There's a part of my past that not many people know about. There's a part of my past I share with few. It's a part of me I'd prefer not to think about and prefer that no one ever know about.
But, I feel compelled to get this deep, dark secret out. Maybe it's about catharsis. Maybe it's about getting older. So, at long last, here it is...I was into professional wrestling when I was in middle school.
I subscribed to the magazines. I went to a live match. It was Hulk Hogan versus Paul Orndorff(Mr. Wonderful was his nickname). I had a trampoline in my backyard growing up and would actually practice some of the moves I saw on television.
Exactly why I was into professional wrestling has always been a bit vexing. But, I recently stumbled onto a video clip of a match I saw when I was about 13 and now I think I understand why I was into it and oddly, it also kind of explains why I am into running.
If you've ever watched a wrestling match, the 'storyline' is effectively the same thing over and over again (or usually is).
The 'hero' is put through a world of hurt at the hands of some heel. The hero gets the hell beat out of him by said heel for most of the match. Despite the incredible pain the heel puts said hero through, the hero emerges victorious.
It's a very simple and contrived message, but a powerful one for many. If you're a good person and you can endure a world of hurt, good stuff happens for you at the end of the day.
I never really learned how to effectively execute a suplex on the trampoline. Nor did I master the devastasting power of a pile driver....or even a power slam. So, my dreams of becoming a professional wrestler were shattered at an early age.
Fortunately, I discovered running and I discovered that I could still be heroic even if I would never be a professional wrestler. I said my prayers (to the running gods), I took my vitamins (pasta, powerbars, water), and I never went wrong (I never finished last).
I have endured incredible pain/discomfort, felt down and out, and still rallied for one more mile inexplicably. I have been hit with a steel-chair of pain in the latter stages of a run and somehow found a way home. I've laid it all on the line and somehow came out on top against all odds.
Perhaps that's why when I feel at my best, I'm not just Matt. I'm 'Marathon Matt'.