Warrior Battle Scars

As I honor and remember Patriot Day today, all those images come to mind of 18 years ago. Those true warriors battling to save lives will always remain in my heart. The survivors and those lost have their scars– external and internal. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’”πŸ˜ͺ…

My story to share isn’t comparable to 9/11 of course but does relate to the warrior battle scars I’ve endured. Warrior had his battles as am sure some of you have had also. Do you hide your scars or proudly show them off? That photo of me you see is a visible facial scar I incurred over 19 years ago as a result of a car accident. I relate more details of the Good Samaritan woman who came to my aid in “Angels on Earth” – 11/19/18 thru my other blog at: www.spiritandbelief.com

This post today is more about my fighting spirit as a warrior even back then.

Four broken cheekbones wouldn’t stop me, oh no. Thankfully, I wasn’t at fault and was nicely compensated for my injuries. Determination on the inside matters, not money on the outside. Sure, that nest egg came in handy years later but healing became my priority.

That warrior girl then made jokes with the paramedics, fought wearing a neck brace, and even conversed with the woman at fault. Being so panic stricken, she ran around screaming. I pushed my arm thru the broken driver’s side window and grabbed her arm while saying calmly to call 9-1-1. The victim had to comfort another. I look back with such amazement. Another humorous moment was car shopping with my Dad. By then, my left eye was streaming quite often so it looked like I was crying. That was part of the healing. I had joked with the car salesman about an accident victim getting a good deal– (cue the tears!) I also had told co-workers about wanting a new car but not this way! Glad my humor remained… That was also part of my warrior self.

The remaining weeks that followed brought so much battling that I was told often to “rest.” After all, 5.5 hours of plastic surgery would make anyone tired in many ways. This relates to last week’s post of asking for help which again was hard to do. I would cover up my “better” eye and force the “bad” one to read. Of course both move anyway but my warrior spirit had to take action.

I had a crooked smile for a while and got different creams to hide my scars. The scars on my belly previously mentioned from working out wrong at age 12 could be hidden but this couldn’t. Warrior had his face paint but I wasn’t in character– this was really me. Nowadays, I don’t cover those scars anymore and own them with pride. They are part of me and winning that battle.

Those are external just like a few others. Remember My “Backbreaker” Injury where I discussed my back but also Warrior breaking his ankle? (5/22/19) Well, he also tore a bicep years after that and handled it in his own Warrior way. All external but what about those internal ones? Most may know of his heart condition but we all also have scars on the inside forever a part of us. Maybe they’ve healed, maybe they haven’t. Both Warrior and his wife Dana were bullied but they never gave up that warrior spirit of battling those internal scars.

The outside can be healed but the inside emotions forever remain. It’s all in how you respond that makes such a difference. I didn’t share my accident story for pity at all. I could’ve listed much more but am sharing to show how we must as warriors battle back always. Whatever your scars are, don’t hide them. It may be difficult to do but as a warrior, I realized it became a must.

Again, I will not ever compare my scars to those who have been through much worse but the emotion is the same. Just like with Warrior’s life moments and mine. They are never concretely similar but the feelings and responses are. Don’t just use your battle scars to tell a great story of survival but use them to inspire others. That’s what Warrior did and hopefully I am doing that also for all of you. It’s your turn next to pass on your warrior battle scars to another and keep inspiration going.

*** Those Patriots of 9/11 sacrificed so much as real warriors. As we pause, let’s honor our scars and own them as we battle on everyday.

…”the wound heals but the scar, that scar remains.” ~~Poison

~~ Every Rose Has It’s Thorn, 1988. πŸ₯€

#PatriotDay #alwaysbelieve

#ownyourscars

The Birthday Plans β˜”οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈ

I really should share this story in about a month and a half when my birthday is but it was on my mind so August it will be. This does concern WrestleMania VI. I know- so many memories, right? Hard to believe I bought the VHS tape over 20 years ago! Again, it seems like yesterday and forever all at once…πŸ“Ό

I would sneak downstairs alone to watch when no one was there but me. They wouldn’t mind but so much more fun emotionally watching ALONE! My brother would’ve been great to watch with but he didn’t live at home anymore. After the “newness” wore off, the tape got put on my shelf with other collectibles. It wasn’t until a few years later that I started a new little tradition for myself. Once I moved, it probably got stored in the attic until it came back a little closer.

