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When I was a kid growing up in Canada they used to do the days in school where you had to do a write-up of what you wanted to be, some people picked a doctor or a teacher or a veterinarian or a fireman, whatever it was, and I went up to the teacher one day and said, “I’m a little confused because I haven’t decided what I’m going to be yet. It’s either going to be a pro wrestler or a pro hockey player. I haven’t decided.” They’re like “okay”, like it was that easy you can just decide to be one or the other. But even from a young age, I always wanted to be a professional athlete and compete in some capacity. I just loved it.
I grew up playing hockey, I played right up to junior and I was a goalie. I was infatuated with goalie equipment and Grant Fuhr was my favourite player. I had D&R pads just like him except we had Flyers’ colours in the town that I grew up in so it was orange, white and black instead of orange, white and blue for his Oilers’ colours. Of course I wanted to go as far as I could in hockey, but at a certain point you realize that you might be good but it’s a different level of good or great or amazing to move on to top levels of junior, then continue on to get drafted into the pros and unfortunately realized my hockey dreams weren’t going to come true so I had to make my wrestling dreams a reality.
When I was a little bit younger I told my parents I’m not going to be able to play hockey because I don’t want to miss wrestling. So, they actually went and got a VCR to tape wrestling so I wouldn’t quit hockey which was pretty funny. My parents were always supportive, they were like, “Oh, you should do what you want to do”, not really thinking that I would – you’re a kid just saying saying whatever. I didn’t tell my parents that I had taken a portion of my student loan money to pay for wrestling school, I didn’t know how they’d react. About a year or so down the line, I was having dinner with my dad, I told him and he started laughing. He goes, “Actually, I was wondering what was taking you so long to do it.” I don’t think he was too thrilled about me using the money for that but you know what, it worked out and that was the way it was supposed to happen for me.
I mean I think all my friends knew that I was a big wrestling fan and that I always wanted to do it so I don’t think they were totally shocked when I started to train to wrestle. I’m not sure if anyone ever thought that I would actually make it, but I don’t think that anybody was really shocked that I was trying.