Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 47

I have two reasons for joining this day of wrestling camp: (1) to
understand how much talent is really required in pro wrestling, and
(2) to learn the wrestling skill Valiant says every senior citizen needs
- how to fall safely.
the embarrassment of getting
my rump hung up on
the low rope deters me.
I have two reasons for
joining this day of wrestling
camp: (1) to understand
how much talent is really
required in pro wrestling,
and (2) to learn the wrestling
skill Valiant says every
senior citizen needs - how
to fall safely.
"Falling is the first thing
I teach my kids," he says.
(Everyone attending camp
is his "kid.")
"When you take that
bump, you need to land as
flat as you can, not on your
tailbone - it can crack," he
says. "The main thing is to
tuck your head into your
chest. You don't want your
head to snap back; that's
too hard on your neck.
You'll want to put out your
arms to catch yourself;
don't do it falling backward.
That's how you break
arms."
Several years ago,
Valiant slipped on an icy
sidewalk returning from a
medical procedure on his
toe. "I immediately went
into my wrestler fall -
kicked both feet straight
up, tucked in my elbows,
locked my neck against my
chest. Just like in the ring, I
landed flat," he says. "My
bad toe was up in the air,
not hurt. I started laughing
like crazy. Nice to know
how to fall."
I try falling from a
squatting position with a
hand on the rope. I fall and
fall. Falling badly is intuitive.
Other campers move
on. They're doing neck
holds, collar tie-ups, and
lock-ons. I'm still falling.
But at least I haven't hurt
myself. I tuck my chin to
my chest - that's the big
one; no broken neck. But
controlling my flailing arms
and legs is tougher. So I
keep trying. The ring floor
underneath the thin vinyl
cushion is hard and
unforgiving.
"You'll hurt more
tomorrow," says Jessie
Campbell, an assistant
instructor young enough to
be my granddaughter.
I give it a break for
awhile to watch campers
wrestle the staff. Crash,
bang, thud - the acoustics
of their moves are important
in pro wrestling. They
stomp for more effect as
they punch each other. The
wrestlers hit the big, fleshy
parts of their opponent's
bodies so they don't hurt
them as much. They appear
to be punching with fists,
but sometimes open their
palms at the last second.
I watch them pat their
shoulders when they want
their opponent to jump on
them. Complex maneuvers
are carefully choreographed,
and both wrestlers
help execute the move.
Never be deadweight,
Campbell instructs. The
wrestlers go down with a
clatter, then spring up, push
off the ropes and bounce
around the ring like jumping
beans, like the trained
athletes they are.
"You're here to entertain,"
Valiant says, making
a mean face for us to imitate.
"Give it everything
you got in the ring. You can
hurt later."
Wrestlers really do hurt,
but "not really very much if
you do it right," says Dee
Moody, a 16-year-old from
Hillsville, Virginia who
looks like a young Brooke
Shields. A poorly timed or
executed move can hurt a
wrestler badly. But usually
they don't hit each other as
hard or get hurt as badly as
they make it appear.
These campers would
take a thousand bruises to
be a 50-year pro like
Valiant. He was one of the
Mid-Atlantic region's most
popular wrestlers in the
1980s, and is still recognized
on the street.
I, on the other hand, am
happy just to fall and fall
and fall. Which I do until I
finally get it right, at home
on the thick foam pad that
doubles as my bed.
IF YOU GO
Boogie's Pro Wrestling Camp
and Sunday Wrestling
Exhibitions and Hall of Fame
Museum, 2916 Alleghany
Springs Road Shawsville, VA
24162; 540-268-9868 or 9869;
jimmyvaliant.weebly.com
Eats: Dude's Drive-In 1505
Roanoke St, Route 11,
Christiansburg where a car
hop takes your order and
country ham sandwiches reign.
Sleep: Inn at Hans Meadow,
1800 Depot Street NE,
Christiansburg; 540-382-2060;
theinnathansmeadow@gmail.
com
-Su Clauson-Wicker
and demonstrations round out
this event. GSM Heritage
Center, Townsend.
865-228-3792.
RIVER RAFT REGATTA,
JULY 4.
Competitors create floats to
send down the river, with
awards going to the top three
in each category: trash (not
hand-made), and treasure
(hand-made).
800-568-4748.
VIRGINIA
HIGHLAND MAPLE
FESTIVAL, MARCH 14-15,
21-22.
Sugar camp tours provide a
unique and educational
glimpse of a rapidly vanishing
way of rural American life.
Other highlights include
pancake breakfasts, arts and
crafts, music, clogging
demonstrations and antiques.
Monterey.
540-468-2550.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 | 47
http://jimmyvaliant.weebly.com

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015

Letters
From the Editor & Digital Help Guide
Mill Creek Stories
Creature Feature
The Hike
Great Buys
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Creature Feature
Festivals & Events
The Curios: Our Annual Compendium of the Strange
North Georgia: A Foodie Haven
Why We Travel: The Photoessay
The 2015 Blue Ridge Country Travel Guide: A Year of Experiences
The Weekend: Harpers Ferry and Western Maryland
The Old Stone Chimney
Cabin in the Woods: Fiddler’s Roost
Mountain Garden
Guest Column: Author Stephanie Jeffries
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Letters
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - From the Editor & Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Great Buys
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Curios: Our Annual Compendium of the Strange
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - North Georgia: A Foodie Haven
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Why We Travel: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The 2015 Blue Ridge Country Travel Guide: A Year of Experiences
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Weekend: Harpers Ferry and Western Maryland
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Old Stone Chimney
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cabin in the Woods: Fiddler’s Roost
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Guest Column: Author Stephanie Jeffries
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover4
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