Why I love pro wrestling and how it saved my life

I’ve been asked many times either in-person or on social media why I love pro wrestling so much for so long. It’s a difficult question to really put into words because there’s so many reasons and ways to answer. I’ll go around the horn here and try to explain my deep passion for pro wrestling but it may float all over the place so throw me a little grace. J

It began in 1990 and I can thank my Aunt Nancy (Dad’s sister) for exposing me to it first. She was and still is a huge wrestling fan and she used to have all the VHS tapes of Wrestlemania, and whatever Coliseum Home Video would release during that time. I was four years old or so and I remember being down in my Mom Mom’s basement putting in these tapes every weekend we’d go there and upon arrival I’d immediately pop in one of these said tapes and immerse myself for hours. It’s no wonder I was a decent toddler! I occupied myself with wrestling. I fell in love with the spectacle, characters, and athleticism.

The first wrestler I really attached myself to was Shawn Michaels, who at the time was in a tag-team with Marty Jannetty called The Rockers, and I was hooked. They were young cats who flew all over the ring, had a ton of energy, and were the first team to utilize double-team moves with synchronization. They were, in my four year old brain, rock stars or cool dudes.

Of course I was also a Hulkamaniac. Who wasn’t? If someone my age watched wrestling as a kid and they tell you they didn’t enjoy Hulk Hogan, they’re liars.

Fast forward a few years as I hit middle school, I became the ‘wrestling kid.’ I loved it, lived it, and studied it. I wore my favorite wrestlers shirts, I’d work on promos at home in front of mirror and I’d never miss Monday Night Raw, Superstars, Shotgun Saturday Night, Livewire, etc. It was the only thing I thoroughly and consistently loved and paid attention to. Sure, I played a ton of baseball and I love the sport to this very day but it’s not my wrestling.

My parents never took a liking to it but never forced it out of me. From time-to-time they’d make comments about it that was unfavorable, but they’d never make attempts to make me ‘grow out of it.’

I’ll say this with confidence: Without pro wrestling I wouldn’t have the personality or the comfort of speaking in front of and with people today. The charisma I apparently have out in public isn’t something I just had. I developed it watching Shawn Michaels promos on repeat amongst other things. I taught myself how to speak into a microphone, how to speak to people, how to perform if need be. I learned how to close off the negativity and the world though the staged universe of pro wrestling. Did I ever have nerves before speaking publicly or when I would speak on live radio? Meh, not really. I have an on/off button. I became a character when I had to be on and when I’m home or with friends the switch is off.

Wrestling is a work. Life is not. However, I enjoy mixing the two so I don’t take life too serious all the time. Sports has become WAY too serious for me. My love for pro sports has diminished greatly. Especially after being inside locker rooms for 12 years. My love and affection for pro wrestling has only grown. Is the product today as good as it was say 10-15-20 years ago? Depends on how you look at it, really. It’s more profitable today. The wrestlers are much better today than back then. It’s all relative and subjective. I just enjoy it.

Tip: Wrestling is cyclical. Historically, wrestling hits ups and downs. Like any company. But one thing is factual. Nobody has done it better than WWE and nobody ever will in my lifetime.

The most important aspect of my love for pro wrestling is that it’s always there. It’s never had a strike, lockout, or walkout. Fifty-two weeks a years I can count on it. It’s never let me down. When I wanted to leave this earth a few years back whilst in a deep depression I had Christ and wrestling. For that I’m eternally grateful for WWE.

I think I’ve told this story once or twice to a couple people. I found Jesus Christ because of Shawn Michaels.

Honest to God (pun intended), if it weren’t for Michaels I’m not sure how or if I would’ve sought after a life in Christ. When Michaels came back to wrestling after a near 5-year retirement from a shattered back in 2002, he was different. He changed. Immense change. Spiritual change. It’s no secret Michaels wasn’t the greatest guy during his first run from 1989-98. Yes, he was the greatest wrestler to ever live but personally and spiritually he was broken. So, in 2000 he found his current wife, Rebecca. She was a Christian and knew Jesus. Michaels, who grew up Catholic, knew OF Jesus. Two completely things.

Long story short, Michaels had pill issues and almost lost everything including his life until one morning he decided to make a change. He yearned for a spiritual and personal rebirth. He needed Christ. His wife needed her husband to find Christ. His two-year old son needed his Dad to find Christ.

He did.

When Michaels returned in the summer of 2002 he was openly speaking about Jesus and what He did for his life. He saved him.

