3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5 CSB
👩🏽🦱 REE: Hey guys welcome back to the PSALMS to God podcast. We are back to the Fruit of the Spirit series and we are talking about patience today. I don't like to talk about the Fruit of the Spirit by myself; I feel like there's so much to talk about, there's so much to learn that these fruits should be talked about with everybody: friends, family, strangers, whatever. But today, I have a friend who has agreed to join me to talk about patience, and so I have Derrell with me. I met Darrell in college so I've known him for forever now, I guess, and I thought he was the perfect person to talk to about this particular subject. So hey Derrell, how's it going?
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: I'm good. How are you?
👩🏽🦱 REE: I'm good. Do you have any initial things you want to say to the audience, to the listeners, before we get started?
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Um… I just think that this is an amazing platform that you have created. I’ve enjoyed listening to it since I spend a lot of time on the road. So the quick listening sessions about God while I’m on the road help out ‘cause a lot of times I’m traveling on the days I’d go to church, so it’s good to be able to listen to something and get good content. It’s just an amazing thing, what you’re doing.
👩🏽🦱 REE: Thank you!
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: You’re welcome
👩🏽🦱 REE: So, do you know why I picked you to talk about patience?
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: I honestly do not
👩🏽🦱 REE: 😂 So I don't know how long it's been, but I distinctly remember sometime after we graduated you told me that you wanted to be a wrestler.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: 😂 So now that you say that, I kind of had a feeling we’d be talking about that, kind of, but I didn’t know that was the reason, but OK.
👩🏽🦱 REE: And, you know, there was some ups and downs and some injuries, but like you just kept at it. And like, I think maybe it was like a month ago, a couple of weeks ago, you sent me a text saying you got your first contract! And now you're like a professional wrestler! So first, congratulations!
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Thank you!
👩🏽🦱 REE: But also like that takes patience and perseverance.
Derrell’s Testimony (00:03:56)
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Yes, it really does. I don’t know, did you want me to basically like tell my wrestling story, and all the ups and downs? Or how did you want that to go? And I can, every step of the way I can explain how patience came along with that and how I had to really rely on my faith throughout the whole thing.
👩🏽🦱 REE: Yeah, sure. I think that's a great place to start!
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Ok, so I graduated from Clemson in June—no I’m sorry not June, it was May of 2012. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences. To this day, I have not used that degree—
👩🏽🦱 REE: 😂
👩🏽🦱 REE: —in that field. 😂 And I just that’s something I had to put out there to the world. So I went home, left Clemson and went back home. I tried to get in to do a masters, but I was out of state; I’m from Maryland. And I could not get approved for another loan—
👩🏽🦱 REE: Look, we don't need no more loans! 😂
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Hey, listen! It was a blessing in disguise, little did I know. 😂 So I go home. I sit at home, and I start coaching high school football; still have no job. And then November 2012 rolls around. I become teacher; I become a high school teacher, where I teach science to 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders who were in a transition program. About a year-and-a-half later, I started working a financial job; I did that for about a year and a half, until I moved to my current job, where I support DHS. And, I just pretty much figured out that I do not want to work a 9 to 5.
👩🏽🦱 REE: 😂
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: It just wasn’t in me to do that. And so I sat there, I told myself “OK, if you're not going to work a 9-5, what is something you want to do?” And so I told myself, “Well my football career was over after high school, so that's out. So why not do the same thing that you always want to do as a kid and it was your dream of doing? And that was being a professional wrestler. So of course, being a millennial, I hop on Google 😂and I type in, literally, “how to become professional wrestler.”
👩🏽🦱 REE: Oh wow.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: And Wikipedia had a little thing, where sometimes, depending on the field it says these are the steps to become a professional wrestler. And it was like:
- Find a school
- Get trained
- Work the indie scene
- Hopefully get signed
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: So, immediately I start looking up professional wrestling schools. And I started looking up this stuff—I started doing my research for this Spring 2014. And at that time, you know, I had just started having to pay student loans, you know, I had just got into the working world, so I wasn't making a lot of money. So I knew I could not go to a school, like an expensive school. ‘Cause basically a good school is going to run you anywhere between $2,000 - $4,000. And at the time I did not have that. So I found a school in Atlanta, it was WWA4 and they offered—they had a school but they also offered a deal where you come to a week camp. And the camp was $300, and after you did the camp, if you decided you wanted to actually train at the school, they would discount the price off of the actual school because you came to the camp.