The first few years in our house watching the last match of WMVI on my birthday became a yearly event. Then, it started to fade from my plan as I became a mother. We still had our VCR hooked up in the early 2000’s but now it was time for baby and kid shows. My husband and I had quite the collection of movies but rarely watched them anymore. Has he ever seen WMVI? Not with me if at all! One of these days I keep telling myself… Of course now on DVD.

The birthday plans with that tradition literally got shelved as my life revolved around two babies back then. Many years went by and now the VCR was hooked up in the basement as the DVD player took its place. In 2012, I turned 40. We took a trip to California in the summer but this was September and now officially my birthday. With my husband at work, kids in school, and just me with the new puppy, it had to be extra special. My family and friends would celebrate but this time was for me alone.

I wanted to do something different for myself but nothing seemed to interest me. Getting lunch? Nah.. A manicure? Nope, probably too rushed before the kids bus. Then, I thought of a bike ride. Perfect! The puppy wouldn’t be left too long and it is one of my favorite activities. I had it all planned out and went outside to go.

I wasn’t even looking at the sky as it started to pour! Hurriedly, I rushed inside already soaking wet. Oh no! My birthday plan for myself was ruined. ☹️ I was so mad… Ah, the little things. I rarely did much for myself and now this rain. After a few sulking minutes, WMVI popped in my head! No way. Where did that thought come from? I hadn’t watched it in years and had forgotten all about my old birthday plans.

Since the VCR was now in the basement, I had to watch down there. I was planning on working out later anyway so why not now? I could do both. Hooray! The tradition had returned. I did watch other parts that I love too ya know! πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‰ Best for last though! It was so interesting getting that memory back on a milestone birthday for me.

It has been part of my birthday now ever since. Maybe not on a weekend when others occupy my space but it’s during the week for sure. Five years ago, I needed to watch but our VCR was no longer connected. This was in April and not September so it was part of my grief. I couldn’t remember all the hook-ups and called my husband. I just said I wanted to watch a favorite movie of mine while holding back tears. The sound came but no picture. Ugh.., I finally gave up in exasperation. Little did I know at the time how a brand NEW DVD would soon come my way that contained WMVI naturally. O.K, I could’ve ordered it on Amazon but so not in my thought process…

For the past three years, I have gotten something extra special from Warrior on my birthday. This may sound kinda crazy for anyone new reading my blog but spiritually, it’s true. It’s all archived!!! I’ve had a few things on his special day as well. I will keep my birthday plan going as that tradition began so long ago. Sure I can watch WMVI anytime but getting that memory back almost seven years ago means so much to me. It needs to be honored.

From a VHS tape to a DVD, it makes no difference. I have watched in my childhood home and now the house we share as a family. I can go to the WWE website or even watch on YouTube now but I don’t. There is nothing like having your OWN. Who knows what this birthday will bring but WMVI is always on my wish list. πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ€Όβ€β™€οΈ

www.spiritandbelief.com~~ check out info for my book here where more great Warrior stories are told!

P.S. Ironically, when starting to write this today, I was outside and it started to pour! No bike ride planned but hopefully I can still walk the dog in a bit!!

#alwaysbelieve

#OWN πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ»

Your Style Matters

Do you have your OWN style? I hope you do. It does matter ya know. This post can be interpreted any way you wish. I know my style matters. Warrior’s did (and does) and so does yours! Early in his career, he mentions having “great people to learn from.” I had some as well. This could be one of those beginnings I mentioned last week. Warrior’s was wrestling, mine was teaching. It makes no difference but once you find a style that works, it’s yours.

When you start something new, you know nothing but maybe you know a little. As time goes on, you know more and more. Pretty soon~~ you’re a pro! At least enough where you feel educated to perhaps teach someone else. My career as a preschool teacher involved being an aide first and observing at many centers with many different teachers. They all had their own style and I got snippets of everything. Education +Learning=STYLE. Some aspects I loved but then others, not so much. I could never be a copycat and neither was Warrior.