I went to a Catholic School from kindergarten until the 5th grade. I had no idea who Christ was. I won’t dive into a religious discussion but I will say religion perverted and destroyed my view of who Jesus Christ really is. Don’t @ me.

Moving forward, it’s 2005 and I’m a senior in High School and I wanted to research as to why my role model and hero made this change and what it meant. Michaels spoke about listening to bands like Third Day and Casting Crowns, Christian rock bands. So, I went to Tower Records (yes, Tower Records) and looked for these records. I found Third Day fairly easily and began to listen.

I was hooked. I still remember the first Christian song I listened to. It was called ‘Tunnel’ off their 2005 record ‘Wherever You Are.’ This Third Day band was pretty cool and little did I know these words were speaking into my heart and soul. I began to feel a shift in my heart. I felt a need to know more. I wanted to find that ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’

I was baptized as an adult in 2016 in front of my wife, family, friends, and church family. It was one of the greatest and most fulfilling days of my life.

Jesus was speaking to me through Shawn Michaels. That may sound stupid to you, but it’s my testimony, not yours 🙂

In 2008, I became saved. I said the sinner’s prayer and made Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of my life. With tears in my eyes as I write this, I can’t thank Shawn Michaels enough for publicly showing his faith and speaking into my heart. He empowered me to take a step in Faith and find out what this relationship with Jesus thing was all about. I thank him every chance I get when we speak.

Faith has changed my life. I’m a broken mess and I wake up every day loved and adored by Jesus. The creator of the Universe knows my name and wants what is best for me. Yes, bad things are going to happen. Very bad things happen. That’s just what sin and human beings have caused. But to know spiritually that a very real God knows me, loves me, and built me in His image gets me through each day.

To rewind, pro wrestling has been in my life since 1990 and helped me develop ME, and most impactful, find Jesus Christ.

To this very day, God is very present in my life as is wrestling. I have a beautiful wife with a baby girl on the way. If you would’ve told me in 2004 that when I’m 31 you’ll be a husband, a father, and saved by Christ I would’ve said ‘okay, I won’t be speaking to this person again.’

But it’s happened.

No matter the situation, disappointments, sorrows, or angst, just know to always love what you love, don’t alter to the customs of this world and what it or they tell you, and most importantly love yourself.

Lastly, Money in the Bank is June 17th ONLY on the WWE Network, which you can get two months free including Money in the Bank if you sign up RIGHT NOW 🙂

#CheapPlug

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Catching Up with Bullet Points

The CrossFit Games: Regionals are in full swing and it’s a been a wild ride thus far. Looking forward to finally watching CrossFit Mayhem this weekend as it’s my one time a year I get to watch Rich Froning perform.

So much has happened since my last article. I’m now a contributing writer for PWTorch.com, a wrestling website I’ve read for years led by Wade Keller. Do I like the ‘dirt sheets?’ Absolutely not. However, PWTorch provides much more than that. I hope you all can check it out and be on the lookout for my articles. My first one is up now and focuses on the ‘Hits & Misses’ from this past week’s Smackdown Live.

I’m going to bullet point this article as I have some things on my mind!

