I feel in the past 2 diaries I’ve written, the subjects have been pretty similar. One was summarising 2020 as a year and one was talking about my experience at the Tokyo Dome. But both were about sacrifice. Both were connected in a way, as what happened in 2020 allowed me to earn my spot on WK15.
I have made my intentions very clear for this year in my backstage comments, but I truly believe that what I am going to write about in this diary will help me achieve those goals.
On January 7th I left Japan for the first time in over a year, but it didn’t go as originally planned. I was supposed to go back to England. I was supposed to go and stay with my family for a short period after the Tokyo Dome. I had known for a while, but I hadn’t told any of my family, I only told my best pal Craig.
But just before Christmas, lockdown restrictions came in place around the world, which meant if I had gone to England, I wouldn’t have been able to return to Japan. I was gutted. Of course I wanted to go home and see my family, but if I wouldn’t have been able to get back into Japan, I think I would have been more upset.
So I thought I’d be staying in Japan for the foreseeable future. I figured I had stayed for a year, so however much longer it was going to be I’d be fine, until my friend asked if I could go back to LA. To be honest, I didn’t even think of that at first, but when he mentioned it I was buzzing. I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my least favourite things about 2020 was hardly seeing my LA Dojo bros.
Anyway, I spoke to who I needed to speak to and got my flights to LA booked, but I had an idea. I was going to surprise my family, and was gutted that I couldn’t do that, but I thought I’d surprise the lads in America instead.
I left Japan on January 7th at 11pm and landed in America on January 7th at 4pm. Due to the time difference I had technically travelled back in time.
Felt like Dr Who mate.
Due to how bad corona is in both Tokyo and LA, I got a rapid corona test done at the airport and stayed in a hotel for one night. Due to jet lag I could hardly sleep. I got to the hotel at around 5pm, passed out at 10pm and woke up at 2am and couldn’t get back to sleep at all. I literally just watched Netflix until it was a reasonable time to go to the LA Dojo house, haha.
Got to the house at 9am and rang the doorbell outside the gate. I waited for about 30 seconds and thought “I hope they’re actually in there, it would suck pretty bad if they weren’t”. I rang the doorbell again and as soon as I did, Alex came outside. It was hilarious as he didn’t recognise me at first as I had a mask on, but when I saw him I took the mask off and his jaw dropped. I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction. We went inside and I could tell he was shocked for about 20 minutes after. We didn’t really know what to talk about, we were just so happy to see each other. About 30 minutes after I arrived, Kevin Knight, one of the new members of the dojo came downstairs and we caught up. I met Kevin at his tryout last year, so was glad to see him and catch up.
Clark was out of the house when I came in, so when I heard he was coming back I hid in the downstairs toilet. I heard him walk in, flushed the toilet so he’d be confused as to who else was in the house and walked out the toilet. His reaction was very similar to Alex’s haha, it was great.
Karl was visiting family and came back a few days later, same with DKC, so it was great to spend time with everyone before I left again.
It was a short trip. I’d love the write a lengthy post about what we got up to but honestly, there isn’t a lot to write about, and that’s what made that trip so special to me. Everyday I was in Japan I’d have to do chores of some sort, so to go to America and just sit on the couch watching Battlebots with my buds was incredible haha. I tried my best to switch of completely from wrestling. I watched Netflix, ate my weight in Wingstop and In ‘n’ Out, went to the beach when it was nice out and just hung out with my friends.
To some people, the way I have worded this trip may seem that I was ungrateful to spend a year in Japan because of how excited I was when I left, but that really isn’t the case. I’m extremely grateful I got to spend the last year in Japan, extremely grateful. But this trip to America really helped me mentally reset.
To talk to my friends about everything that has happened in the last year for both me and them was so good. We celebrated each other’s success and caught up about general life, which reminded me how much I did miss them last year.
I think the unique thing about the LA Dojo is that we are all really close. I’m not going to comment on Tsuji and Uemura’s relationship, as it’s none of my business, but the others guys from LA are literally my brothers. They inspire me, I look up to their work ethic and hard work and even better than that, they are some of the best dudes I’ve ever met.
That trip to America has set me up for the new year now. I was already focused, but this has kicked me into a different gear. We all shared our goals with each other and we are all extremely motivated. I write this now as I am back in Japan currently quarantining for 2 weeks and I feel a new found gratitude for being here. I am truly ready to get back to work and continue to prove I belong here.
There haven’t been many pictures on previous diary entries, so I’ve put in some of my favourites from the trip.
Thank you for reading.
Today’s track for this diary entry: The Weeknd – Escape from LA.”