He learned the basics but needed a style that fit his OWN way and not that of others. Often times when we go against the “norm” or “majority,” we get criticized and judged. Have you been there? I know I have. I’m getting so much better at not judging others either but this remains a struggle at times.

Warrior got teased for running, shaking ropes, and wearing too much gear among other things. I got teased for hanging up too many posters in my classroom, not decorating a bulletin board correctly, and even for being too young! The list went on. His teasing didn’t make him quit just like mine didn’t for me. Isn’t it crazy how our brains get so twisted into things being the same for years that- GASP- someone new wants to change stuff around?!πŸ™„πŸ˜³πŸ˜¬

Like Warrior, I too “followed the rules” in the beginning. You kinda have to in order to be taught. After a time though, opinions count and style matters. Remember~~ true warriors are not clones or robots. I realize drastic measures shouldn’t be taken but am sure you’ll know your own limits. The truth is, you have to be comfortable enough using a style that you love. If you don’t, find a new one.

Don’t just emulate to get noticed. Maybe others won’t see if you’re genuine but you’ll feel it. Sure, at first we want that mentor or idol and will follow their style. After all, it works for them so why not you? You are the only one to decide if you constantly want to stay that way or become your own style. I gotta say– you will not regret cultivating something that will ultimately become YOU and no one else. If it’s hard for you to believe in your style, think of the impact on others. Warrior had the fans, I had the kids. It will matter.

This doesn’t need to just apply with a career. Think about parenthood. How about fitness? Decorating? It can be all your hobbies too. We will learn how to become successful but happiness is the key. You can be successful in anything if you try and have been taught to be so. But without a true style~~ the happiness will be lacking for sure.

Even twins need a style of themselves. You may look identical but that doesn’t mean everything you do has to be. So glad I wasn’t one. One of the many reasons I personally have longevity with Warrior is because of his style. Not necessarily all the wrestling gear but just his thinking outside of a box and remaining true to himself. We all should aspire to do the same but with today’s societal pressure, it can be tricky. You will have the guts to stand out with your style even when others disagree.

Another biggie in my life now involves activities I enjoy. I love yoga, spirituality interests, and of course blogging! My book Spirit and Belief is not even of the “norm.” I do much on my own with a style that works for me. My book club is a constant but I bounce around at yoga studios. There will be regulars and then there’s me. Sometimes I get glared at, sometimes I don’t. It is a test for me since years ago I’d never do this unless a friend came along. Well, that isn’t the case anymore. I still make the friends and connections without being a regular. You may think differently and respect is given.

OWN your style and make it matter. You won’t leave this life wishing you were like all the others. You will however look back and know the style that was cultivated made you happy. That’s what we need more of. We start with others input but then we shake our OWN ropes! Now, that’s what I call style that matters.

#ownyourstyle

#alwaysbelieve

#justbeyou

www.spiritandbelief.com

πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘ŠπŸ»πŸ‘†πŸ»πŸ’ͺ🏻

Remember Your Beginning…πŸ‘‹πŸ‘§πŸΌ

This title might intimidate you but please don’t let it! I’m not talking about your birth story here but perhaps a little older in life. The beginning I mean is when you became more of YOU. Confused? Well, it’s whenever that little light above your head finally shines so BRIGHT that nobody can dim it. πŸ’‘The part of you that finally accepted yourself despite naysayers. That part of you that finally OWNed being a true warrior. Maybe you are still finding that out.

I’m not being a shrink at all and most have that “inner child.” Mine is more the “inner teen.” She’s mainly my beginning of sorts. I know Warrior’s beginning was discovering that weight room in high school which helped him excel towards his future. My teen years meant hiding that girl I wasn’t allowed to be. Now, she waves at me proudly while standing on the edge of a cliff. Not there drastically but, ya know– playfully and willingly wanting to SPLASH. I actually can see her in my mind sometimes but now I joke when years ago, I pushed her away.

