I don’t think I would be stretching the dough of my imagination into crepes to think that maybe some readers are wondering, “Why in the ultraviolet-saffron cycle of Samsāra would anyone make a round trip drive of roughly 4,600 miles to wrestle for $42.26?”
To which I might shake my head, smile, and reply, “Don’t be silly, I didn’t know I was going to make $42.26…”
That was actually a pleasant surprise. I had no guarantee of money and was under the impression that I would be wrestling free of charge.
*Here I imagine a movie cliché record-scratch, followed by readers going, “Wait… What the [tantric method of the two merging into the One through sexual energy]?! You spent 40+ hours in a car to wrestle...for free?!”
To which I might bob my head from side to side in my best “Stone Cold” Steve Austin impression and reply, “Oh, hell yeah!”
Not exactly for “free”, though. Allow me to explain:
In 2011, I awoke, with a slight hangover in a overpriced hotel, in Kingsport, Tennessee, to a phone call from a friend (That I would later brutally assault in a barn-turned-locker-room, but that’s another story, for another Fightful Pro Series exclusive. ;-)) who asked me if I wanted to ride down to México with a group of guys already headed down.
I sure as death did. For a guy that idolized luchadors like Blue Panther and Rey Misterio Jr., and had never left the USA, it was a dream come true.
It turned out to be better than anything I would have dreamt of, though.
On my first trip to México, I was taken into a beautiful home, by an even more beautiful family. I was overfed some of the best food I had ever had sensuous pleasure of enjoying. I was chauffeured around and guided through a gorgeously exotic landscape. I was invited to fiestas and encouraged to take siestas.
The above and beyond what-I-believed-possible-hospitality and warmhearted, familial friendship from strangers hit my cynical heart like a shotgun blast, mercy killing a big part of what I sadly considered myself to be. The Capital L Love that I experienced on that trip was a momentous boot in the ass forward on The Path Of Freedom From Discontent Through Lovingkindness that I currently stumble my way down, making each day better than the previous one.
So, when when my wife wanted to share a heart reaffirming retreat to the seashores of Old Mexico with me for her birthday, I was happy to oblige, and, when the promoter/generous host informed me, “I’m not sure if I told you, but the show is a toy drive for very poor kids. Some of the guys don’t want to work it, because there’s no pay.” I wasn’t one of those guys.
Which begs the question, if I wasn’t supposed to get paid a single central Sonoran shilling, just how in the Infierno Azul did I end up wrestling in the streets of México for exactly $42.26?
We’ll get there, but first, let’s savor the journey.
*Spoiler alert* It wasn’t from selling merchandise; I gave that away as quickly and readily as an un-sexually-hung-up pubescent male gives away his virginity.