👩🏽🦱 REE: That’s nice.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: So I went down and I did the camps and I loved it. I absolutely loved the camp. The basics… I learned the basics. We got to watch one of the local shows that they put on. I had made up my mind right then and there. Like OK, I’m moving to Atlanta, I don’t care what job I have I just need to find a job in Atlanta. My sister lives here so I have a place to stay. Let’s do it! Well, so I went to the camp in summer 2014, by... I’m sorry I went down to look at the school in Summer 2014; I went and did the camp in January 2015. I could not find a job in Atlanta by Spring 2015, so I said “Alright, cool. Let me look for schools closer by.” So I started looking for schools close by in Maryland, and I found MCW Pro Wrestling. At the time, I had started saving some money. I had been saving money because I knew if you move, you gotta have some money saved. So I saved some money, and the school... I went down with met with the trainers. I met with RJ, RJ Myers “The Bruiser,” and I think we talked for 15 minutes. And at the end of the conversation, he said “Am I going to see you on Tuesday?” And I said, “Yes you will.” And I paid my money, and my journey to becoming a professional wrestler began. 👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: We had practice Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. So luckily I worked a day job that I work 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., then I would drive the hour and a half—2 hours depending on traffic—to Joppa Maryland.
👩🏽🦱 REE: Ooh wee
Set Backs (00:10:04)
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Yep. Get there, train 6 to 10, then drive the hour back home to Bowie, Maryland, get home by 11, eat, shower, be in bed by 12, just to be back up at 4 and back at work at 6 next day. I did that for… So started that in June. I started MCW in June 2015. Literally, I don't know. God's timing, God has an amazing sense of humor. When I say it was one year to the day that I started training, I had my first match with MCW. So literally, I started training June 15, 2015; I had my first match June 16, 2016. And I’ll never forget it, because it was outside on a baseball field, and I was a nervous wreck. 😂 I mean, I was like “Oh, this is my very first match!” Just everything went through me like this is happening, this is real. You said you wanted to do it, we got here, and now you’re about to go wrestle your first professional wrestling match. It was a tag team match, it was what it was. It wasn’t the best match in the world, but a lot of... Most guys’ first matches are not the best matches. But I got through it and I got my nerves out. And it was a great time. So after that,. I was on shows consecutively from 2016 through June 2016. And somewhere in the Fall of 2016, I hurt my ankle at practice.
👩🏽🦱 REE: I remember this.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: And so what I did was, I finished out the rest of the show through December with the bad ankle. Then I took the last three weeks of December off, and to just let my ankle heal. So, come January 2017, I come back after my 3 weeks off. I think this is like my second or third practice back and I’m doing pre-practice. This isn’t something I had to do, it was just something I wanted to do to get back in shape being off. And I’m doing pre-practice and I was doing a roll. And when I went to do my roll, I felt my knee pop, my right knee. And so I just thought, you know, but my knee clicks from time to time, both knees click, so it’s just nothing. And I tried to get up. When I tried to stand up, I couldn't put any pressure any weight on my leg, and I fell right back down to my butt. So that’s when the coaches stopped everything, and they were like “Are you ok, do you need time?” And I was like “Yeah, just give me a second.” I try to get up again; I couldn't get up. So one of the coaches, Dean, he got in the ring and he tried to help me up, but I could not put all of my weight on my leg. And to give you a mindset, I’m 6 foot, 300 pounds, and I couldn’t get off the ground. So obviously there’s something wrong with this knee. So they get me to the hospital that night, and of course the hospital don't have MRI techs on site after a certain time. So I had to do the whole wait till the next day. Had to go to a regular doctor to be told “OK I'm going to send you get an MRI,” so I go get the MRI. But then they, the people that took the MRI, say “We can't tell you what we saw.” So then I had to go see an actual orthopedic to be able to tell me what was wrong with my knee. So I tore my knee on a Tuesday, I didn’t find out what was wrong with it until Thursday.
