Dave Dyer has a laugh in the ring during a recent practice at the Limitless Dojo in Brewer. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final installment in a series of columns documenting staff writer Dave Dyer’s journey to becoming a professional wrestler.

You can really learn a lot in half a year.

It’s officially been six months since I first stepped through the doors of the Limitless Dojo in Brewer, kicking off my journey into the strange, exciting and physically brutal world of professional wrestling.

I now have two wrestling matches under my belt — both in battle royals — and while I’ve progressed at a decent pace, I know there’s still a vast universe of knowledge I need to collect before I would even consider myself a “decent” wrestler.

Though this series is coming to an end, I’ve long decided that my career in professional wrestling has not. At 33, I know I only have so much time to enjoy being active in the ring, and I plan to do so for as long as my body, working career and family life can hold out.

There’s been numerous lessons I’ve learned in six months, but here’s a few that stand out.

Professional wrestling is predetermined, but nothing about it is fake. As I mentioned in my first installment, a wrestling ring is comparable to bumping on the back deck of your house, with a thin wrestling mat covering it. It took weeks for my body to become calloused enough to feel (somewhat) normal the day after practice. This is all without trying “high risk” moves — dives off the top rope, powerbombs, etc. — which will no doubt add another level of sore that my body will have to become accustomed to over time. On top of that, I’ve nearly blown my knees out not once, but twice, thankfully only limping away with sprains to both.

While the outcomes to matches may be predetermined, the physicality in the ring is real. Injuries can and will happen.

I’m healthier than I’ve been in years. I had my annual physical exam last week. I’m happy to report that, thanks to my training, I’ve lost a few pounds, and my blood pressure is nearly back to what it was when I was in college. You can say what you want about wrestling, it’s a solid workout — especially in the cardio department — when you step into the ring.

I still have a (small) amount of athleticism left. I’m nearly 11 years (and several pounds) removed from my playing days as a quarterback at Plymouth (N.H.) State University, but there have been moments where I’ve amazed myself in what I can still do from time to time. I can perform an up-and-over, which involves leaping over your opponent — with the help of the top rope — in the corner of the ring. I can hop over the top rope to get in and out of the ring.

My latest achievement might be my greatest yet. At a recent practice, I learned how to reverse a back suplex, when an opponent lifts you and drops you directly on your back in the ring. To reverse it, you must essentially do a backflip off the shoulder of your opponent and land on your feet. I got it on my second try. I failed miserably on my first attempt, and my excitement for nailing it on the second helped me fail my third. But landing it that one time gave a boost of confidence that I needed.

That said, I have A LONG way to go. My most recent appearance in the ring was at La Kermesse in Biddeford two weeks ago, where I made my Limitless Wrestling debut in a battle royal. Before he eliminated me over the top rope, one of my trainers, Alexander Lee, worked me in the corner with a couple of elbows.

“Your strikes are ****,” he said.

He was absolutely right. Before he got me, I was throwing forearm shots to Mitchell “Frank Jaeger” Jameson, and I wasn’t connecting hard enough. It didn’t look real enough. I was angry, not at Lee, but at myself, knowing I can do better. It was a good reminder that in pro wrestling, you can always get better at something.

Wrestling gear takes forever to arrive. I was warned when I ordered my tights and boots from HighSpots.com that it would take 8-12 weeks for my gear to arrive. It has now been 11 weeks. Had I known it would take this long for it to arrive, I would have created my character and ordered my gear after my first practice. If you plan on getting into the business, order your gear early, or better yet, create your own if you have the ability.

There’s no age limit on a dream. I’ve written this before, but I never thought my dream of being a pro wrestler would be a reality. I attended a fantasy camp in the winter of 2005, stuck with college football instead of attending wrestling school, and thought my opportunity was gone forever. Then, 13 years later, the Limitless Dojo comes out of the blue, and I jumped on an opportunity. While I didn’t originally dream of starting this journey at 33, the mere fact that I was able to live it at all has been a life-changing experience.

Long story short, don’t ever give up on a dream, no matter how old you are.

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