Halfway through the course and this has probably been the most painful week ever. The fact we are halfway now means we have to start looking to that assessment in the last week, which will be a sad moment in its own right. I reflected a little bit on what I had learnt and overcome so far (thinking more mental toughness) and how much there is still to learn in the next month (all that technique). I could not help but smile knowing the better techniques are all still to come, the one thing I love about pro wrestling.
Before that, getting to the Projo, it should have been a sign from the moment we did a different kind of warmup to start off. Instead of the standard card workout (a mixture of four different body exercises), we were split into two separate groups, with my group told to hold a squat position and then a push up position for each exercise. The other group did vice versa. The burn running through my legs was horrible, meaning I could not hold the positions for more than 10 seconds at a time (not good when gaps are long at the start).
After the rope running to finish the conditioning off, we got to the good stuff. The start involved bumps off shoulder tackles. Using the left side of our chest (not the shoulder), we run into the left pec and arm of our opponent, causing them to take a back bump. Now, considering the different sizes of everyone, either you collided into a bony shoulder or the hard, rock-like chest of someone who does some stiff chest sessions (step forward David T). After a few practice runs, I succeeded in hurting my lower back and stinging mat burns on my arms.
Then came the most painful part of the session for me. We performed a drill where you have three people in the ring, middle person rolls under the person at the ropes (who leapfrogs over) and takes his place. Repeat the process with the new guy in the middle going the other way. Sounds simple enough right? Well when it came to my turn, I leapfrogged over the middle man and he rolled under…. while keeping his feet up. Repeatedly. Basically he scraped my thighs with trainers and close to my balls over and over, causing me to lose my balance each time with my thighs burning. I couldn’t even finish the drill because of the stinging pain. Needless to say it hurt the burns (and there were several) whenever they hit the water afterwards.
Next up, we practiced headlocks, which involved making things “comfortable” for the recipient and having them sell (the art of making a move look like it hurts) the headlock convincingly. The only bad part about this: the risk of smelling particularly bad odour on a man’s armpit. Not cool. Again, I have to puff my chest out for this part, making me think of investing in chest sessions again.
Finally, our coach (still the training montage loving Earl Black Jnr) showed us the International Wrestling Style, which is essentially the chain wrestling style at the start of most wrestling matches you see in WWE or TNA. Lockup, into a headlock, back into the ropes with the aggressor (for lack of better terms) running the ropes before making a shoulder bump. Taunt your opponent on the ground (classic heel move. Personal favourites are “FUCK YOU” and “THIS IS THE BEST PROGRESS HAS GOT”) and then run the ropes with your opponent “sleeping” (trying to trip you up) as you go. I loved this drill the most, as it was the closest we have got to performing part of a wrestling match.
Week 4 had its moments, both good and bad. Standard for training yes, but the end drill was a lot of fun, something I think of every time I see the start of a match now. It makes me feel that much closer to the action and I loved the taste. #ThisIsProgress.