The Footprints of Funny Feet Chapter 7: College Years: Where do you rank on the “cool dude” scale?

 

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At age 23 I received a high letter of recommendation to attend college to study journalism at Conestoga College.  I decided to go to college after high school because I saw just how much fun it was after sitting on the sidelines watching my brother go to college. In order to do that I would have to go through academic upgrading, because the courses I took in high school was not adequate credentials to attend college.  I went through academic upgrading and in six months, I was able to apply to college. I received grades of 85% and 92% in my two college courses. After seeing those marks, I was ready to set my sights on college.  One day, my teacher pulled me aside one day and said “Anthony, you have got a special ability to write and talk. I think the program I’m going to recommend you for is the study of journalism.” This is when I would kindly remind her that the reason I am a success is because I had a good teacher.

 

So there I was, at 23 years old. My future was set in stone or so I thought. I would go to college to study journalism.  At first thought, I didn’t know what to think but the more I thought about the quest. The more I became confident in my ability after all I was a natural born storyteller and writer. I just needed the skills to become good. I had the aspiration but not the skill.  I accepted Ms. Mohr’s offer and I was well on my way to start college, because it was my first year in a big city the only option at the time was for me to move into college residence. When I got there, I quietly thought to myself, “what have I done, what did I get myself into?”

 

CoolFactorTo most first years their first year of college would seem like a dream because of the sense of freedom that most students would feel they rightly deserved. However, my first year of college personally felt like a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. Everywhere I turned there were students getting drunk and lifted up on certain drugs. I couldn’t believe it, I had culture shock. As the year progressed I would realize that studying journalism wasn’t fun. I had a lot more reports and assignments than my brain and hands could manage.

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A typical day in college is starting at eight o’clock in the morning and finishing class at six o’clock in the evening.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized quickly that I had no life. I studied all day in school and when I got home I would sleep for the next five hours after coming home from school  only to wake up to study again. I put my body through so much unnecessary strain both physical and mental. To study six to seven classes a semester was starting to catch up with me. I didn’t like it. I was facing burnout. The only reason I survived the semester is because I had the joy of coming home on weekends. It was at home where I would catch up on all my missed sleep. “Home is where the heart is.”  I could only run the race for so long, before I would collapse. To my professors, the stresses the students were facing were normal. Another reason I didn’t like to study journalism is the fact that we had to research so much depressing news. It warped my mind. After the school year ended, I came home to sleep for the next few months.

 

In April of 2009. I would be watching WrestleMania 25 live from Houston. I paid close attention to one match in particular it was a match featuring two athletes that were often named as the best in the business. Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, I was blown away and captivated by the action. I made a decision to break into the wrestling business.  When I returned to school, I had that mindset that I was going to use my journalism degree to work for the WWE one day.  The only problem was I was not the best in newswriting class. I didn’t watch the news that often, and quite frankly not paying attention to the news hurt me. I paid the price by failing the class. It didn’t take me long to realize that is what I needed to do. In September of 2009, I moved into a house with a number of girls. Now most of readers at this point would think how did I manage such a thing?

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The truth by circumstance. The day I moved into the house with Jenny, Rachel and Tracy was bizarre. I and Jenny got along, myself and Rachel got along and I and Tracy got along real well. However Jenny and Rachel became bitter enemies. I couldn’t understand why and I didn’t bother to ask questions as to why such a thing had ever occurred. Around the time, I moved in with the girls, I also began attending a church just down the street from me. I often went as many Sunday’s as I possibly could. I became slowly persecuted for my beliefs and I became distant from the girls. I began to take up watching TV preachers when I didn’t attend service. However one day, I saw a news report on TV  that would see  a Canadian law  passed that would allow homosexuals and lesbians to marry. When I heard this news, I was upset and I made a comment about the news report on social media.  Within the hour of seeing that report and posting my feelings on social media, I would receive 77 hate mail messages and in that day I would have stopped communication with over 50 friends. I didn’t know it at the time I was judging a certain group because of their way of life and for a comment like that I would be harshly judged. This is well before I came into the full reality of God. Another reason, I was heavily persecuted was because at age 24. March 2, 2009 I would become baptized by water.canstock6569222

 

I would very much enjoy going to church, I was even in a Bible study group that took place every Friday and even to this day, I personally think that is the best way to spend a Friday night, just studying the scriptures.  The first book I would study with the group was the book of Romans. I began to take such an interest in reading the Word of God thanks in part to good Christian friends that I would meet at church, Andy and Paula Fischer as well as the churches associate pastor Thomas Crane.  These three people were great people and they encouraged me greatly to keep my feet on the narrow path.  They would help me understand so much of the new testament that I wanted to read the Bible every day, because believe it or the Bible has an answer and explanation for everything, but you first have to be willing to have an honest heart and seek the Lord with all your heart, body and soul.  However after two months I would become lukewarm, and I chose not to attend church but watch it on TV and do my homework most Sundays. I also became a product of my environment. After I stopped going to church I began to see that the girls I lived with were not like me, I was a man who kept my nose clean and there were many arguments that began between my roommates and I. After the school year was over I moved out and began to live in a place that was walking distance from the school. As I moved into the new house, I felt at peace because I lived with guys. I become good friends with Trevor Mercer, Luke Jordan, Michael Donker and Johnny McIntyre.  One of the coolest aspects to living in the house was constant use of our swimming pool. Another cool reason living as close to the school was that I began to come friends with the neighbor’s house. Darlene, Ashley, Leah, and Laura and I became great friends.80601946

 

I spent a lot of time with the girls, it was just nice to talk about school. However things between us would change as the school year changed. I would be taken to a “social club” against my will. The girls explained to me that they just wanted me to have fun and enjoy myself, but I didn’t do that at all. As soon as the girls came in the surrounded me and demanded that I go with them to this social club. I replied, no so they left and came back with more girls. All three of the girls would pick me up and drag me into the car, strap me into the seat to prepare me for what they described as a “fun night.” As soon as I walked in there, I wanted to immediately leave. The environment felt like Sodom and Gomorrah. lots-wifeI felt disguised by the things I witnessed that night. After we left. Things were never the same with the neighbor girls and I.  I separated from them completely. Although it wasn’t a popular decision, it was the right one. The strange thing is the more I separated the better I felt, but I still had my faults, I still had my idols. For a very long time  Wrestling to me was a first love. It became like a marriage to me. In the spring of 2013, I finally got what I was looking so long for. I finally got a job in professional wrestling and this all happened because I believed a great lie.

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