  • My wife and I are truly upset that ABC decided to cancel ‘Deception’ after just one season. The show was number one at its time-slot (10pm, Sundays) and helped ABC be the #1 most watched network on Sunday nights. Great cast, great writing, great concept. Sad to see it go.
  • WWE’s new television deal w/ FOX for Smackdown will change the wrestling business forever. The deal is reportedly worth over $1 billion and that’s for the company’s ‘B’ show. And what I mean by change is the WWE may no longer focus their efforts to impress the fan base or succumb to their complaints. They’ve landed a MAJOR deal with a MAJOR network despite marks ‘hating’ everything. I’m thrilled with the deal as it shows how popular pro wrestling still is. It’s a punch in the mouth to the raving lunatic marks who believe wrestling isn’t as lucrative as it was in the Attitude Era. Or never would be again. False.
  • There’s nothing I can’t stand more than ESPN. It was reported Wednesday that the sports network purchased the TV rights to the UFC for $2 billion. It’s totally acceptable to fire hundreds of employees and ruin lives but somehow come up with a smooth two billion to purchase the rights to show UFC. Such a fraudulent, thievery company ESPN is.
  • I’ve loved this secluded lifestyle my wife and I have chosen to run with. I try to stay off social media as much as humanly possible unless I’m posting photos of our dog. I value privacy so much and I just don’t want to do things unless it’s what I want to do. Some aren’t too happy with it but it is MY life and my decision. It’s not a slight against anyone or anything, it’s just a way of life I wish I adopted years ago. People don’t deserve to know what’s going on in your life because it’s yours, haha. It amazes me when people get butt hurt over things that have zero to do with them. That’s what this world has come to, entitlement. Everyone MUST know what’s going with everyone all the time. WHY? Who cares? Why does it matter so much?
  • The Phillies are a fun team watch, boy! As of this writing, they’re a half game out of FIRST PLACE in the NL East. They have one of the best pitching rotations & bullpens in MLB and they’re offense continues to find ways to produce runs and win ballgames. If Gabe Kapler’s squad keeps this up one had to wonder what the July trade deadline will look like? Phillies could use a left-arm both in the rotation and bullpen, a shortstop (Manny Machado), and a backup catcher. I think this Phillies club can win over 92 games and battle for a division title or a wild card. We will see but they need to stick to the plan and keep the faith.
  • Walt Disney World need to replace the current Monorail system. EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) built its motto off adapting and changing with the times. EPCOT has fallen behind in some of those aspects and one of them are the monorail. The current model we all know and see today was built and put in use back in 1989. Numerous newsworthy problems and events have happened since then, especially over the last decade. Reports say the new fleet will reportedly be built by Bombardier of Canada, the same company that built the Mark VI trains for Walt Disney World, and one of only a very few companies in the western hemisphere with the capability to build mass transit class monorails. The Mark VI fleet reportedly cost $3.5 million per train, which would be around $7.5 million in today’s dollars. WDW clearly has the budget to replace the entire monorail system with a brand new one so only time will tell when this occurs. If I were them I’d be expediting the timetable for this project.
  • Podcasts: Here are my top 10 favorite podcasts: 1- Something to Wrestle With: Bruce Prichard. 2- DIS: Unplugged. 3- 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff. 4- E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness 5- The Steve Austin Show. 6- Froning & Friends. 7- Talk is Jericho. 8- Steven Furtick Audio. 9- Pirate Life Radio w/ Tait Fletcher. 10- What Happened When Monday with Tony Schiavone

Lastly, on the CrossFit end, we began a new cycle this week. Lots of Olympic lifting these next nine weeks and I personally can’t wait. Cardio also seems to be the focus for the workout portions. Lots of AMRAPs and Metcons focusing on breathing and sprints (as in not taking a break between workouts).

Podcast, Crossfit, and Life Update

Photo: Google Images

What’s going on everyone?! Hope everyone who reads this is doing well and enjoying life.

I haven’t written much as of late because, quite frankly, I haven’t been motivated. There’s so much happening in my daily life right that I just have not had a chance to sit down and write some things to post on here. However, the last few weeks I find myself rejuvenated and wanting to accomplish some things.

The Podcast is returning. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ it’s more ‘when.’ The main blockade here are the materials and equipment. They cost money. I’m not a single dude living on my own so certain things, like hobbies, take a backseat to groceries, bills, date nights, and that gimmick they call a mortgage! However, I’ve been in constant contact with Jay and another buddy of mine and we are excited to bring this sucker back to life. We had a real good audience and I’m looking forward to getting back behind the mic.

The content will be all over the place. I’d like to discuss coffee from all over the country (thanks to my illustrious wife, Morgan), pro wrestling and how I’d book the territory, pro sports, television, and food! I want to a gamete of things at you, including the kitchen sink. So, please hang on while we figure this out but I expect it to not be much longer.

Crossfit has been fantastic. It took me some time to get back in the swing of things after taking a month off but I couldn’t be happier right now. I PR’d my 3-rep Sumo deadlift on Monday and my other power lifts are picking up where I left off back in January. My cardio is also good! And for those who have paid attention, cardio has been my mortal enemy. My focus on it has been elevated so that plays into it but I’ve also slowed things down. I don’t burst into the Metcon or AMRAP like a bat out of hell anymore.  I’ll save that for the competitions.

I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to a couple of the top crossfitters in the world and they’ve collectively told me to slow down. Figure out your strengths and move from there. It doesn’t benefit me at all to get burned out after the first of a five round WOD.

I’m looking forward to ramping things up in the coming months as I love working out in the summer. Crossfit with the doors open is riveting and motivating. Sled pulls, 400m runs, sandbag carries, etc.. I’m in!

Crossfit Games: Regionals kicks off next week and I am jacked! It’s my only time of the year I get to watch and invest in watching Rich Froning and his team ‘Crossfit Mayhem.’ Obviously the favorite singles competitors are Mat Fraser (men) and Katrin Davidsdottir (women).

