also took us a solid 20 minutes to figure out how to close my trunk. I’ve closed my trunk many times and the trunks on other vehicles many times, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Despite our sleep-deprived state of mind, we ended up coming up with various hypotheses as to why we couldn’t shut the trunk. Bags in way? No. What if we hold the release button? No. Is there something obstructing it? No. The release switch should be on? No. Just fucking slam it? Yes. Get me out of this state now!
South Dakota was a sight for sore eyes. The state is home to the famed Mt. Rushmore, a presidential memorial commemorating the nations heroes. Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. I half expected to see another carved mountain behind it representing the secret government pulling the strings of the four famed faces. But overall it was quite impressive. I enjoyed the old black and white photos of the creating process, back in the 20’s men hanging from scaffolding chiseling away for their pride, god and country. Man can do amazing things in the name of patriotism and honour. Honor. Being a fake American now I have to get used to forgetting about ‘u’. I guess that’s why it’s a nation of independence.
Stopping in Sioux Falls for the first time since the epic quest began, a night’s sleep was required for maintaining sanity and mental efficiency. Motel 6 promised to jot $5 off the standard $50 fee that the other motels demanded. Being wrestlers on the road, pinching every penny is a must. Tip well when service is quick, polite and efficient, but save your money. That is lesson one of being a successful professional wrestler. The room was decent, felt great to shower, regardless of flooding the bathroom, and experimenting with skype was awesome. The next morning was introduced with the faint, familiar Mexican accent “Room service.” I responded with a rather obnoxious “No!” Then I realized where I was and that it was the final leg to St. Louis. Another ten hours would be easy. Bison Bacon burgers and a salad bar for breakfast, and before long the gateway to the west was visible. The famous arch of St. Louis, a new home, life and beginning. I miss Vancouver.
Driving halfway across the continent is somewhat of a challenge as much as it is an adventure. What adventure isn’t challenging isn’t really worth doing. For some getting out of bed in the morning is a challenge. Going to a crappy job that you hate, asking your boss how they’re doing. Wondering where your next meal is going to come from. I’d imagine anyone in these situations wouldn’t consider such a predicament to be adventurous. The world is a challenging place and it can beat you down. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to do something like this. To get out and follow one’s dreams is easier said than done. I’ve always pictured myself helping others and using what I’ve accomplished to bring hope back into people’s lives. However you can’t help anyone until you’ve helped yourself. Keep your chin tucked in and you wont get knocked out, keep it up and you’ll feel the wrath of the world. I choose to keep mine somewhere in between. Watch out world. K