The Wrestlemaniacs

I know the blogs are a bit wrestling heavy currently – this is the last one of these for a while! 

I’m hooked! Shit! I never thought it possible! Experiencing Wrestlemania weekend was nuts – especially when you are with a group of mostly guys for the whole weekend, some of whom are obsessed with sports entertainment and WWE,  but nonetheless I love them, heck I married one didn’t I?! 

We have had so much exposure to the inner workings of wrestling this weekend. It has been non-stop. From the Hall of Fame, watching DDP get inducted [see the blog Diamond Hall of Fame], various after show parties, Project OM, Wrestlecon, Wrestlemania itself, and finally the Raw after Wrestlemania – that had to be my favourite event of the weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, Wrestlemania itself was insane!!!! We had awesome seats, the crowd was electric, all the stops had been pulled out and it was a real show stopping, jaw-dropping, body-popping extravaganza. But… I fell in love with the more intimate setting of Raw. It felt more personal, and as a punter, you felt you were part of the story. Much more so than when we watch it on the box at home.

I’ve watched enough wrestling thanks to seven fabulous years of being with Haydn, and heard booing of bad guys before, but not to the crazy extent we witnessed that night. I wanted to feel sorry for the sheer amount of booing Roman Reigns was getting, but I really couldn’t! It was fun!  I lost my voice! He played it out so well and the crowd lapped it up. Every time he put the mic to his mouth, the booing intensified. After what felt like 20 minutes, He mic bombed us with “this is my yard now” (the previous night he retired the veteran wrestler, the Undertaker – a heart breaking end to the show). What a start to Raw and he didn’t even wrestle! 

Instead we had a tag team match featuring my old teenage crush, Jeff Hardy, his brother Matt (I love the delete chant!) against Anderson and Gallows. We were seated near the entrance and I can’t believe I actually got to clasp his hand! (Giving myself a self high 5 for that one). The high flying moves were awe-inspiring and the showmanship was second to none. That was certainly my favourite match of the night.


Later on I even got to touch the Diva, Baileys hand too (sorry Garett) as she met everyone on the way to the ring. As a punter she comes across as so sweet and lovely that  she has my entire fan-girl support. Charlotte Flair however, is in a league of her own – not only did she have the coolest peacockesque robe, she is a force to be reckoned with. She might be playing a heel at the moment (for my friends who might not know that means the baddy), but she has everyone’s respect.

Now I know many of their names, but I’m not entirely kosher with the moves, so I’m not going to comment on my thoughts on the matches, apart from that they were all exhilarating, emotional and enthralling. My appreciation for sports entertainment has quadrupled since going to the wrestlemania weekend, and we were so lucky to hav

Next time we are in Orlando, if we are  going to be that close to Disney and Universal, we will actually be going there next time (husbands dream is fulfilled; mine next!)

With Rey always in our hearts wherever we go xxx

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Project OM Launch

As part of the Orlando Wretlemania weekend, we were invited to take part in the Project OM Launch. This is a fundraising initiative supporting Susan G Komen. (Breast cancer research here in the states). AND IT WAS EPIC! The goal of this project is to have 1 million people take part in a yoga class between 12th and 14th May to raise funds and awareness in the hope of eliminating breast cancer in the U.S BY 50%, by 2026. 
The atmosphere was positively infectious with an array of participants who had travelled from as far as Canada to take part! There was in total 161 of us participating – a DDPYoga workshop record. The event was headlined by the man himself, DDP and the gorgeous Maria Menunos (Just so my UK friends know she’s a celebrity over here on daytime tv). There were also a couple of WWE stars taking part: Natalia, Dana Warrior (who is inspirational!) and Titus O’Neil. That man is so tall! I felt ridiculously short in comparison! 

The workout itself ROCKED – DDP made it accessible to everyone, as you would expect. The cross section of participants ranged from yogis, people affected by breast cancer to WWE fans who may never have stepped on a yoga mat before. The room was electric and it was so warming to be in a judgment free zone for a lot of the people there. It was also great for the yogis to experience DDPYoga too as some of them have never tried it before.

The sponsors were super and gave us a lot of free stuff including Manduka (a specialist yoga mat company here in the US) who provided us all with yoga mats, and blankets, DDPYoga which gave us all free pink t-shirts and WWE who arranged the event to coincide with the 2017 wrestlemania. There were also huge fruit cocktail kebabs (kebobs as Americans know them!) to munch on too, which was very much welcomed after the workout. 

We met a great deal of people at the event and saw some lovely familiar faces too (the Travel Smiths clan). Marcel who is a DDPYoga instructor from Canada finally met me after I had evaded him (completely by accident) for so long! He was in the UK in 2016 and taught a guest spot at one of Haydn’s classes but I missed him! I also met the lovely Lori from Florida – another instructor (in training?). Best of all I met the mama of Christina from Bodyrebooted. Christina if you read this I may have to steal your mum! 
Here’s Christina and I doing the M challenge at Kennesaw for Project OM (do you like how we used the canon to make an O?!)