If you’re interested head over to https://games.crossfit.com/ for all the info!

Basketball season is over, thank goodness. Great season for the Sixers. An unexpected one which are always the best. They need another player or two to be elite, which they proved in their series against the Boston Celtics. Sixers fans got a taste of winning so that franchise needs to act fast and get things done now. They can no longer wait.

Alright, that’s enough for now and I’m going to ride off into the sunset for now. I’ll be back more often with updates and such.

I hope and pray that all of you have a great rest of your week and weekend.

God bless,

Chris

My Top 5 Favorite Wrestlers Ever

After much consideration and deep thought, here is the list of my Top 5 favorite wrestlers of all-time as of 2018. Disclaimer: These are guys I have personally watched in my lifetime. To me, if you’re 15-40 and you tell me Bruno Sammartino, ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham, etc.. are on those lists I’m calling BS because none of us were able to watch them.

 

  • ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels- When the pantheon of wrestlers are mentioned these days by fans somehow Michaels gets glossed over. Which shows the shortsighted wrestling fans are. Why? Ask any of the great wrestlers who the best to ever lace up the boots was and more than 90% of them would tell you Michaels. Ric Flair, Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and even Bret Hart have publicly said nobody could ever touch ‘The Showstopper.’ Another thing that bothers me about the spoken lore of Michaels was how big of a prick he WAS. Let’s just say he was a tough pill to deal with from 1994-98, which is accurate because that was the Kliq age. That means from 1988-1993 then 2002-2010 Michaels was great to be around and deal with. So, to me those few years where he was a revolutionary while being an a-hole shouldn’t define his career. Simply put, Shawn Michaels is the greatest to wrestle inside a squared circle and I don’t think it’s even close. There’s a reason why in 2018 every top guy in the wrestling business that Michaels is their dream match. HBK has been my favorite wrestler since 1990 and that’ll never ever change.

 

  • Chris Jericho- I struggled with this one but at the end of the day I kept coming back to the Ayatollah of Rock n’ Rolla! If we look at the body of work of a pro wrestler, not many in the HSITORY of the wrestling business can match that of Y2J. Other than the Undertaker and HBK, no other wrestler was as successful in constantly reinventing themselves than Jericho. I look at Jericho’s body of work from Mexico, Japan, WCW, and then WWF/E and it’s remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish. Just look at the wrestlers he’s been able to get in the ring with? From Jushin Liger to Eddie Guerrero and then HBK and Undertaker. And of course, his 5-star clinic with Kenny Omega. Jericho is an A+ performer and an A+ promo and that is unheard-of. At nearly 48 years old Jericho is still at his peak and having incredible programs with top guys in the business. Jericho, in my opinion, also had the greatest debut in WWE history in 1999. I love Jericho and I would argue he’s a top 10 guy of all time. IF you include a full body of work.

 

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin- Boy, was his time period amazing to witness as a 12-13-14 year old. Although Austin had probably one of the shortest runs on top in the history of the business, it was easily the most impactful. Austin legit set the wrestling world on fire. He made pro wrestling mainstream again. Bigger sell-outs, bigger merch sales, bigger ppv revenue, and bigger advertising sales than Hulk Hogan could’ve dreamed of. And Austin accomplished all of that in less than half the time Hogan did. Hogan was the top guy from 84-01, Austin 97-01. INSANE. Austin is number 3 on my list because to this day whenever I watch his matches I get goosebumps every time the glass breaks. If you were born in the 80s and are a wrestling fan, Austin was our guy.

 

  • Seth Rollins- This one will probably catch me some flack. But I’ve been a fan of Seth Rollins since he was Tyler Black in the indies. I’ve always viewed him as a mix between AJ Styles and Shawn Michaels. Both Styles and future Hall of Fame big man Kane have state publicly that Rollin IS the modern day HBK. And I tend to agree. Like Roman Reigns, I haven’t seen Rollins have a bad match to date. The Shield are one of the greatest factions in WWE history and Rollins, from the beginning, was clearly the most talented of the group which landed him the nickname ‘The Architect.’ Rollins also was the main catalyst for arguably the greatest Wrestlemania surprise of all-time when he cashed in his MITB briefcase on Brock Lesnar and Reigns in Santa Clara. Even though at Wrestlemania 34 Rollins won the IC championship to become a Grand Slam champion, I believe Rollins is underutilized and should have had a couple more title runs since his first at WM31. I also have to credit Rollins for changing my life and aiding me in finding Crossfit. Rollins, known as Crossfit Jesus around the world, helped me understand this new world of fitness to me. He explained how it could help my nagging injuries and how it could help me learn the correct way to lift and do certain exercises. I’m very grateful to have had those conversations with a former World Champion.

