The crowd eagerly awaited with cameras and banners. They saw the plane land and everyone went silent with anticipation of what was about to happen. The excitement in the air was electric. A father put his arm around his son to acknowledge they were both there for this key moment. A tear of joy rolled down the left cheek of a woman who had thought this day may never happen. The doors opened and out he came. The crowd erupted! Finally, the return of...
...nobody cares JC!! Nobody cares about my crazy dreams as I walk along at a snails pace, whilst my sleepless body is crumbling under the weight of my rather large and heavy bags containing all my worldly possessions. I would have at least thought they would have made a suitcase trolley more readily available for me, but there are none to be seen. In fact I must admit London did not look pleased to see me at all. As I waited for my friends in Heathrow airport everyone and everything looked a bit grey and miserable. A far cry from the beautiful turquoise waters and white sands of the British Virgin Islands.
However, despite my grey surroundings I am incredibly happy to be back. I have had a great week catching up with friends, both wrestling and non-wrestling. I have had a chance to think further about what I'm doing, I've managed to attend my first wrestling training session back and attend a live UK show to see what the current state of affairs is. However, a few realities have set in and reality does bite somewhat!
One of the first comments people have made to me is how much weight I have lost. Whilst this is usually meant as a compliment, for a professional wrestler it is devastating. Wrestlers don't all have to be bulging meatheads, but it definitely helps to have a good muscular body and more importantly they need to stand out from the crowd. My current look is an office bod who does long distance running and triathlons on the weekends, because that is what I have been doing for the last two years!
If I'm going to make any impact at all, one of the first things I need to be doing is hitting the gym hard. I don't need to be huge, but I need to be in shape and to put it bluntly - look like I can kick someone's ass!
JC Thunder wasn't built in a day
After admiring my new gazelle like frame the next question is - so why are you back? What are you doing now? Rather than stand on my soap box and shout 'I am JC Thunder again and I am going to take the world by storm' (pun intended!), these conversations have led me to question myself and be more realistic about this whole thing. Sitting on the beach dreaming of spandex and folding chairs is all well and good, but the reality is this is going to take a while. It will probably be a while before I am good enough to be on shows again and a bit longer before I am consistently working. That said my drive and commitment is still as high as it was.
I woke up Saturday morning body aching and very immobile after lifting weights for the first time in an eternity (great workouts James and Daniel Dewhirst) and if I'm honest I was a more than a little hungover too (will need to be a bit stricter on that one!). Great start to my first wrestling training session in about four years! Eep!
So does JC Thunder still cut the mustard with these young wippersnappers? The answer is whilst I do have a lot ring rust, I do at least remember how to wrestle! Phew that's a relief! My training did feel sloppy at times and I'm clearly not ready for shows yet, but I did have an awesome time and it felt great to be back in a wrestling ring. Big thank you to Tom Chamberlain for inviting me down to his training session at Wrestle Force, it feels good to be back in action!
After training I visited some familiar faces at a Revolution Pro Wrestling show in Bethnal Green. The show was absolutely phenomenal and even featured wrestling legend Bret 'the Hitman' Hart! The production and the wrestlers themselves all looked very professional. It is fantastic to see British wrestling looking so promising and hats off to the promoter, Andy Quildan, for all the hard work he clearly put into it. It was also great to catch up with people I haven't seen in years and to see everyone is so welcoming even after all this time.
One thing was also very apparent after watching the show, I have a lot of work to do! I want to be on shows like the one I saw on Saturday, but at this time I would be embarrassed to be seen on them. It would be worse than when Rocky Balboa got destroyed by Mr T after he didn't train properly in Rocky III. Unfortunately for me I am not Rocky and my training to get to a level I am happy with will most likely have to consist of more than a three minute montage!
Despite these reality checks, I'm still very positive about the decision I have made and happy to be back. Thank you to everyone who read my blog and sent me messages last week. Very encouraging feedback from people and cool to see people actually read this thing. Also a final thank you to everyone at BVI for making my last few weeks so enjoyable and Todd Vansickle for giving me a full page spread in the BVI Beacon last week, which if you're interested in seeing can be viewed below.
Right, time to get on with training! I will update you soon to let you know how it's all going.
Thanks for reading!