Wavell Starr column

There’s an old saying that “wrestlers don’t retire – they get awesome”. Ok maybe I made that up but at least half of it is true. I myself have used the “R” word on more than one occasion over the past handful of years. I have come to the conclusion that I will ALWAYS have at the very least one foot in the business. I am just coming off of an extended break that saw me wrestling only twice over two months. This was deliberate.  The reason was to both rest my body allowing nagging injuries to heal up and to take some time away from under the lights in front of the audience to allow for a slight repackaging of my character. I’m not going to lie – sitting at home for two months was very hard for me.

A common trait amongst wrestlers is that we often find the mundane routine of life not on the road somewhat boring. Though we are always anxious to get home after a tour, it doesn’t take us long to get restless and feel like we should be going somewhere. We feel we should be on the way to the next town, the next venue, the next gym, the next hotel. I was not immune to this and I found myself looking at my calendar as I started to enter show dates for the next few months. I am lucky to have the amount of dates that I have. For an indy wrestler I am about as busy as one can get these days. I believe that the years I spent working hard and paying my dues on the road paid off and rewarded me. When I first started, I was sleeping on friends’ couches trying to make the tours. I didn’t make a lot of money but I was learning and having the time of my life. I believe those efforts in my early days are paying off by providing me with ample work in the present.

This weekend my schedule had me in Maple Creek on Friday, Calgary on Saturday and an afternoon matinee in Bassano to finish it off. To say it was a fun tour would be an understatement. At my age, the post show routine equates to grabbing a bite to eat and going to bed. The younger guys were planning out what night club they were going to head to while the older guys discussed where we were going to eat. A large part of the enjoyment for me comes from the time in the vehicle with my peers – sharing stories of the road and catching up with each other’s lives.

The cool thing about the wrestling brotherhood is that you can go years without seeing someone and then see each other and pick up like no time has passed whatsoever. As wrestlers mature through life you transition from sharing crazier stories of the years gone by to updating each other about your children. We also exchange various theories and opinions on a wide range of topics. Discussion this trip touched on religion, mathematics, aliens, politics and as always, numerous conspiracy theories. Did the original Paul McCartney die during the height of Beatles fame so they replaced him with the current Paul McCartney? Did Michael Jackson pass away after his hair lit fire? Why is the general public still fascinated with the Royal family? When you spend hours in a vehicle you have lots of time to talk and solve such pertinent world issues.

Alberta trips have special meaning to them with me. The Calgary shows in particular always bring about feelings of nostalgia. I can’t help but remember the early days of my career when I was a young guy with a dream. I knew I was living my dream when I was in my car heading west to meet Bruce Hart, head trainer and booker for Stampede Wrestling at the legendary venue known as the Victoria Pavilion – home of Stampede Wrestling TV. I was star struck by the venue itself. To make it even more surreal I met my childhood idol “the British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith backstage and the next morning I was beginning my training at the famous Hart Dungeon in the basement of Stu Hart’s mansion.
Fast forward almost 20 years and I’m still travelling the same highway with the same passion for the business that I had as a rookie. Though my goals have changed, I still work hard and am constantly trying to improve because my old coach from the Regina Rams Alex Smith used to say “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” I use that motto not only in wrestling but in life as well. One time a few years ago on the way home from a wrestling tour, I ran into an old classmate that asked if I was “still doing that rassling.”I answered yes and he said “still chasing the dream eh?”

I said no – I’m living it.

Keep up with the latest news from Wavell Starr on twitter @wavellstarr and “like” his page on Facebook www.facebook.com/TheWavellStarrShow

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