If you want to get involved and take part, click on the link below:

https://www.manduka.com/projectom/

“Positive, powerful change needs to start from the ground up. Or, in many cases, from the yoga mat up. That’s why Manduka, the industry’s most trusted yoga brand, is hosting the world’s largest yoga class of one million bodies strong to benefit Susan G. Komen®.
We share the collective goal to do great things – for our bodies, for the bodies of others and for the world. From May 12-14, be part of something epic.”

The Diamond Hall of Fame

This April Diamond Dallas Page, aka the man we moved 4500 miles for, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Haydn and I were so chuffed to witness this momentous occasion in the flesh! We are so proud of Dallas’ achievements and now he is getting the recognition he truly deserves.Eric Bishoff introduced DDP and did so in the most eloquent of ways. “Heart” was the driving force of his speech, and Dallas has bucket loads of the stuff! He was not only a blue collar grafter, working his way through the ranks in the ring, he is celebrated more so now for the effect he has in changing people’s lives for the better through DDPYoga. 

Personally, DDPYoga has not just changed mine and Haydn’s lives physically, but also our mental perspectives. The first philosophy is to live life at 90%. Why only 90? Why not 100?! Let me explain – Dallas took this philosophy from Lou Holtz who quotes, “life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how YOU react to it”. 

In other words, YOU determine your reactions and your reactions determine the path you lead on from there. Take time to breathe, adapt and then react to situations you are confronted with, and you will find that you are able to cope much better, than if you let your emotions run riot.

THIS was why we took the jump in the deep end approach!

THIS is why we moved to America!

THIS is why we treat everyday with love, positivity and a willing to be the best that we can be. 

At the Hall of Fame, DDP gave us another golden nugget of wisdom, which resonated with both of us, especially during the challenges we have recently faced:

“To be an over-achiever, you first need to be an over – believer. 

Never, NEVER give up the power you give yourselves, by believing in you”.

By believing in yourself first, loving yourself first and respecting yourself first, you have the power to achieve anything. Don’t hold back and don’t compare yourself to others – because they may be good at something, but they won’t BE YOU. And what you bring to the table is your individuality. You are unique, you are special and you deserve happiness. Believe in yourself – you will be able to embrace your own power to achieve your goals! 

If you haven’t started already, start now! 😊

Gut Instinct

Today was the first day of Haydn easing into the new work environment at the DDPYoga Performance Center. I don’t think of it so much as work for him, more of a vocation as he loves it so much! Filming for the DDPYoga Now App was taking place and it is always exciting to participate in. It was a live beginners workout and the place was heaving with energy and yoga mats. 

I like to go on the floor normally, but today was an exception as it was pretty busy. Next thing I know is Haydn and I are on stage with Garett (leader of Team Red Headband), Ted (the most charming 82 year old on the planet) and DDP – eek! I never go on stage for the workouts and this was a real test of my ambidextrousness to mirror image Dallas’ callouts (left becomes right, right becomes left) . I had brain-fry! But it was SOOOOO MUCH FUN and the calorie burn was pretty good as a result!

Soon after the workout, I was getting changed and caught a glimpse of a client who I thought was stretching her legs in the corridor. No one else was around at this point. I carried on sorting my clothes out, but then heard a bang….  I jumped out (thankfully with most of my clothes on!) as my gut told me something was wrong, and said “are you alright? “. Her head had hit the floor, but she was conscious. She quietly responded: “SUGAR”. I thought, “oh sh*t is she diabetic?” It turns out she’s hypoglycaemic… Now where can I get sugar in one of the most sugar free buildings I know?! 

I called for some swift assistance and received some help in the form of peppermint, a cinnamon roll, and dried mango. But none of this was any good… She needed sugar in her system and she needed it pronto. 

Thankfully Team Red Headband came to the rescue! Garret sorted the lady out with some orange juice – that never even crossed my mind.  It worked! And it worked quick! I had been so worried. I sat with her for a while whilst she stabilised and learnt her name. 

I’m so glad to have met her as I’ve learnt so much from that experience. It’s the first time I had encountered a hypoglycaemic attack and now knowing how to approach it, I feel ready if it ever happens again. I’m so glad that I was there at the right time.

Today’s life lesson – Trust your instincts. If you feel something needs addressing, DO IT!!! If someone you see is in anyway vulnerable, give them a helping hand, even if it’s just to check they are ok. You maybe the angel they need right at that moment.

“Some of the best advice you’ll ever get, will come from your gut instinct.”

