After a long journey fraught with obstacles, we made it to Canada in time for the kick off party for the tour: Booty Shake Monday.
The problem for me was: the appeal of being a special guest judge of the sex appeal of young ladies ass bouncing to songs about young ladies ass bouncing had worn Gandhi-thin somewhere along the way.
So, I half-heartedly pointed at whichever participant that seemed like the least favored by the crowd of western Canadian youth dressed like eastern New Jersey youth.
Eventually some sweaty teenager emerged victorious and was handed enough Canadian money to buy a decently sized Japanese TV for her efforts.
Sigmon and I were both drained as we left the club and I fell asleep while riding skier (between two poles) on the ride back to the nice-ass house we were crashing at.
I woke up on the shoulder of Cam, the wrestler from Calgary, Alberta, that I had just met a couple hours earlier. I gave him an awkward “sorry, bro” look. He gave me a relaxed “it’s all good, bro” look back.
I watched a zombie-fied version of me make my way to a spare bedroom, where I did a Dynamite Kid diving headbutt onto the still-made bed and was asleep before a count of three.
I had a dream where I was wrestling Frosty The Snowman wearing trunks, on top of Mount Everest, on the Winter Solstice, and awoke with the enlightened realization that sleeping under the blankets would be a better move going forward with this tour of the Great White North.
After getting a trial pass for the YMCA of Winnipeg, where Sigmon said “spot me on this leg press” and I said “you sure you wanna go hard on legs on the first day of the tour” and he said “yes (with an implied: ...just spot me, mom)” and I said “sure (with an implied: ...whatever you say, dad)”, it's was time to hit the snow covered roads to wrestle in hockey arenas.
On the way to the first town, Neepawa, I marveled at the novel-to-me sights: cars plugged in overnight (so the batteries don't freeze), snowmobile highways (complete with tiny stop signs) along side the actual highway, and great walls of snow piled up higher than all of Bob Marley’s kids (combined) along city streets.
When we pulled up to the venue the marquee said:
Hmmm, I mused. Wonder if youth hockey is popular, around these parts.
I would find out that it was, but first we, along with the rest of the roster, had to help set up the ring. This was a cool, as well as cold, experience, since I have never been a part of a crew that everyone from the curtain jerks to the show enders chipped in as ring crew; it's usually just trainee and apprentice-level grapplers.
While carrying in a ring post, Sigmon looked me right in the eyes, grunted, and said, “Maybe, I shouldn’t have went so hard on legs.” I damn near went into convulsions trying to hold my “I told you so” back.
Even the promoter and matchmaker was lugging a giant ice cube, which held within it a ring-mat, to the edge of a heater vent inside the VFW-ish style venue.
With most of the ring up, but without a defrosted mat to roll around on, I decided to take a lonely walk around small town Canada.
A digital display outside of the local bank told me that it was -15 C; of course, being a product labeled Made In America, that unit meant jumping-jack-sh__ to me. My body and common-ish sense translated it to mean “cold enough to freeze dragon piss in midair”.
The town was an updated version of an Old West town layout, and looking like it was on it’s way to passing over to ghost town territory. Still, I enjoyed the alone time and the experience of wind that sent shivers all the way to my repressed childhood memories.
Upon returning to the venue, I was met with Sigmon laughing in my frosty face.
“A wee bit chilly out is it, my frozen bearded friend?” Sigmon asked jovially.
I reached up and touched my beard which had indeed become frozen from the light snow and heavy winds.
“Pff. I was sweating’ my d__k off out there.” I boasted of badassery.
By that time, the mat was unfrozen but still wet. I decided to risk rolling around on the soggy canvas since it was nice and toasted in our side of the venue, which was divided in between large meeting hall (where we were having our wrestlemeet) and small ice rink (where hockey was to be had).
Show time came and Cam and I worked our soggy bottoms off at the bottom of the card in front of a very small but very receptive crowd; whose reactions, as much as they tried, weren’t loud enough to drown out the thunderous cheers coming from the other side of our dueling dual-sports arena.
After the match, I wandered over to the hockey side and wondered what amazing fate brought me from, watching without completely understanding, hockey on a 13 inch television in the back of my Granny's house, which I hiked to daily because we didn't have cable, to watching, without completely understanding, hockey live, for the first time, in the back of a building where I was living my dream.
I remembered my thought from the night before: What the f__k am I doing with my life? This time I had an answer: Living it to the f__king fullest.
And it was on course to be lived even fuller.