By Jim Phillips, Senior Editor
“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
How deep are you willing to dig into your heart of hearts to achieve your dreams? When it seems they may slip through your fingers, will you walk away, or dig again? For every cliche’ there is victory, and beside that victory a thousand defeats. Whether by personal submission or attrition by the “forces that be”, many careers have went to the wolves due to a lack of conviction. While it may often be more the former than the latter, it all comes down to the desire to persevere and continue on when everyone and everything else around you says otherwise.
It isn’t just about having the grit to pull through when the deck is seemingly stacked against you, but also having the mental toughness to keep your head in the game so to speak. People will try to get in your ear and sidetrack you if they can, and it is in these times that you have to be able to not only stand alone, but stand tall in the face of that adversity.
The stories are endless of the old school guys that would test your desire to be a part of the fraternity of professional wrestling. Roddy Piper being told to run into a gas station and get sandwiches only to be left there, miles from the venue and left to his own devices to get to the show. Another that I always enjoyed was the story of Jake Roberts being dropped off in an apple orchard to “get some apples for the boys”, only to find himself on the receiving end of the farmer’s buckshot as he was chased out off the property. I would even go so far as to add the classic tale of Hiro Matsuda breaking the leg of a fledgling Hulk Hogan to see if he had the heart to come back and prove his worthiness to be a part of the business. While the rigors of those days may be behind it, there is undoubtedly still that measuring stick applied to see whether or not you have “it” and if you can be counted on to stay in the game, even if the chips are stacked against you. Each and every case, including Hogan’s is a test of self, and how much you want to succeed in the profession you have chosen, be it wrestling or whatever.
It is the ability to not only keep kicking out at two and a heartbeat, but coming back for more that marks the desire to not only survive, but thrive when everyone else thinks you’re spent. Now don’t get me wrong, as I’m not endorsing the black and blue iridescent chest of someone that has taken their pursuit of working stiff to nonsensical levels, but showing that heart of steel, and not one of papier mâché that will crumble under the slightest stresses. That inner strength of reserves in waiting is one of the tell tale signs of a person that will succeed where others, will indeed fail.
Striving through the struggle of not only training, but breaking in, getting picked up and then hopefully a push to a title are all different levels of success that despite what some of the “you deserve it” generation may want to believe, are earned by unbreakable combination of perseverance and sacrifice that few have when times get tough, and the river runs lean. It is then that focusing on the prize of your pursuit and let that be the well from which you draw that one more drink that will sustain you to attain that which you seek, or reach the desired destination that you have given all to see. It will all be worth it when you reach that mountain top.
Until next time Bruthas and Sistas. Stay safe out there in these crazy times we’re living in right now. I’ll leave you with this. Peace.
“The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.”–Kalpana Chawla