 

  • The Undertaker- What can you say about The Undertaker? Without a doubt, he is WWE’s greatest creation. It’s not even close. Vince McMahon had this ‘Deadman’ idea, chose Mark Calloway, formerly of WCW, and the rest is history. Since 1991 this character has adapted and changed with the times and has never wavered. Credit has to go to man behind the character. Taker is 6’10 and north of 300lbs and moved like he was 6’5 250lbs. Uncanny athleticism. It’s no surprise his body is in the kind of shape it is now after years of flying around the ring taking big bump after big bump. A body that large isn’t built for 27 years of physical punishment. If there’s ever a WWE Mount Rushmore there should be no debate The Undertaker’s place on that mountain. If he isn’t one of your names then you don’t appreciate pro wrestling or you’re just stubborn.

Back to the Grind

Photo: Google Images

It’s good to be back, in some sorts. I had to take a little bit of break because my wife and I were moving into our first (adult) home together beginning back in January and finally moving in mid-February. So needless to say my time has been occupied nearly 24/7.

We are moved in but not completely settled as that’ll come in time and we are excited to be adding our own personal touches to the home day-to-day. It’s a massive undertaking and responsibility but God is walking with us side-by-side and guiding our steps with patience and wisdom. There’s been a few heavy struggles along the way but as a man, continuing to put one foot in front of the other and remaining level-headed will get you a long way.

My challenge for myself lately has been to do just that, challenge myself to grow, learn, listen, and respond. I’ve made some big decisions as of late. I’ve decided to almost completely distance my presence on social media for my own soul and privacy of my family. There’s so much vitirol hatred, bullying, politics, and negativity that I don’t need to expose myself to any longer. In terms of our personal lives, people only deserve to get only what you feel is appropriate and necessary to share. Privacy is a gift, use it.

We don’t owe anyone anything in terms of updates on our personal lives. People should be happy with what you choose to divulge. Don’t let people force you into thinking they deserve to know everything going on in your life. We live in a society where we are expected to be ‘on’ and ‘accessible’ nearly 24/7 and to me that’s disgusting and unacceptable. Give what you want. This is your life, not theirs. Pay attention to the important relationships you’ve developed and kept close.

Don’t read into that as negative or aggressive. I’m basically saying don’t bring your ‘behind the scenes’ to the forefront for ALL to see. Save that for your family and loved ones. Let the ‘highlight reel’ be what it is, scripted and staged.

At 31, I’ve really embraced the fact of who I am. I’m a God-fearing man who loves the Lord with all my heart. I’m a nerd who has deep passions for certain things. I’m a man who is pro wrestling fanatic who dresses like a goth-biker most of the time. I’m a man who does not care about someone’s opinion of me except my wife and my dog. I’m a man who is counting every blessing. I’m a man going through seasons knowing my Lord is still good to me. I’m a man who recognizes his pitfalls and weaknesses and will continue to work on being better at all facets of life. I’m a man who cares about people yet has to create boundaries and limitations so that I don’t gain the world and lose my soul. I have a purpose in this life and it’s my job to dig into God’s word, meditate on it, and find out what that is.

All in all, be true to who you are and who you want to be. Don’t take crap from anyone. Don’t listen or pay attention to negativity and naysayers. Create your own future, put in the sweat equity, don’t take handouts, and friggan go for it! I’ve learned many of those lessons.

Now, if I can go to serious things 🙂

I had to take about 60 days off from Crossfit as we prepared for the move and boy did I miss everything about it. I kicked things back into gear on Feb 26th and been going hard (not a good idea) upon my return to the box. Monday night I PR’d my 5-rep bench press (awesome), and last week just missed a new clean and jerk PR. I think I’ll hit that C&J PR during the next cycle. The movements have done me good as I’m in full preparation mode for baseball season which kicks off the second week of April I believe. My cardio can and will be better it’s just a matter of putting my whole heart into it but my goodness do I despise running as it’s monotonous and boring. Not my jam.

