"Live by the sword, die by the sword."
That phrase has been said countless amounts of time about certain things, everything from how you live you life to how you look at life. Wrestling is no different.
Day after day, night after night, wrestlers jump into the ring expecting things to happen the way they should. But it's always get into the ring and pray to God every night that this is not your last in the ring or on this earth.
No matter how careful any wrestler can be, there is always that element of risk. The risk that will I walk away from this ring in one piece or will I be wheeled away on a stretcher. That skin piercing thought goes through every person's mind that steps in the ring.
But always under that fear is the knowledge of everything that you were taught through school and through life experience.
When that music hits, the adrenaline hits your body and you walk through the curtain to fans that either love you or hate you, but either way, you do your job. That adrenaline makes all the pains go away and all you can see is the look on your opponent's face. That look is what you will see throughout the entire match. But what do you see when you get away from the ring?
Something that no athlete likes to see, his or her own mortality.
That mortality shows that injuries do happen, but sometimes it's not only the body that gets hurt. The broken bones can heal; the black eye will disappear; but what about that emptiness that lies beneath?
Now I know that you all are wondering why I am bringing this up at a time like this, but there is a purpose.
While talking with one of my wrestling friends from another country, we got into a conversation of why he did not want anything to get in his way with wrestling. He had friends in the business, but he never let anything get in the way of his career.
He describes himself as a wrestling God in training, but he also knows that only a very select few will actually make it to the big show. He always thinks that even though he's not the "normal" wrestler, he has a place in the business. We all do. Like an article written earlier in the year, the differences make the show more fun.
However, he knows the sacrifice that he puts on the line every time he gets into the ring, so why does he get into the ring? He loves it.
Plain and simple. But he also knows of the other problems that go along with the road trips and the working night after night. He loses a part of the normal life that everyone else gets to have. The wife and children he gave up does not always pass through his mind. But when reading one of the lives of a past wrestler, he wonders if that is all that it is. "Will I end up like him?" he says. "Will I end up alone?"
What do you say to that? "Yeah, you'll end up alone because you don't care" or "No, you won't end up that way because you'll see something different along the way to change you." How do you sit down and tell a career wrestler that even though there is more out in the world, which his goal of reaching the top may be harder than he expected. It's nearly an impossible task to say, even if there is an element of truth.
But the shear hope and love of the game is the reason why most wrestlers take to the sport and never let it go. The passion that they love and the pain that they strive for; the living for the sword, but dying by the sword.