Which beginning means the most to you? We need to remember all of our parts as they make us whole. O.K., so you won’t remember your infancy but somewhat past that. My earliest memories are of being 3. Ah, I digress… That teen girl watched WWF then with so much excitement and joy. This only seemed “allowed” in my family’s house as that part of me was off limits to anyone else really.

We all have parts that are only reserved for some. Even Warrior did. Sure, he had his painted mask but rarely let out his beginning to many. He enjoyed being private later in life. Maybe a younger version of him kept standing on a cliff too– waving? I can only imagine and guess. Without certain beginnings, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Beginnings end but they still remain part of us. Warrior’s earthly beginnings have ended but his spiritual ones will go on forever. The same is true for all of us.

His passing brought endings and beginnings for me as am sure many fans feel the same. Even this blog has gone thru several beginnings which transitioned to endings of some topics. I look at how the WWE has also evolved besides just the name change over twenty+ years ago. Nothing ever happens without those two words of a beginning and an end. We will always remember them all.

Think about your own life. It’s all there for you. Yeah, sometimes we remember truly what we want to. It all leads to new beginnings, adventures, and experiences. Some of it can be pretty ugly but facing it gets us thru it. The great will stand out but then what about the middle? The middle to me are the littles. It’s the little things we need to remember most but sometimes don’t.

For us who followed Warrior’s career, we’ll remember his beginnings of course and then the GREAT but also the UGLY. The middle things need to be acknowledged too. Those propel you forward just like the Ultimate Warrior character needed smaller matches that led to bigger ones. Most might not remember some of those. We will always have the BIG stuff that amounts to beginnings but the middle counts just as much.

Don’t forget all those middles in your life too warriors. From toddlerhood, childhood, teen years, young adult, middle adult, and then older adult. They are all beginnings. These will end but memories will never. Warrior never wants us to forget any of his but his wish is to make your life its OWN. One book may end like Dana’s with Warrior but now she is writing a new one for her life. She will always remember her beginnings too.

Look at your “parts” around you and remember how they all began. They will always be moving you forward to begin again just in a different way.

*** My teen girl is still waving and I honor her now. πŸ˜‰

P.S. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” ~~~ Closing Time by Semisonic (1998.)

www.spiritandbelief.com

Protect Your Character

***I’m back! Did ya miss me? I missed my writings but after our vacay, it’s time for more stories!

Protecting your character can imply so many meanings. It all depends on your perspective. With this title, Warrior mentioned how important it was for him to do just that~~ protect his Ultimate Warrior character. What I believe it meant in his context was not compromising so much that the character’s integrity gets undervalued. When someone wanted to “take liberties with your character,” you had to remember your own values. It got down to “the business of the business” meaning that each character stays true to his core.

I could relate to this story as well told by Warrior on the Ultimate Collection DVD. When my book Spirit and Belief came out, the approach was somewhat different than it is today. My values are the same but the attitude has shifted just a little. At first I was super protective as those stories in that book belong to us both- me and Warrior. No way was I gonna just let anyone who didn’t truly “get it” involved.

It was after all like a baby I just birthed and not all were allowed to “hold it.” The writing was easy, marketing not so much. I could never form the words right when describing it to anyone foreign to him, wrestling, or spirituality.

I think deep down my Belief was that the book could survive online on its own without me. It can but that’s like sending a baby bird out of the nest before it’s fully ready. Had to use a bird reference if you know some of my writings about them in the past. BTW– we have baby robins growing bigger in a nest this summer!! Now, I am much more comfortable speaking about our stories while still protecting them. No, they aren’t for everybody but nobody will know either unless I help it to fly.

Do you protect your character when needed? I am big on principles just like Warrior ( I still will refer to him in the present) but compromises are needed too. I don’t mean a character like on T.V. but your true self. Do you cave on important issues just to please others? You shouldn’t. Yes, it’s easier but it’ll affect you numerous ways with guilt showing up.

When we take on certain roles in life, protecting that character can be challenging. We sometimes will say : “I didn’t sign up for this!” Maybe even: “It’s not in my contract!” I certainly didn’t compromise when it came to a former boss asking staff to do personal errands. Professional ones, yeah but when we didn’t have enough kids– I’d work in the office. I would never run a personal errand unless I’m the boss’s assistant which none of us teachers were.