I’m very blessed to have a wife who pushes me to reach my goals and not try to jump in and give me excuses as to why I can’t do this or that. I always get that stiff look when I begin to doubt myself and self-loathe a little too much. Morgan doesn’t lock me in chains and speak down to me when I propose something I want to do, even if it’s ludicrous. She steps in from a financial standpoint and we go from there J

Wrestlemania season is officially on the super-speedway as we are just over a month away from the grandest show of them all and I can’t wait. I know the main event (Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar) result is all but guaranteed at this point but it’s the performances that lock me in not the guy who gets his hand raised in the end.

So many have asked I can confidently say that the podcast is returning. The exact date is unknown at this point in time but Jay and I are shooting for an April 2018 reboot. Looking forward to bringing audio magic back to those who enjoyed us. Thanks for the constant emails, tweets, and FB inquiries regarding the show and if/when it would return. New equipment needs to be purchased and we are in the process of trying to lock that down.

I’ll have more on the podcast ASAP!

I hope you all have a great rest of your week and weekend!

God bless,

Chris

Life Update during Rumble Season

Hello everyone! Hope this post find you well. Hopefully it finds you in a great place in your life. It’s been a minute or so since my last post as the holidays were extremely busy but fruitful. My wife and I had an incredible first Christmas as a married couple and being able to see most of our family between Thanksgiving and Christmas was a true, true blessing.

Never underestimate the importance of friends and family. Obviously, when you’re an adult and have a spouse, responsibilities, kids, etc.. they become your focus if your priorities are in order. So to spend time with both families during the holidays were special and something I’ll always cherish.

To give a life update is difficult because so much has happened since my last post. We went to Ft. Worth, Texas for Thanksgiving to hang out with family on my wife’s side. That was such a great time as Texas is a beautiful state and the residents are so nice. I almost had to remind myself I was in America still because of how nice the people were. So, kudos to Dallas, Frisco, and Ft. Worth for reassuring me that America has tons of nice people still out there.

We are going to try and get out to Waco, TX early this summer. Morgan and I love Fixer Upper and the Gaines Family so we plan to visit Magnolia that place and experience all that it has to offer. Should be a great time! Season 5 is currently on HGTV every Tuesday night @9pm so check it out!

December 16th in Connecticut was such an amazing, memorable night. My Dad and I saw the greatest entertainer on earth, Criss Angel. It was such beautiful couple days. The almost 4-hour drive up north was also super cool to spend with my Dad. Other than Jesus Christ and my wife I love that man more than anything this world could ever offer me. You could offer me the most perfect life imaginable but if my Dad isn’t part of that life I want nothing to do with it.

I’ll never EVER forget those hours we got to spend together. Cannot be replaced or taken away from me. He deserves so much more for what he’s done for our family. And for anyone to disrespect him, my mom for anything can easily go fuck themselves because they don’t know shit. I’ll NEVER understand the sacrifice those two people did at 19 and 17 years old but I’m grateful they decided to keep me around and provide me the life they have. Despite being told by others to abort me.

So yes, it was special. God is beyond great. He blesses me no matter how many times I know I don’t deserve anything but death.

Morgan and I have now seen ‘The Greatest Showman’ three times in theatres and wouldn’t mind seeing a few more. That is one special movie, bah gawd, and we can’t get enough of it. I’m sick of the film (snobs) critics who have zero appreciation for feel-good movies in a time where this world desperately needs a few smiles. They (critics/snobs) ripped this film prior to its release and didn’t think it catch on with American audiences.

WRONG.

‘This is the greatest show.’  

 This film continues to smash records and break the traditional downfalls and pitfalls of movies after a not-so-stunning opening weekend. I recommend ANYONE to go out and see this movie before it leaves theatres. We have already pre-ordered the blu-ray on Amazon and will receive it on the day it releases.

I’ve concluded that this my second favorite movie of all-time. Yes, that spectacular. The only film above it is ‘The Dark Knight’, which I’m not sure could ever be topped. Now, remember, this is opinion not everybody else’s which makes it subjective so I don’t care if your list is different or if you think mine sucks. Don’t be a toolbox about it. I could care less if you hate any movie I ever mention. To each their own, my guy!

It’s officially Royal Rumble season and WWE has been ramping up storylines lately as we head straight towards Wrestlemania in New Orleans! Reports say it’s the most in-demand ticket in Rumble history. Gotta love Philadelphia baby!

There’s a lot that can happen in this match but my picks for the Rumble are both Smackdown guys: Shinsuke Nakamura or Daniel Bryan will be the last man standing next Sunday. The Rumble is my favorite pay-per-view event the WWE produces so needless to say I’m pumped!

