A question that I get asked a lot is what motivates me.
In order to do anything, there is always motivation behind it in some way shape or form. Some are motivated by money… Some are motivated by fame… Some are motivated by hatred and rage or jealousy… Some are motivated by fear… Some are motivated by pride or jealousy.
I’m motivated by something that you may not be able to tell when you look at me.
I’m motivated by Love.
One of the constants in my life has been love. Ever since I’ve been a kid I’ve been taught about love. When I went to bible camp I was taught about Jesus’ love for all his children. I was constantly told by my mother (and still am) of how much she loves me. I was taught that my Dad worked all of the time because he loved his family and wanted to support us for whatever we wanted. I was taught that he practiced with guns because he loved his family and wanted to protect us if he ever had to. He joined the army because he loved his country and wanted to defend it if the situation ever came up.
I was taught that no matter your job, it is a job and take pride in it. Do your best at that job and above all else… love what you do otherwise it’s not worth doing it. Love with your entire heart… not part of it. The summer before 9th grade I really learned about God’s love for me and I found religion truly for the first time and was saved.
No matter what was going in my life… love was a constant. Then I moved away from those constants in my life and came to college. I began to forget about those things and tried to experience new things. I stepped in the wrong direction and that was nobody’s fault but my own.
I forgot what love meant and defined in my life.
As I grew older, I stopped loving myself… I started to hate myself. My weight got out of control, I did whatever I wanted and did not care about the consequences because “who cares?” I sure didn’t.
Then I met Michelle.
Slowly but surely she chipped away at me and helped me begin to love myself again and to love others… mainly her. I began loving unconditionally. I started to become a different person on the inside.
I found the old me.
I slowly started to realize the old me was not enough. The old me needed to find the new me… but a combination of the two. I needed to combine the “dreamer” of the old me with what I wanted of the “doer” of the new me. How was I going to do that?
Let’s start with the engagement.
As a lifelong fan of wrestling, I’ve always wanted to have my moment in a wrestling ring… where everybody was cheering for me. With an engagement I also wanted to make sure it was memorable and unique for my future wife as well. How was I going to accomplish this?
Enter Elijah Burke and TNA Wrestling.
(Before I go any further, what I’m about to mention is not to try to “push” anyone or “drop names” or anything like that… I’m writing from the heart and this is what my heart is telling me to write)
Through a very lucky chance in 2010, I started to become friends with a professional wrestler performing at the time as “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero, or as I came to know him… Elijah Burke. The man is an incredible role model and inspiration for me and others and he helped me through a very difficult time in my life when I was fired for the first (and hopefully last) time from a job and had some family problems going on at the same time. He helped me to remain positive throughout it and taught me that we all go through seasons.. and seasons change. In a weird way, this lesson he helped me learn helped me prepare for my engagement too.
I approached him about his help with this as I wanted to do it at an upcoming TNA Wrestling House Show that they were having here in Huntington, WV. I didn’t plan on it being anything big… just something that incorporated him since he had helped us through a difficult time. As the day of the show was upon us, he took it upon himself to make this a bigger and better event for me and Michelle. He asked one of the other workers, Jeremy Borash, to assist and had everything planned out without my knowledge.
Here I am, thinking after his match we would just do something at the edge of the entrance ramp since we had front row seats but oh no no… other things were planned. After he picked on Michelle by teasing to give her his sunglasses and taking them away from her, we were invited to step in to the ring… the middle of the “squared circle” so that Michelle could be given the glasses by Jeremy Borash the right way. So here I am, middle of the ring… a ring in my hand… and Michelle’s back to me as Jeremy distracted her with the glasses.
I took my position on one knee.
It is something I will NEVER forget.. the look on her face as she saw and realized what was happening.
I was able to express my love to Michelle while accomplishing something I wanted to do since I was a kid… I had hundreds of people cheering for me (and Michelle) in the middle of a wrestling ring. Truly a memorable experience.
Through this love.. I began to love something else as I looked at the photos. I started to love me again. In fact, I started to love myself so much.. that I knew I could be a better person… I could be a husband, a father, an inspiration, a role model…
And what does a hero do?
Defeats the Villain
So I began my journey to defeat one of my villains… my weight. I used this love for myself, Michelle and my future family as my main motivation to transform myself. That started in 2011 as I changed careers from call center work to the food industry… It continued in 2012 as I began going to the gym and eating better…
and it ain’t evah gonna stop!
I tell you this whole story to show to you how I took love… and made it my main source of inspiration. EVERY THING that I do… I do out of love. Love for myself, my family, and others. If God could love everybody in the world, then that is something I needed to strive for.
Love can be a powerful motivator if used in the right way. Always use love to motivate, not discriminate. Always use love to push yourself to a level that you never thought imaginable. Do you think I ever thought I would be able to stand in the middle of a wrestling ring and pop the biggest question of a man’s life? I sure didn’t at first… but love can move mountains.
Which brings me to the bible verses listed in the subject of this entry.
As a fun test and motivator… I challenge anyone to replace the word love with your name. If there is any doubt in your mind as you say some of these statements that you are not describing yourself? Then you have work to do. I know that I do.
In closing, this is a love letter (obviously). It’s a love letter to Michelle to put in to words what she has done for me. It is a love letter to Elijah for what he has done for me and shown me (I love you like a brother man). Most importantly… this is a love letter for myself and others.
If you truly love yourself. Do something for yourself to make yourself better. If you love others, do something for others to show them that. If you love somebody, make a statement to the world to show them that.
Show the world what you are capable of.
And never… EVAH stop until you do.
(By the way, we kept the glasses from the engagement and used them in the wedding)
(Writer’s Note: Big thank you to TNA Wrestling for allowing Elijah to help me with my engagement. Thank you to Jeremy Borash for helping to orchestrate it and being in the ring with us as “the moment” happened. Also, a huge thank you to all of you that read the blog and read this entry… please take this and motivate yourself and others)