Injuries & Defiance

Injuries. They happen all the time, especially in a business where you put your body on the line numerous times a week. You’ll be hard pressed to find a pro wrestler who is without some sort of injury or is physically 100%. As wrestlers, we are fully aware the toll that is taken on our body when we step into the ring. For us this is a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.

What most wrestlers do not tell you, and what most people don’t see behind the scenes, is the toll these injuries take on a wrestler mentally. Being away from the ring, barred from training or performing on shows, because your own body “betrays” you. There is literally nothing we wouldn’t do to be back in the ring. So many wrestlers, including myself, push past what we deem small injuries (because we know so much better than actual doctors *sarcasm*) to keep fighting and competing. Whether this is due to others’ expectations or our own, we believe we are tough, we are determined, & we are indestructible!

I’m no stranger to pushing past injuries or the discomfort they cause. Between my background with gymnastics & policing, I’ve had quite a few over my lifetime. I graduated the police academy with a fracture in my left knee because I refused to let the pain stop me from completing my goal. So when the MRI results for my knee came back after a recent battle in the ring that I not only tore my MCL (medial collateral ligament) but that my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) was torn completely from  my femur, my initial reaction was “what do I have to do to get back into the ring asap.” The orthopedic patiently explained to me that my ACL would have to be reconstructed by undergoing surgery and a rehabilitation period of 9 months to a year. The only other option was to wear a hefty, hinged brace (what most affectionately call the “Steve Austin” brace) and hope that would be enough to keep my knee from giving out while wrestling since I no longer had an ACL to stabilize it. And of course I chose option B.

I returned to the ring less than 2 months after my initial injury with my purple glittery brace appropriately named “Defiance”. I wrestled 3 matches in 2 days on the weekend of my return. I battled my way back to Future of Honor (Ring of Honor/ Women of Honor) and crossed swords for the Women’s Championship at Warriors of Wrestling. The following weeks I made my debut at SHINE 57 and put my knee on the line for the #1 contendership to the Women’s Championship at Brii Combination Wrestling. I was determined to keep fighting instead of heeding the warnings from my orthopedic.

I. Am. An. Idiot. Despite how strong my heart is, despite whatever motivation I carry, my knee is incapable of supporting myself or others in the ring long-term. Fear looms over my head with every match that my knee will give out and cause injury to myself or, even worse, to somebody else. I want to be a part of pro wrestling for years to come. And if I want longevity, I need to take care of the very important support system in my body.

So this is a very long-winded way of saying I’m going for ACL surgery in 2 days. I will unfortunately be out of the ring for an indeterminate amount of time. I feel guilty for letting down the promoters who trusted me to be a part of their shows and the people who believed in me enough to support me. I will be going completely bonkers while recovering & rehabbing. But it needs to be done.

I will be fighting a very different fight, but this one is no less important. I vow that I will be back, surgically enhanced knee and all!!

The moral of this story: Take care of your body. You only have one to last you an entire lifetime.

“Shadows fall
And hope has fled.
Steel your heart
The dawn will come.

The night is long
And the path is dark
Look to the sky
For one day soon
The dawn will come.

Bare your blade
And raise it high
Stand your ground
The dawn will come.”

– Dragon Age Inquisition

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Bumps, Bruises and Beginnings

Once upon a time, there was a little geek woman.

No wait, that’s not quite right.

Take two.

Police swearing in ceremony

It was the year 2016. I was working another night shift as a police officer in NJ. It was the job I had been working towards since I was 15 years old, and one that I truly believed would be my lifetime career. I knew I wanted to do something to help my community, and I thought community policing would fulfill that role. But something didn’t seem to quite…fit. I finally figured out what that piece of the puzzle was when I fully delved into the pro wrestling world.

My family didn’t watch pro wrestling, so I didn’t have the opportunity while I was growing up to be indoctrinated into the fandom. Due to this, I got a a bit of a late start. It took until my boyfriend & his brother overlooked buying me a ticket to see Wrestlemania 29 for my avid fascination to begin. I almost spitefully began to watch NXT (who doesn’t invite someone to Wrestlemania?!) and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Four Horsewomen

It was during this period of time that the four horsewomen of NXT began to come to prominence. After seeing these fierce women tear up the ring, I knew I could no longer just be a spectator. I reached out to Danny Cage of the Monster Factory who invited me to do a tryout for training.

Danny Cage at the World Famous Monster Factory

I knew from that very first flip bump that I had found my niche. Pro wrestling gave me a sense of challenge both physically and mentally that I hadn’t felt since I was a gymnast. I woke up the next morning with my body aching in muscles I wasn’t even aware I owned. And I knew I had to go back.

A month later, at the age of 28, I left my job as a police officer and dove headfirst into pro wrestling training while I finished my bachelor’s degree in Sociology. There have been bumps in the roads: injuries that had to be overcome, determination that was tested, doubts to push past. Through it all, I met and worked with some pretty spectacular people; people who have supported me and helped to shape my journey thus far. In less than 3 years, pro wrestling has not only given me a way to fulfill my passion to serve my community, it’s also given me a home.

Working with Jimmy Jacobs

Every day I learn something new, whether it’s about pro wrestling in particular or myself on this journey. I’m still learning and growing with every step I take, and sometimes there are days when I wonder if I was a tad bit insane to have taken this leap. Maybe I am. But I don’t regret it for an instant.

This is my pro wrestling journey. Welcome!

This is just beginning.

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