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Warriors love Wrestlemania Week...

I cannot believe we are already to Monday! I arrived here last Monday and absolutely fell in love with Orlando! All these Warrior Women and Men have made such an impact on my Wrestlemania experience.. I was so honored to give the 2017 Warrior Award to Eric Legrand. I had my speech written for over a month (with a change or two to include topical moments) and memorized. It was only a week before I was told I'd only have three minutes so much of it had to hit the cutting room floor. I thought it would be fun to share with you my original draft in this week's blog.... It makes sense WRESTLEMANIA 33 is HERE, in Orlando... I mean this is the place of "once upon a time" stories... Right?? Once upon a time is usually a humble beginning ...a pure and good foreshadows a story you will want to hear again and you will believe in... ...just the word believe breathes magic into a room such as this one... We are in this room tonight because of characters. Some of the greatest characters past and present come to life! I'm talking about our WWE Superstars who bring a certain brand of fairytales to the mat. We have heroes and we have villains... We have evil queens (slight bow to Steph with a wink)... and we have princesses (nod to Dana Brooke,Sasha, Bailey, ) I mean... they knock tiaras off heads and wear their bling around the waist buuuuutttttt... you get the picture... they might throw punches instead of kisses and their reign might be about a title stretch but never doubt they are bad ass royalty! Annnnnnnddd...They don't need to be "rescued"... unless it's by an equally formidable fair maiden from the not so far away land room. Ya!!! Our women's division rules!! We have men too... ....when women ask where have the real men gone I ask...have you checked the Kingdom of WWE?!?? We have giants, and warriors, and monsters, and beasts. These guys slay fire-breathing dragons on the weekly... ...or at least the pyro makes it look that way!!! Our mighty men have not swords-- ....spears...ya... And... --sometimes metal ladders... "How are those stitches, fella?" but they mostly annihilate with clotheslines, pedigrees, brogue kicks, and gorilla presses-- ...and there are those who mostly trash talk...but every story needs a jester--right Enzo??-- How you doin'??? --least you back it up with a giant... never doubt our men put their mouths and bodies on the line as they do battle with no off season. These "kings of the ring" leave it all on the mat 300 plus days of the year to prove definitively, WHO IS THE MAN?!? (Look to HHH and Seth). Once upon a time there lived a WARRIOR so vibrant and electric they called him ULTIMATE. He tore through curtains, raced around arenas, and dazzled crowds. This man did more than slay his opponents...he inspired loyal subjects to be warriors in their own lives. This ULTIMATE WARRIOR had a battle cry of ALWAYS BELIEVE. ...And always believe his legion of warriors did! They believed so much they would not be quieted until three years ago he stood once again on a stage like this and took his rightful place in the hallowed halls of the Hall of Fame. This Ultimate Warrior delivered a message that still reverberates through the WWE universe--even, after, he drew his last breath and ...passed...on to parts unknown. Not every story ends with happily ever after... ..there's a reason for that...there is an interconnectivity amongst all stories that runs forever with no true once upon a time or happily ever after but instead a cast of characters who champion the warrior spirit throughout the ages.... Eric Legrand is such a spirit.... Eric Legrand is a man full of belief. In fact the one word he has wrapped himself in since his life changing accident is BELIEVE! He has required himself to be so mentally disciplined in the face of such challenge he has heroically championed the word and in doing so shone a light so bright other's are able to follow. And if Eric is a hero, his mother, Karen, is a heroine. Eric's story is one of his belief and the ultimate example of a mother's love. I was reading Eric's epic story, in his words, and what struck me was the way he described the smallest detail that seemed most pure in the realm of love. Eric had an itch... on his nose.. that he could not scratch!!! Sit with that... ughhhh!!! I mean torture!!! So Eric is calling Maaaaaaa! Maaaaaa! Because Ya...when you have an itch IT IS AN EMERGENCY! ...and this dutiful mother came running--and after banter--wrapped her fingers in tissue and eased his suffering with her most gentle touch... The way Eric described Karen made me weep...for the beauty of pure love, for the gesture of absolute affection, and for the way there's sometimes nothing better in humankind than that one freaking person in life WHO WILL SCRATCH YOUR ITCH!!! Ms. Legrand, mother to mother. I bow down to you. Your son is a Warrior, and YOU are a Warrior Queen. (Place tiara I bought next to Warrior Award) This award could not go to anyone more worthy than Eric. He embodies the spirit my husband held in such high esteem. Eric is in a chair but he is NOT THE CHAIR! The chair might be his chariot, his means of transportation for this one chapter of his life, but he has vowed to walk again And I believe him! Eric is not only concerned with his ability to regain mobility, he has an eye to changing the lives of those he champions, as true warriors always do. Knowing research is the way to recovery Eric formed Team Legrand of the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation in 2013. Proceeds go towards research to find a cure for paralysis and helping improve the quality of life for people with spinal chord injuries. Please search out Team Legrand and give generously to Eric's worthy cause. We never know what dollar will tip research in the favor of recovery. What if it was yours? The common thread woven through every warriors epic tale is one word... love... Love is the essential nutrient that makes this trial of life worthwhile. It's not only about romantic "once upon a time"'s about love connected to service. When my life shattered into tiny pieces of glass shards I began to clean them up and glue them back together...not into a semblance of what life looked like before...I began to place those glistening objects into a mosaic that creates the life I lead today. It is a good life. It is a life given meaning through service. I always say "worse" things have happened to better people than me so I have no room to complain. Eric says something better ..."in comparison to what?"... Ya...anything, anything can be reframed in that filter... "in comparison to what?".... The first time Eric and I spoke he told me he would try to represent this prestigious award in a way that would make my husband proud... I answered... there is no need to try... You already do... You will be moved by Eric. You will be inspired...You will find yet another warrior who embodies the "Always Believe" spirit my husband spent his life exemplifying. Please help me welcome a true warrior, ultimate in every way... Mr. Eric Legrand... I welcomed Eric into my heart the first time I spoke with him. He is a real man! A REAL MAN! He is about others and their needs. He was only twenty years old when this devastating injury occurred. How many of us would have the mental discipline to reframe this situation into one of service at any age. I am so impressed with the real WARRIOR Eric Legrand truly is. When you talk about strength, endurance, perseverance, and an always believe attitude having been introduced to Eric, he will always come to mind. I believe in HOF, Axxess, WRESTLEMANIA, and Monday Night Raw. I believe in everyday heroes. I believe the spirit of the Ultimate Warrior watches over every Warrior still slugging away on planet earth...ALWAYS!!!! xo💋d 

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