Very much looking forward to being 12-years old next week for WWE RAW 25th Anniversary Show. The list of legends showing up is endless. My favorites who are going to be on hand are: Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Trish Stratus, and Scott Hall just to name a couple. I’m not sure how they’re going to be to get everyone involved in a three hour show but it’s interesting how they’re going to get things accomplished with it also being the go-home episode before the Royal Rumble.

This is where I miss my podcast because I’d be doing a whole show based around the Rumble. But, I have no outlet for the podcast in terms of editing so I don’t want to half-ass something. I whole-ass everything J

I can’t think of anything else to say right now so I’m going to ride off into the sunset! See ya’s soon and God bless you!

Chris

Crossfit, Holidays, and Doc

slide_mainheadline_halladay_1Before I head into the body of what I had already wrote yesterday I just want to use this tiny platform to say something about Roy Halladay, who tragically passed away in a plane crash Tuesday at the young age of 40. He leaves behind a wife and two boys.

I had the absolutely privilege and pleasure of covering Halladay during his tenure here in Philadelphia from 2010-13 and I’ll never forget it. No athlete I’ve ever been around worked harder at his craft than ‘Doc.’ And I mean nobody. No hockey, football, basketball, or any other baseball player. Halladay was the REAL man of this town. He had so much zeal and passion for baseball and it showed through a hall of fame career.

I don’t want to get too deep into this because I’m still just as heartbroken over this as the next person, but I want to leave us with a tweet from former teammate Cole Hamels, who was in Philadelphia Tuesday.

Hamels

As fans, we lost a hall of fame pitcher who was special to us playing baseball. But that doesn’t remotely compare to his family who lost a hall of fame husband and father.

That’s what’s most heartbreaking of all. The baseball end of things is well and good, but I hurt for the two boys who won’t be able to see Dad again. And a wife who won’t be able to lay in bed at night with her loving husband.

This hurts. Bad.

For a guy who made over $100 million playing a kids game all Roy Halladay wanted to do is be with crazy kids on a baseball field coaching them. May God bless his family and friends during this horrific time and I pray for the family to find comfort, peace, and a new normal.

‘Doc’ was an incredible man in a world where there’s few and far between.

Thank you, Roy Halladay. Rest in Power.

******************

It’s officially the Holiday season, so whoopdy-doo and hickory dock!

I am a total mark for Thanksgiving/Christmas time and the only thing I can do without is the cold weather. I can dig the 45-65 temps but anything higher or below becomes annoying. Nonetheless, I created this blog to discuss life happenings and my Crossfit journey and I haven’t really been able to talk about the lifting that’s been done as of late.

We are in the second week or so of the new cycle and thus far I’ve felt quite strong. Upon returning from my honeymoon I was worried all of my numbers and strength was going to have a solid dropoff. It didn’t seem to be the case as I’ve actually hit a couple PRs lately.

My PRs since Nov. 1st: Push press, sumo deadlift (sets of 3), bench press (sets of 8), and my clean and jerk (sets of 3)

So apparently the strength is there. What isn’t there is my cardio. I do not feel up to par in that spectrum. To fix that, four nights a week I’m running either outside or at the gym. I’ll start at running 1-2 miles a night for time then go from there. I am running a 5K on Thanksgiving Day in Texas so that’ll provide motivation whilst training the next couple weeks. Overall, my strength has been fantastic and I feel good. Again, as always, I’m not where I want or should be but every day is a process. Trust it.

As things turn out, I will be missing this years in-house competition due to family obligations. It is what it is but I am sort of content missing it being as I missed a total of two weeks in the October preparing for a wedding. Valid excuse, right?

In December I’ll be making the trek north to Connecticut to see Criss Angel ‘Mindfreak Live’ with my Dad and I cannot wait for that. Angel has played a huge part in my life since 2005 and any chance I can witness his magic/illusions/brilliance up close and personal is a true blessing. He just announced a new one-man show called Criss Angel ‘RAW,’ The Mindferak Unplugged which will travel around the US beginning Jan18. My assumption is he will hit Philadelphia and New York City so I know I’ll have something to look forward to there as well.

Below is an excerpt from CrissAngel.com regarding his new show.

Angel

CrissAngel.com

Life Update

CaptureIt’s been quite the month, eh? Well, really only I know that to be certain when it pertains to thy self.

Got hitched on October 14th and went on my honeymoon from the 16-21st. It was truly a magical and God-ordained past few weeks. The amount of gratitude and thanks I have for everyone who made our wedding possible and those who came out of love is insurmountable and cannot be put into words here.