👩🏽🦱 REE: Oh no
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: And so finally, I go to see the ortho, and he tells me that I tore my, I completely tore my meniscus and in this case it buckled handed flipped over. Basically what that means is not only did it tear, it tore so much that it allowed the meniscus to flip. What it did was it locked my leg in a 45 degree angle. That’s why I couldn’t put any weight on it.
👩🏽🦱 REE: Ohhh. Yeah… That… Yeah that doesn't sound pleasant at all
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: No. It wasn't. And in my house, to get to my bedroom, I have to go up a flight of 13 steps. So having to sit down and crawl my way up the steps and down the steps to get in and out of the house for each on of those appointments, I mean, you know. It was what it was. So I was told I had to have surgery to repair it. It was my very first surgery ever. At this point in my wrestling career, I was starting to really comprehend what was going on, what needed to be done, understanding how to put stuff together, how a match should go, how to feel the crowd, and in the instant, the second that they told me my knee was torn, the first thing that came to mind was “Is this over?” Because your knees are something that, sometimes a bad knee injury could mean whatever it is you're doing, that's it. Like you see football players, basketball players all the time, they tear something one time and that’s it. Their careers are totally done. So at that time like I have to have a constant prayer, because not only did I want to get back in the ring, I wanted to be able to go back to living, you know, a regular lifestyle. So, I wanted to be able to walk on my own, to get back to running, being in the gym everyday—something I was doing sometimes even twice a day, once just lifting, once to go training—and now I'm laying in my bed, because I can't move my leg.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: So you know the guys at MCW text me, and they called me, sent me their prayers. And I go snd have surgery. 😂 After the surgery the doctor came and told me I beat him up pretty bad. My family and I looked at him like, what do you mean? And he was like “Well, your leg is so big that he couldn't...he and the other assistants couldn't hold my leg in position to where he needed to do the surgery. So they had to call for extra people to scrub in just to hold my leg up and for him to perform the surgery upside down.
👩🏽🦱 REE: Oh wow
God’s Plan Revealed (00:16:59)
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Yeah. So I really do appreciate Dr. O for doing that. So after the surgery, I start rehab. So I tore the knee in January 2017. I was out of wrestling for 6 months. In that time, so before I was… Before I tore my knee, I was a singles competitor; meaning I wrestled by myself, and it was me and one other person in the ring. And when I was starting to come back from my injury, I was thinking now I’m going to have to start all the way back over. You know, basically I lost my spot on the roster, other people have been coming in to fill my spot, so now I’m going to have to fight and claw my way back on to the roster…
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Well, God's working or perfect timing, whatever it was, when I tore my knee in January 2017, a new class started around that same time. My tag partner to this day started in that class. One day, while I was back at training—still wasn't training, but I was at training just taking mental reps—Jasper came up to me, a.k.a. Kaun, he came up to me and he says “Hey man, you wanna tag?” He said, I literally remember him say “I watched a lot of your matches and I really like what you do in the ring. Do you want to tag?” And in my mind I was like I never thought about being a tag team wrestler, but yeah man I’m down to give it a shot. And we went and talked to the coaches about it. They didn't take long to say “Yeah we want to see what that would look.” And so we started out in a group called The Bomb Squad. 😂 So we were with two other individuals. And that, we started that I believe around August of 2017. And then me and Jasper, so we also did birthday parties at MCW. So between shows and birthday parties, we were working on tagging, because neither of us had ever tag teamed before. So, working on tagging, learning how to actually work a tag team match, and then in the summer of 2018, we branched off from The Bomb Squad and we became SOS, Sons of Savagery.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: We became MCW tag champs in the summer of 2018, and we held the belts until a few months ago. Where we were told after a match, after successfully defending our belts, that so there was good news and bad news. The bad news is that we would have to relinquish our titles and turn them over to MCW. Of course we weren’t too happy about that, but then we were told the reason why we were handing our belts over was because we were being offered exclusive contracts to Ring of Honor. And Ring of Honor is one of the largest wrestling companies in United States and is globally recognized.