Last week I passed the tryout and it has been a week and a few days. The day has come to start day one. I left early because I was worried about traffic and being late. I imagine I will pretty often be the first person there for this reason. I make the two hour drive with ease and to my delight I am not the only person there.
Someone, I am not sure who is laying in the ring. And there is another gym bag next to his. I shake his hand and start stretching. The other guy comes out in face paint. He is an established Talent known as Christian Black. He was working on a promo. And apparently trains in his facepaint. Eventually others show up. Next is Crusher, a veteran. When the main trainer Branon K shows up he tells me to get into the ring and stretch some more. Eventually there is quite a few people. I am part of a class of a few rookies who are farther off than I am. By a month or two.
What I like about this process, and something that made me nervous at first is that he takes turns with each individual working on what they must learn next. So a guy and a woman who are on equal footing were learning the small package and mahistral craddle and then once he was satisfied with their process I would get a turn in the ring while everyone stood and watched, as I watched them.
I was told my first day would be very boring. That it was just about conditioning and working on muscle memory. I did squat bumps and walking bumps. A squat bump is self explainatory. I squat and fall back to the mat. Arms extended and face down.
Don’t land on my elbows like Tommy Dreamer haha. Keep neck forward. I did 5. I didn’t pick this up right away. My legs would not stay in place because I was throwing myself down too hard instead of letting graviy do the work. After 5 it was the next rookies turn. He ran ropes. As we took turns I watched and studied them and they watched me. Intervals of 5 squat bumps.
They warned me about back pain, but honestly even days later It never happened. By halfway my neck hurt, and that was expected. After 50 of those bumps I learned the walk bump. Which he described as slipping on a banana peel. Kick the leg forward and fall just like the squat bump. My legs staying in position remains an issue on this as well.
I got frustrated about that, but it didn’t last long because I noticed very quickly how much everyone there needed repeat attempts. People with better cardio shape or much better bodies than me, better atheletes I am sure, are sturggling with what I consider to be basic wrestling moves like a school boy. It is a learning process. It’s a dance. and they made me feel equal. I didn’t once feel out of place or that I shouldn’t be there. I did 50 of the walking bumps as well and Brandon keept apologizing that I had a boring day but he wanted me to build back and neck strength.
I wasn’t bored at all. Maybe I am just a mark, but I had a great time watching and taking mental notes. I am kind of shy and such but I talked to aas many people as possible and when I finished I feel like I made some friends. Crusher told me to invest in pads for knees and elbows. I had considered this but I didn’t want to show up looking presumptous. Howver I was the only person there without them.
The girl is a dancer and clearly athletic, but doesn’t seem to get the wrestling parts easily. I felt bad cause of how hard she struggled. I hope it works out. I also hope that when I struggle everyone is as good to me about it as they were to her.
I completed my drills before everyone but stayed after to watch. Once the other rookies comepleted theirs the pros wrestled some matches to stay crisp and plan for the show on Saturday. The tag team champions talked to me for a little while before jumping into the ring.
A special feeling overcame me at this point. It dawned on me that even though this is day one. I am part of this now. I am not on the outside. This is me becoming a wrestler.
Days later I am a little sore. I have hit the gym and maintained trying to learn to build strength and keep my cardio game on point. My neck is very sore. My lower back is ok though. I am not sure what will come on day two, but I hope I run ropes soon. It looks so fun.