As a player with nothing but hard work, potential and glimmers of greatness on my side, it was nice to have a spotlight on me considering all of the other amazing people who play the game. I knew this past “Machine week” would be full of fun and positivity, but with the good comes the bad. Going through the week knowing on Friday you’d all see me fall on my face was terrifying; and remembering how overwhelmed I let myself get that day showed me what I need to focus on going forward.
Of course losing sucks, but me against Mike, this was the toughest. All the build up, all the smack talk (which regardless of winning or losing, is still so much fun), that looming stigma of never winning against “established” competitors in the eyes of the fandom. I wanted to win this one more than any other match so far, and to lose like that in front of the current champ (Dan Murrell), the guy who got me loving the Schmoedown in the first place, was deflating. I was just in a weird headspace all day leading up to the match. It was a really difficult day for me. I’m not gonna lie, I overwhelmed myself.
That day I had a lot to do and I started super excited. Before that final singles match, I taped another match, three promos, Inside Schmoedown and a cut scene and by the end, I didn’t feel good about any of it. It wasn’t so much the amount of things I had to do, but the fact that I just felt like I sucked at all of it. Like I made a fool of myself all day, every brilliant word I had stored in my Machine memory to say vanished and I just sounded like an idiot. Under normal circumstances I would’ve had fun with all of it, flubs and all, but because I was putting so much pressure on myself for that last match I couldn’t get my head there. I’ve never been the best camera person anyway but I always felt like I was getting better and having more fun with it each time. Nervous maybe, ridiculous always, but to be so uneasy about it was just odd.
I went into that match second guessing so much. I got make up on my shirt just before going out there so that added to the weight of mistakes. I wanted to get back into the game as my silly self and have fun with my white bread stunt which helped ease the pressure some. But as the match progressed and things just didn’t go my way, I let my head focus back on how I was failing all day, what awful things people would say when I lost, who I was letting down instead of focusing on the questions before me.
No, this isn’t an attempt to take anything away from the amazing competitor and performer Mike is, or to make excuses. It’s about me telling my truth and sharing just how quickly I let myself forget how much I love doing this and what it means to me being the Machine. No, I don’t have a contenders spot or a belt after over a year in the league. But I have gained the respect of it and because of that, I want to always be better. I’m putting in the work and the time to be better and I know I’ll get there.
I know I can do this, I know I’m a good competitor. I needed this to remember who I am, why I do this and what’s important. It’s not the negative comments, not the thought of looking stupid, or the pressure of failure. It’s about having fun, working with the best of the best, being a part of something amazingly entertaining and creative and remembering what that means to us who participate and those who watch. It’s the most exciting amalgamation of discipline, skill, luck, and did I mention fun already?
I’m a machine for a reason. If I “break down” as Jenn said, I’ve got the most wonderful people to build me back up, I’ve got ME to build me back up and I keep going, stronger than the last time.