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: So to sum up this entire story: I had a dream, you know, and I did my research. And I thought I was going one place, but then God directed me to another place. And when I got to this place, what I thought I would be doing with my life, He slowed me down. 😂 He allowed for someone else to be bought in and start learning, and based on the little bit, the few wrestling matches I previously had, he liked what I did, asked me to tag with him, and then now we’re offered contracts. That means, I started training in 2015, and I was offered a contract in 2019. He started training in 2017, and we all got offered a contract in 2019. So, what I thought I wanted or what I thought would get me to my dream, wasn’t what was going to get me there. You know, I had to be patient during my recovery period. You know, I was told, time and time again, do not rush that. Take your time. Be patient, and rehab it correctly, because the worst thing you can do is come back too early and re-tear it, ‘cause then it’s just going to be worse, you’re going to be out longer. I had to check my pride and say I'm going to be patient with this.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: Did I necessarily want to be in a tag team initially? Uh... In wrestling sometimes, you want the spotlight to yourself, right? Because you don’t want to have to depend on someone else. However, one thing I had to check myself was, why can't two people share the same spot if we’re being successful?
👩🏽🦱 REE: Right.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: And that was something I had to learn in tag team. You...It’s two guys working together to achieve one goal. So once again, what I thought I wanted and what I thought I was gonna be—no. Relax. Have some patience. Let this thing work out. We spent our time learning from a veteran while we were in The Bomb Squad. We learned, we took advice, we road tripped, we saw other teams, we took notes, we put them together... I just think that injury slowed me down from myself and what I thought was going to get me to where I am today. To actually say, “No my brother. I have something so much better for you in store. You just need to be patient, and let Me work this thing out.”
👩🏽🦱 REE: Absolutely.
👨🏽🦱 DERRELL: And I give God total glory over that whole situation, because had I not torn my knee, I probably would have be like “Oh this guy’s in the beginner class. I'm in advanced class I don't want to… I do not want you, I should be asking you, why you asking me?” But at that time, I was just like “Man, yeah I’ll tag.” You know, he hadn’t wrestled a match ever. He had not wrestled a match! 😂 But I was just like “Yeah, man I’ll tag with you.” And I didn’t even think long. He asked me at practice one day, and I think I was just like “Hm. Yeah, let’s do it.” You know, I don't know. I think in that time that I was out, I really put in perspective as much as I was having success in getting on shows at MCW or just wrestling period, just as fast, it can be taken away.
Wrap Up (00:24:05)
👩🏽🦱 REE: Okay guys, so this brings us to the end of Derrell's testimony. It is a great testimony of how patience can lead you to your dreams, and what he learned from being patient. We continued to talk about patience both in a more general sense and how, you know, his experience changed his views of patience or made him stop and think about patience. But I felt like the episode in general would have been way too long to include all of it in one episode, so I'm breaking it into two, and of course this is the natural place to end this episode before beginning the next. So that being said, this is all I have for today's episode. But don't worry you're going to hear more from Derrell next week! So obviously, thank you Derrell for stopping by and for providing content for two episodes! In the meantime, for the listeners don't forget to like and subscribe. You can check out Sons of Savagery on Instagram, or probably now at the Ring of Honor website. Go out and support them, all of that wonderful stuff. Yeah, so I'll talk to you guys later. Bye
References and Footnotes
- We are fellow math nerds! I also graduated with a BS in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson
- There are great jobs for Mathematical Science majors, such as anything in stats (you could work for ESPN), being an actuary, etc. However most people end up combining math with something else to make it more applied. This is what I did that led to be becoming a Computer Scientist.
- Clemson is in South Carolina for those who don’t know
- This was my first time hearing this part of the story
- This reminds me of the meme where the little girl says something is easy because it’s only a few things
- MCW Pro Wrestling
- "Future of Honor: KTB and Nico Silva vs. Sons of Savagery". Ring of Honor Wrestling; visited May 2019