Back in my hey-days, some of my greatest memories were wrestling memories. My brother and I were decked out in our Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, and Legion of Doom get-ups. We would have tiny wrestling buddies that lamp shades couldn’t stand a chance against.
We would stay up until 3AM playing Royal Rumble on Super Nintendo.
Probably the coolest thing we ever did with wrestling was our home-made collector’s cards. While everyone was big into collecting baseball cards, we drew and colored in every single wrestler we knew on a piece of paper, then filed them in a crappy plastic crayon box. We would take those said pictures and pick random matches to come up with our very own pay-per-views!
It was mind blowing. My brother, Keith, and I still talk about those moments to this day.
You don’t have to be an avid Hulkamaniac to understand where I’m going with this. It wasn’t until just last January where I decided to get back into the sport. I was invited over to my kickball buddy’s house to watch an annual pay-per-view. Since then, I was hooked. In fact, my entire 30th birthday party was completely themed with 30 of my friends dressing up as wrestlers and surprising me with their own theme music. One of the best days of my life.
It’s kind-of amazing that I’m a 30 year old man who is absolutely in love with fitness and helping other’s achieve euphoria through fitness, but yet I spend a lot of my free time catching up on the sports of wrestling and kickball. I love it.
I think the reason why I love wrestling so much is because of the obvious nostalgia that it brings me back to sitting on the floor fighting with my brother over who can be Razor Ramon. I also think another reason why I love wrestling so much is because I can judge them.
I know that sounds weird. Wrestlers are made to be judged. They even have terms for them. Someone who is well-liked is known as a “face (baby-face)”. Someone who is notoriously hated, or a bad guy, is known as a “heel”. So when a “face” turns into a “heel” because he hits another “face” with a chair shot, that newly turned “heel” is literally saying, “Judge me now!”
I hope I didn’t lose you.
Deep down I know that every single wrestler behind the scenes are good, hard working people. They love their job, they don’t look at skin color, they help others succeed, and that is their true personality. They have families and health (besides the occasional bump injury).
When they step out from behind that curtain, I can judge them. I can freely tell Triple H that I hate his guts and I hope that John Cena breaks HHH’s leg.
Why is this refreshing?
Because I can’t do that in the gym, where I’ve worked for 11 years.
Every single person in the gym is there to better themselves. Unless you’re living in their shoes, wearing their headphones, and feeling their agony, then there is no use in judging them.
People value different things and live under different terms in their life. I’ll lay out many scenarios for you. I’ve been in this industry for over a decade, so I see them daily.
- You have the biggest guy in the room with the largest pecs and the largest arms. He eats the same diet every day.
- You have the CrossFit chick who is working on her muscle-ups in corner with rock tape all over her body. She’s a nurse by day.
- You have the guy laying on the ground working on mobility. He does not have the body most people necessarily would desire, but he lives a pain free life because he doesn’t push his limits.
- You have the 315 pound, 30 year old man on the elliptical trying to get in shape. Next to him is the prettiest girl in the gym, covered in make-up. But yet, the buff personal trainer comes up to the pretty girl and offers a free session and leaves the big guy behind.
- You have the person who says that they work out every-day, twice a day . . . but yet goes home and destroys their body with lack of sleep, too many workouts, and constant food binges.
- You have the middle aged woman who is afraid to pick up a weight because she thinks everyone is staring at her.
- Then you have the Intercontinental Champion . . . Jungle Gym.
The Intercontinental Champion in the wrestling world is known as a mid-card guy. You have your World Heavy Weight Champions. Your Tag Team Champions. Your Women’s Champion. But left in the back of the picture is your Intercontinental Champion. Funny thing is . . . these guys are always my favorite.
They may be the hardest working people in the arena. They may not be the flashiest. They may not be the loudest. They may not even want to be in the spotlight. They are there because they love the sport of wrestling, they don’t care what anyone thinks about them, and they want to do this for the rest of their lives. He reminds me of the guy who gets in, gets out, and goes home to enjoy his life.
He’s not surrounded by media, because the heavyweight champion needs the spotlight. He’s not on the cover of magazines, because he’s the blue collar hard worker. People like me love him though. We are his number one fan.
That’s what Jungle Gym reminds me of. I’m reminded every single day when I work with these people what our life motto is. We aren’t there to become the world heavy weight champion. We also aren’t there to be the bottom-card guy. We are there to prove to ourselves that hard work, love of the game, and being proud of your passions is what makes you a better person.
Every single person in the gym mentioned above has their game, and no matter the game, it has to be respected. You are there to prove one thing, to one person. That’s you. The thing you are trying to prove is what makes your heart beat.
- I want to live my life pain-free.
- I want to be able to walk around my wife and kids and have them think I’m the strongest man in the world.
- I want to be able to travel and drink all types of beer and eat all types of sushi.
- I want to keep doing the exact same thing I’ve been doing for over a decade now, until I can’t walk anymore.
- I want to show people in the fitness world that you can take that big guy on the elliptical or that women afraid to pick up a weight and show them the way.
- I want to be able to come home to my dogs in a warm house, in my mid-sized truck, not having to worry about a media frenzy at my door.
- I want to be the best person I can be to help my clients get to where they want to be, whether it’s the biggest arms in the room or the tiniest waist in the family.
I can honestly say that living your life as the Intercontinental Champion is a great life. It’s a gift that few people can come to bear. It’s about knowing when enough is enough, and knowing when you’re not doing enough. Get in the gym, get out, and use this human body that we were given to enjoy the live that we were blessed with.
The great Katie Wellbrock said, “Jungle Gym never gets easier. It just gets more manageable.”
That’s life right there. Make your life more manageable to your passions. That’s what we teach in Jungle Gym. That’s why Jungle Gym is my life.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for ways to manage your life, to where you don’t have to be the heavyweight champion, but one day you’ll still make in into the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
This is where your body changes,