“That’ll never be me, cause I’m leaving the past, like an abused wife with the kids leaving your ass”
It wasn’t that long ago that I was slumped against a turnbuckle. I remember everything before the right hand that put me down and everything after about ten minutes later. I pretended it didn’t bother me much with comments like “If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen”. The sting of getting knocked out in front of your mother, ooouuuch! How embarrassing. I wanted to crawl under the Honda center and spend the rest of my life there. Then I realized something. I realized that my girlfriend still loves me, my mom still loves me. My friends are still my friends and I’m still the same person. This is something I’d been struggling with since college, where my wrestling career suffered due to my overactive imagination. I’d lose one match somewhere and imagine my friends laughing, my mom shunning me, every girl I knew crossing the street when I walked by. Which, in reality, was completly unrealistic because none of these things ever happened, even though I lost almost as much as I won in college. Even my teammates that continually saw me perform below my potential still liked me afterwards. I remember having a conversation with Shawn Charles, he said:
“You know what man, all this shit really doesn’t matter. Really, what’s the worst that’s gonna happen, you lose? I’m the grand scheme of things its not that big a deal. Even if you lose a match you’ll be the same person afterwards. ”
In that instance it was difficult to understand what he meant. But now I get it. Am I fucking crazy? I stress out about fighting, because in some respects man to man combat is extremely intense. But is it really that big a deal? The answer is no, its not.
So with this in mind I went to Japan. Are you kidding me?! Not only do I get paid to fight people, I get to go to Japan for free AND I get to take two friends. I mean, the only thing that wasn’t fun was making 167 pounds . I told Antonio,
“You know what man, I’m just gonna go out there and have fun”
“That’s perfect” he said. “I guarantee if you go out there and just act like you’re in the gym its gonna be a good fight, just have fun man!”
So that’s what I did. Warm up, crack jokes, make fun of Brett, try to figure out what exactly is wrong with Brett, discuss Antonio’s uuuuh, special “extra-curricular” activities, inquire about Ray Sefo’s “extra-curricular” activities, ask Mac Danzig about being a vegan, figure out everybody’s Japanese nickname (The Black Panther is mine), loan Jeff Monson my cup cause he forgot his, watch Roy Nelson wash Monson’s ball sweat off my cup before he gives it back to me, do stupid shit for the camera man who’s been following me, yell at Brett for eating every last piece of anything edible in the locker room(for real, dude can eat I think he has a tapeworm) , laugh at the Japanese guys’ entrance music (Ne-Yo, really?), warm up some more, try and escape the Japanese watch dog that won’t let us leave the locker room, quote Ronnie Coleman (“light weight baaaaybaaaaaaaaay”), call ourselves “Cocojin Yakuza” (which means ‘Black Gangsters’ or something like that), put the bandana and hat on, cue Young Jeezy, walk down the stage and get busy. Seriously, I had a great time.
So I’m gonna make my New Year’s resolution in April. I resolve to have more fun competing. I resolve to relish less in the result and more in the process, because life is too important to be taken seriously.