From politics to religion, ( which I’ll never discuss) parenting, careers, or all in betweens, protecting your character and values needs to stand for something. There are countless decisions we make but conforming or not needs to be decided only by you. Anything you create is yours so are you protecting it or not? Nobody else will. Take pride in your craft, share how you want, but always protect. Make it work for you as a balance of not too tight but not too loose either.

Pro athletes or really anyone that performs has their own character that might start out a certain way but then evolves into so much more for an audience to see. You’d protect what’s important to you right? They do too even though we might not ever know “behind closed doors.” We all start out with help but it’s on you to make your OWN character thrive.

When the Ultimate Warrior battled Andre the Giant , protecting characters were considered for sure. I mean nobody was bigger than Andre– literally and figuratively. The Warrior character was still a novice at the time but never wavered from his convictions. Andre helped the U.W. character as only a legend could. Integrity and protection remained on both sides. This is how it should be but in reality, it doesn’t always work that way.

The level of how we protect what’s ours may differ but the core shouldn’t break. Bend a little maybe but not break. Keep your character protected and strong however that looks to you. It is after all~~ inside of you to do so.

P.S. I recently wanted some champagne just for fun and found one labeled “Andre.” Had to get it since Warrior would always buy Andre his favorite wine out of respect for protecting the character of Ultimate Warrior. πŸ·πŸ€Όβ€β™€οΈπŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ₯‚

What’s Your Plan B?

Several weeks ago I mentioned how “It’s Never One Thing” as to why we like or dislike things. I discussed hobbies or interests and your feelings behind them. This post takes that idea a little further. I made you a YouTube video that I’ll link at the end since we all need a plan B. So many times I’ve said how glad I felt that Warrior always had a plan B. I have several as well. Do you? Once your 9-5 has possibly ended for that time in your life, then what? Warrior had other outlets besides wrestling and I have others besides this blog! If this scares you a little, maybe that’s good.

My advice is to become interested in other activities now before your actual “career” comes to an end. Nobody wants panic to set in without going to that job everyday. That brings us to the word of retirement. Some love that word, others dread it. Most that dread it don’t have a plan B.

Sure, the Ultimate Warrior had that “retirement” match with “Macho King” Randy Savage in Wrestlemania VII. Well, that was on T.V. although unprecedented for the WWE then. Retirement isn’t what it used to be. Not many begin that chapter at age 65 anymore, move to Florida, or travel in a Winnebago. Where did all that come from anyway? Some may never fully retire as is the case concerning a few people connected with WWE.

Many have children now as Superstars or are involved in the business with other aspects. I have always agreed with Warrior about moving on but he does state on the Ultimate Collection DVD how respect is given to those “who live and breathe the business.” Being a pro athlete takes its toll physically, mentally, and psychologically. Some may never fully leave the company but there are so many other opportunities now. There are lots of athletes that start their own business after retiring and some disconnect from their sport entirely.

There are even those who “semi-retire” but miss it so much, they return a year or so later. For us who aren’t athletes, we need to consider many things. Finances, travel, family, hobbies, or anything suitable to your life. I for one still hope to be able to do my activities that fill me with such joy. I love them now so when I’m older, they’ll still be there for me (hopefully!) Start brainstorming if you don’t have some sort of plan B in place for yourself.

I’m not suggesting anything too dangerous or unsafe here! Just maybe try something new and different but start small. Do those things that you never had time for in your life prior to retirement. Like Warrior said:“Learn everything.” You might just surprise yourself with what you can do and learn. Don’t become too advanced in years that you are unable to enjoy your Plan B.

No need to dwell too much but make it a little thought in your mind once in a while. I personally will never be that couch potato who watches the News and Weather Channel! If that’s you, no offense but it’ll never be me. Retirement shouldn’t be too sedentary. Sure, we deserve it after years and years at the job but the body and mind still need activity. You are the one who can use both but only if you want.

