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Posts from August 2013


School is back in session. Just remember to be kind to your teachers!
Back during my senior year of high school (2004), I was wrestling at 140 lbs.  Of course, I started at 155 lbs, and my coach asked if I could lose the 15 lbs. in a week, for our first meet, and then keep it off for the three months of the season.  I did, but at a painful price.  
 
 
From the extreme weight loss I put my body through, my bladder and kidney had sealed shut.  I was dehydrating my body to make weight, so replenishing my body with water was not an option, and in result my kidney had swelled and was rubbing up against my hip.  I urinated blood for three months, which if you have never done, is extremely painful, and I would rather just hold it in then go, because of the pain.     


 
The doctors told me I would have to have surgery, where they would cut a hole in my bladder and kidney and reconnect them with a small tube.  I chose to opt out of surgery until after the season, so they prescribe me Vicodin, to help with the pain.  

 
 
I took one pill, and realized I hated the way Vicodin made me feel, so I decided to throw out the bottle, and just deal with it.  To ease the pain, I would just keep ice taped to my side, to "numb" the pain.  Every morning I would wake up at 5 am, run 2-5 miles, go home shower, tape ice to my hip, down five or six ibuprofen then head to school.  After school it was three hours of practice, head home, depending on what energy I had left, I may go for a run,  go to sleep, and repeat.  Fridays and Saturdays were wrestling meets and Sunday was lift days.  
 
Of course all my teachers had an opinion on what I was doing, all of them being negative.  As if my body wasn't in enough pain, I had terrible cotton mouth, my lips were cracked and dry from not drinking water, and I was just mentally and physically exhausted.  The last thing I needed to hear every period, everyday for three months, was how terrible I looked.  

 
 
I read the morning announcements for the high school before classes started, which were broadcasted in every classroom over the televisions, so I needed to be in school an hour earlier than everyone else.  One morning, as I was limping down the hall to head into the Television room, my biology teacher was walking towards me.  

 
 
Mrs. Gwenn was her name and she was retiring after my senior year.  She was a short, brittle woman, with short blonde hair, and big wired frame glasses, who I never really had many exchanges with, besides me sitting in class, and struggling to understand the lesson (I was awful in biology). 

 
 
As I'm getting ready to walk past her, she stopped me.  I guess I wasn't looking too great that morning, because when she stopped me, she let out a long sigh, and a large sad faced frown.  The face that your grandmother would make when you would trip, fall and scrap your leg.  

 
 
I thought I was in for another lecture on how I should quit losing weight, and quit wrestling all together.  Instead, she gave me a hug, and told me she was proud of me, and what I sacrificing for the school.  

 
 
I was caught off guard, and I started to tear up.  I was doing my best not to lose it right there in the hallway.  She then told me, she had a bag of lollipops in her desk, and that if I never needed one (they help when you have cotton mouth and can't produce spit) just ask. I said thank you and went on with my day.  

 
 
I will never forget that small exchange we had that day, and how great it made me feel.  I'm not sure if Mrs. Gwenn knew the impact she had on me that day, but it has never left me.  With school starting back up, I hope the teenager/young adults aren't too hard on teachers and remember that they have tough days like the rest of us.  
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My collection addiction!
I have recently started to collect the LJN's, and it all started back in 1991-1992.  Here is a brief story on how I got involved into collecting them.  I got into pro wrestling when I was in Kindergarten.  My oldest brother (who did not live with us) left a PWI wrestling magazine at our house, I can clearly remember the magazine too.  It was the Wrestlemania 6 recap. When I found this magazine, I assumed, "well if my brother likes wrestling, it must be cool.  I guess I LOVE wrestling now."  Going through the pages (not reading of course) looking at the pictures, I decided my favorite wrestlers was Hulk Hogan.  From there, I was hooked.  I watched wrestling any chance I could.  I was a Hulkamaniac, and started buying Hasbro's any time my mom would take us out. 


It was around 1993, when I re discovered this PWI magazine, and somehow, missed the ad in the back of the magazine for the LJN figures.  After examining the ad carefully, I discovered there was a referee figure, and for some reason thought it was the greatest thing.  I ran downstairs and asked my mom if we could get the referee figure.  My mother must have been in a great mood that day, because she said, "sure, how about we pick out five?"  Thrilled, my mom and I sat down and filled out the ad, selecting five figures, the referee my first choice.  


I remember my mom showing me how to fill out a check, address the envelope, and how to put the stamp on the envelope, while explaining how the post office worked, and how this whole transaction was going to work.  I listened and tried to  register everything, mostly because I knew my mom was treating me for no reason.  A few days go by, everyday asking if the figures arrived, when one sad day, my mom had to tell me the company was no longer shipping figures, and that the magazine ad was old.  I was devastated.  I may have only been in second grade, but I knew the figures in the stores were different, than the ones in PWI, I assumed they were no longer being made, and therefore I would never see that referee again.  


Fast forward to current day, my buddies and I go to the flea market, where I come across a guy selling LJN's.  I know you're thinking, "He finally got the ref!"  No, but I did pick up half his lot for a fair price.  When my buddies and I got back to the car, I took the figures out of the bag and stared at them.  It was right there, I was taken back to the story I just told, and said to myself, "I'm going to get all those figures, and that damn referee, so I can make that disappointed, 2nd grader in me finally happy."  And thus my journey has begun.  

I'm proud to say, that today, I have renegotiated my contract at work, and have accepted a new three year deal, bigger pay, and a extension on my bonus.  Excited that my dreams are becoming a reality, I decided I would celebrate, not with a drink, but by buying the blue shirt referee today.  I went on ebay, found only one listing for the blue shirted referee, a buy it now deal for $35, free shipping with the figure in fantastic shape.  I eagerly hit buy it now, and paid.  

I'm very excited to finally hold this figure in my possession after 21 years of waiting!
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