For the last two years I was living and working a well-paid finance job in the British Virgin Islands, Caribbean. I spent my weekends out on boats or on beaches having fun in paradise. However, recently I made the decision to quit my job and leave these beautiful islands to return to England. Upon leaving I had no job, no home and I was returning just in time for it to become bitterly cold. The first question most people ask is why. The answer usually confuses them even more; I want to be a professional wrestler!
By way of background, I have been a professional wrestler before. I wrestled for about 7 years in Great Britain, primarily by the name of JC Thunder. I wrestled for countless promotions in the UK, along with a few shows in the US and elsewhere in Europe, including one tour in Italy where I spent most of my time getting squashed by former WWE stars.
I wrestled throughout University and spent a brief time afterwards making that my primary focus. However, I soon piled on a lot of debt on top of my already high student loan. Depressed and in massive deficit, I ironically got a job in Insolvency. I continued to wrestle whilst I worked, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to juggle everything at once. In 2009, I took a long break from wrestling to take my professional Insolvency exams. After I passed them I did the odd show here and there, but for all sense and purposes I was no longer a pro wrestler. In 2011, I then got a supposed dream job in the Caribbean. Why then have I come back?
Anyone reading this who is a wrestler or a wrestling fan will relate to my love for wrestling. However, it's very hard to explain to a non-wrestling person the attachment people get to this bizarre form of entertainment, so for now I ask non-wrestleheads to just accept the attachment is strong! Essentially I love wrestling and that's it. However, there were several considerations that were very important in making this decision.
In June last year, I turned 30 - this was a biggy! Suddenly I wasn't young anymore, at least from the point of view of someone who is still thinking of pursuing an athletic endeavor as a career choice. There are a lot of famous wrestlers out there that are my junior. I became obsessed with how old pro wrestlers are. I spent far too much of my previous employer's time googling professional wrestlers' ages. Diamond Dallas Page (a former WCW champion and huge star that didn't even start wrestling until 35) soon became my new hero. I realised that if I left it any longer I would become even more far removed from the wrestling circle and soon it would be too late to do anything about it.
Money Money Money
I was once told it doesn't matter if you're eating baked beans out of the can every night, it's more important to be doing what makes you happy. In reality I should probably be paying more attention to my diet now I want to be a wrestler again, but the sentiment is there - money does not buy you happiness.
Money is obviously still important in life and I am aware that I am going from a highly paid job to a very low paying one. However, I've seen the sort of life I could be living if I carry on with my current career path. I don't begrudge anyone else on that path, but for me I don't want it. For whatever reason, wrestling is my thing and that's what I want to do. Hopefully that will make me money too. The chances are slim, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.
I've changed, honest!
Why have I suddenly got it in my head that I'm going to be a successful wrestler when essentially I failed at it before? That question has been on my mind for the past few months. Ultimately I can't prove that I will be successful, but for various reasons I do think my work ethic and self-belief have increased dramatically in the past few years and I'm hoping this will carry through into my wrestling. I have also had time to review what went wrong last time and the reasons why (although that is a post in itself). I think I am now far more focused on what I need to do.
This is a very do or die attitude, but my thoughts are that by throwing myself back and completely immersing myself into wrestling, I don't give myself any choice but to work my arse off. Either that or I will be spending a lot of time crying into my baked bean can!
The Boyhood Dream
We're hitting cliché city now I know, but here goes: I want to be a wrestler because I've always wanted to be a wrestler and it feels wrong not to be one. Ever since I was 8 years old and I watched WrestleMania 7 at my friend Adam Sutherland's house I was completely captivated by wrestling and wanted to do nothing else. I fell in love with the over-the-top characters and storylines. It was a fantasy world that I was completely obsessed with and I never grew out of that.
Even though I left wrestling I justified it by saying ok, I'm going to sort out my finances and other areas of my life and then get back involved with wrestling. Well I've done that now. It's time to put up or shut up. You have to one day wake up and actually live out your dream or you will have just spent your whole life sleeping!
I hope you enjoyed my first blog post. I am painfully aware that this road will not be an easy one, but it's what I want to do and I will be annoyed at myself if I don't at least try.
Upon returning to the UK the first port of call is to visit wrestling school to get myself back into wrestling shape as soon as possible, so I can start working towards re-establishing my name on the British wrestling scene. I welcome your comments below and please feel free to send me a message through Twitter.
Thanks for reading!