These posts are a celebration of life and the pursuit of a dream.....and big hair.
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It’s never gonna be the same.
Two scars on his right arm. Rough reminders of a night he’d never forget. Cleveland changed him. Forever.
He smiles, keeping the faith in what will come in the future. The present, however, is the present. A present with people who can’t ignore the elephant in the room. A present with limitations that didn’t exist once upon a time. A present with markings that stand unnatural to human skin; chocolate pigment marred by sandpaper splotches of black. You try to look forward, but the additions to your present pull you into your past.
It all happened so fast. The corkscrew plancha. The apron. The rush of sudden pain as two bones cracked under ill pressure. Visions of the hump in your arm forever etched; wrist limp and dead to rights. This is the day that is seen as expected for anyone who commits to the square circle.
This is your first injury.
No heroic video packages or copy-written inspirational songs like on WWE television. Just gritted teeth and worries.
The eyes of hospital patrons locked on you, afroed hair in a jumble and still in your ring gear, their eyes showing them just how real professional wrestling is when they see your arm. Hospitals asking you to sign forms that you can’t because your writing hand is a bigger mess than the American economy. Delusions that feel like reality when the ketamine (Read up. The side effects are real.) kicks in; giving you a glimpse of a limbo where there is no heaven or hell. That sinking feeling when the doctor tells you 7 screws and a steel plate are needed to piece you together. Taking 20 minutes to dress yourself one-armed in what used to take you 2 minutes tops with two. The cast your arm sits in; pulsating in pain and bleeding out in the sites where you were turned into a robot.
It’s one long sleepwalk. Groundhog Day without the comedy. Another conversation filled with awkward glances at my arm. Instincts wanting to use an arm that you just can’t, testing your improvisation. Hugs you can’t give fully.
You want it all to be normal again. The hardships will pass and you realize it could always be worse, but you can’t just forget it either. You watch matches of yourself performing up and overs, punches, chops, cartwheels, stuff you used to take for granted. Now throwing a punch is harder then Chinese arithmetic.
But you keep throwing them. You pray everyday, asking to accept what you can’t control. Let it all make you stronger. The saying goes, “Do androids dream of electric sheep?”.
^—The proverbial dreaming android—^
No. They dream of normality. The day when everything feels natural again.
You rub your forearm, knowing exactly where flesh stops and titanium steel begins. It’s apart of you now, forever. You pray in the forever that awaits you your punches slice the air once again. Your hugs feel as tight as they used to. And above all….
….it’s not the metal, the pain, or the experience that define you. Rather, the heart and spirit that pushed through and came out better on the other end.
The next fist you make doesn’t hurt the way it did last time.