Write down some plan B ideas but truly make them matter. After all, they are yours to fulfill. Retirement does indeed look different for each of us but always believe in the Plan B of your life. It will make a difference in a uniquely ultimate way!

P.S. I recently found out the animated Disney movie “Sleeping Beauty” is also turning 60 this year just like Warrior would’ve been. I had a music box in a photo with the post “Creative Collections.” It’s my favorite Princess movie. Warrior actually said at the beginning of a video: “Wake up Sleeping Beauty!” ~~ Wake up to the Plan B of your life!! πŸ˜΄πŸ‘‘πŸŒ™

P.P.S. Here is my YouTube video titled: “Always Be Multi-Passionate.”

https://youtu.be/isSS4tEdVrw

www.spiritandbelief.com

The Journey of Steve

I know The James Boys was blogged already but how about Steve? There was that movie in 2009 called All About Steve but this isn’t Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper! I’ll only share stories that connect many things with me and Warrior so we have Steves in common. This really is quite the journey like my sign says . That story is in a little bit…

Most Ultimate Warrior fans know his connection with many Steves. First, his tag team partner was Steve Borden, (Sting) then he wrestled Steve Lombardi many times,( he was the Brooklyn Brawler.) Warrior acknowledged him in his HOF speech. Last was Steve Wilton who was Warrior’s manager.

Here are my Steves. Well, in my OWN way. I regularly get Stevie’s comments on my YouTube videos and he has read my other blog at www.spiritandbelief.com That is also the title of my book! Another Steve hopefully many of you know is Steve Perry of the band Journey. Don’t Stop Believin!” has been a constant song of theirs in my life for years and now even more after Warrior’s passing. A few years ago in Art my son even used some of those song lyrics on a fun project. I couldn’t help but have a WOW moment. He told me that song just came to him. It still hangs up in his room.

Back in the fall last year, I met this woman at an Author’s Conference and she and I instantly bonded. Her name was Molly Perry and her husband was Steve. Another WOW moment. He had passed a few years ago so she totally connected with my spirit vibe. GET THIS! She shared a funny story of how they were youth counselors and had jackets made for the kids. On the side of the sleeves were the words: “Don’t Stop Believin’!” He told people he was THE Steve Perry of Journey and they’d believe him!! She had me laughing and even bought my book.

That just leaves my sign you see with the beautiful lotus flower. I took this painting class at a local place that is a wine bar, craft corner, and yoga studio! What a great combo. Well, I was intrigued with this wooden oval you’d paint and then use a stencil ( yes, please) to create your lotus flower. I chose purple out of 3 choices since that represents a lotus to me. The last addition was a meaningful word. So many choices yet where to begin?

My mind wandered into using many. I didn’t want Spirit or even Believe since that’s my book and Journey is on another sign I have. Remember “The Falling Signs?” Some other possible words were: inspire, endure, and a few more. Many seemed too common for me like Faith, Hope, or Love. Too overused. I was still deciding on the way there! My decision was made while listening to the radio. That’s right. Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’!” played when I was almost to the parking lot.

Another woman also chose that word and yet another picked believe. I was with the right group that day. All of ours came out great but mine seemed to get the best compliments. I was very methodical in lining up each letter with a lotus petal. Good thing we had that stencil but truly, I could’ve done it anyway. So, now I have 2 Journey signs but it really is the right one since I never stop believin’! I look at them both everyday.

This is another story that kinda seemed silly sharing and yet it’s entirely me with how my Journey is. I might not know a Steve personally like Warrior did but they still pop up in my life in other ways. Warrior always talked more about the journey instead of the destination anyhow. We are all on our OWN journey whether or not you know any Steves, listen to the band, paint, or anything else. As long as you “Don’t Stop Believin’!”

P.S. CONGRATS to the Toronto Raptors on winning their FIRST NBA Championship in 2019! I have to mention this since am very biased. You can archive my basketball story but that’s also in the book. Anyhow, they won in game 6 which connects to WMVI held in Toronto! πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ πŸ€The only time I am for a Warrior!!! ( My Ohio CAVS won 3 years ago today!) Gotta love winning something the first time!!

~~ Follow me on fb, Twitter, youtube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.