Thank you to everyone who made our wedding day the most special day/night of our lives. I get emotional just thinking about how much was accomplished to just GET to October 14th. Then to see all the hard work, countless hours, and tears come to life on that day is truly magical and humbling.

It’s just going to be difficult getting used to this ring gimmick on my finger. I…I ain’t about anything wrapped around muh finger. OCD man!

I’ve been blessed to have now been to Walt Disney World 28 times. The honeymoon trip was by far the best of them all. It was the first time I’ve been down there for Halloween/Food&Wine Festival and it couldn’t have been better. It was phenomenal and breathtaking. Disney isn’t for anyone, but it’s for most people (based off stats) and it’s truly a vacation spot centered around adults and I stand behind that statement.

I’m a Christmas fanatic, really I am. Most who know me will share that same sentient about Chris DiFrancesco. However, nothing compares to Halloween time in WDW. It was a tremendous amount of fun and it was because of the cast and crew of WDW and the ADULTS!!

For anyone thinking about planning a trip to WDW in the next year I STRONGLY suggest an October stay. I promise you will not be disappointed.

With all the stress, deadlines, and lack of sleep the last year over the wedding, work, etc., I can’t even begin to tell you all what’s next. I don’t know what to do with myself. I know with November coming next week it means it’s about time to workout and center efforts towards summer and baseball season. Yes, I’m continuing the ‘career’ into year number 25,  a quarter century playing this game. Sheesh, do I owe it so much.

The holidays are fast approaching. I can finally sit back, kick on the Christmas tunes, and smile for the season. I’ll be in Texas for the first time during the Thanksgiving holiday which I’m excited for. Looking forward to new family and food J

November is also my birthday month. I’m a fan of the birthday celebration but after my surprise 30th last year I think I’m cool keeping it simple this time around. I feel and look better now than I did from 18-25. God is good and apparently I’m a late, late bloomer on things. I can’t be mad. It takes hard work, drug free, and no bulls**t magic pill. Just pure sweat and pain. I’m not exactly where I want to be but I’ll get there.

December is going to be blissfully exciting. As a best man gift, I purchased tickets to go see Criss Angel ‘Mindfreak Live’ with my Dad. He and I have talked for almost 10 years about seeing Angel’s show together and I’m blessed to be able to be the one to get those tickets and take him as a minuscule token of appreciation for what’s he’s sacrificed and done for me my entire life. My Dad deserves the world and an added bonus.

I’m going to ride off into the sunset and enjoy my wife, the fall, World Series, and those first place Philadelphia Eagles. That #11 is a special, special player. I’ll be back in a couple weeks or so, I’m sure.

#FlyEaglesFly

Barbells and Mayhem #1

What’s going on everyone?! Here is the first episode of the Barbells and Mayhem Podcast.

Things will advance in terms of audio, music, and guests down the pike. I’m happy to be back. And I hope you all enjoy. If not, totally okay.

I will be back next week with more updates and Q&A’s. If you have any questions send them here or through my email, Twitter (@ChrisDiFran24) or Facebook.

God bless!

Listen to Barbells and Mayhem #1 by Chris DiFrancesco #np on #SoundCloud

Cycle to Competition, podcast update

Photo: Crossfit

Hello fine citizens. Just a quick little post here as I have a few updates on things.

1- I plan on recording the first episode of Barbells and Mayhem this week or next. All episodes will be posted on this site and on Soundcloud. They will not be long. However, I will have some interviews with people/coaches inside the Crossfit community and out.

2- I will also discuss what’s going in my life as I have some big events on the horizon. Also, I can’t forget sports (never). I will discuss Eagles football mostly and will have predictions on their schedule and weekly pool predictions as well for the whole NFL. I mean we all do pools, right? Office pools, etc? It can’t be just me!

3- I will post cycle updates from what I am doing at my box in Mt. Laurel. Maybe you’re trying to either get into Crossfit or just seeking new ideas for the gym or at home. I’ll post what I am doing and maybe it’ll inspire others to do the same. I’ll even post videos of my lifts and photos as well. I’m not perfect, in fact, I do many things wrong during my workouts as I’m only 14 months in to Crossfit. Which is still considered rookie status according to my peers.

Nonetheless, I wanted to shoot this update out to you all so you know what is going on and coming up!

I am very much open to ideas for the podcast if you have any in mind.

See you all very soon and have a safe and happy Labor Day holiday!