Little Messages

Words can’t describe how much I miss my Rey bear, but since moving to Atlanta we have had an influx of little occurrences that have reassured us that moving here was the best thing that could happen to us.  We know that she is still with us for every step of the journey! 

Haydn read to Rey everyday as she peacefully slept in the chapel of rest, and a favourite book we read to her before the end of each visit was Guess How Much I Love You. It’s seriously cute and has particular meaning to us. On the first time he read it, a little tear gathered in the corner of her eye, and we were overjoyed to have a little sign from her! Scientists would argue that she was just leaking fluid, but this was the one and only time we saw it happen, and it was beautiful – a moment I will never forget.
Since then, whether it is a hint of her smell, or a little reminder from her memory box, we love the little things that bring us closer to her. 

The other day we were walking around Target, buying stuff for the apartment when we came across the picture of Big Nut Brown Hare and Little Nut Brown Hair from the book! Not only that, but it was right next to some Starwars novels too! I immediately welled up and we gave each other the biggest hug as it was such a lovely sight to see!
A couple of days later we drove past the hotel we stayed at last where ahem…Rey was gifted to us in the most wonderful way (catch my drift!) and I said to Haydn, “Doesn’t it feel right that we are here in the place where our babies life began?!”And we agreed, it feels like we have come home – it feels like we have come home to her. 

“There is no footprint too small that it does not  leave an imprint on this world”

Floaty kisses for our girl xxxxxxxx

I Didn’t See This Coming…

Moving continent is exhausting but we’ve had some hysterical moments throughout.
We have not stopped! After getting the keys to our flat on Friday afternoon, we have done furniture shops, food shops, coffee stops, pulled in favours, fitted in a ddpyoga workout everyday and had a laugh all at the same time.

In amongst all of the madness, there was one episode, I just had to share with you, that we really didn’t foresee! 

We ordered this beautiful white bed frame in a lovely minimal style. We went all out and matched with draws and cabinets – I’ve never been so excited over furniture! Unpacking it felt great and we were both thinking “Finally! A bed set that matches”. In the seven years we’ve been together, we’ve never really thought about furniture aesthetics, until now! 
The bed should have taken 40 minutes to assemble. 
40…. 
hmmm…..

We unpacked it and saw there was a box entitled electrics… ah lovely… maybe some lights to surround the head board! That would look cool. 

(Keep in mind at this point, it was also labelled “reading light”).

After nearly 3 hours of assembling and calling in another friend to help, we finally had the finished article. Woohoo! But let’s just take a moment…

Well,

I love it because it’s fun, but let’s be honest, it really doesn’t look “wholesome”!

And I really wouldn’t have labelled it as a reading light – trust me, we have tried! No way can you read with them on! 


 “All kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive.”

New Continent, New Beginnings

“We are all stories, make sure yours is a good one”

Oh… we are! 
You know that feeling when you are in the right place at the right time? We are there.
We had confirmation for our apartment today and pick up the keys tomorrow. We have a hire car sorted, we have ordered the bedroom furniture and even spent last night testing mattresses. For those of you who may not know, this was our first ever mattress buying trip – it’s only taken us 7 years! 

Haydn starts his epic vocational job at the DDPYoga performance center this coming Monday, and I am tasked with sorting out the apartment whilst waiting for a work permit to appear. Due to the J-2 dependant visa restrictions, I have to wait 2/3 months before I’m cleared to work…

… Effectively I am being forced by the government into a state of homemaker-ness… and I’m not sure I’m wholly comfortable with it, but hey, I will be making the most I can out of it! 

I’m looking into adult classes, planning trips for us to go on, establishing friendships and more importantly using the time to rediscover myself – which after everything we have been through, is definitely required. 

And the best bit? I get to share our experiences adventures with you all!

Rey gave us this little light and we are running with it!
 Some ducklings and their mama spotted on the pond near our place a couple of days ago.

Nothing Scares Us Now

As I type, we are flying over the Atlantic, heading towards Atlanta GA. We are moving over to the big USA for 18 months for my husbands work and we are truly excited. I say excited because I’m not scared by this life changing experience in the slightest. In recent times we have faced fear – REAL FEAR, and been to hell and back. And after these experiences, NOTHING scares me now. 

If we were to have made this transition 10 years ago, I would have been bricking it, but a beautiful girl came into our lives for a short while and taught us to fear nothing. Our beautiful Rey has taught us to take up opportunities as they arise, to be bold, daring and to have a good time doing it. 

Everyday to us is a Rey Day and everything we do is in the honour of her memory. Although she may not be with us in physical form, we carry her with us in our hearts and minds, always. This is what gives us the strength to carry on and to make the most of life and this amazing planet we are blessed to live on. 

Adventures on a Rey of Light documents this new chapter in our lives, whilst reflecting on other interesting aspects of our lives that have lead Haydn and I to take this humongous step. We hope you enjoy reading! 

Love and hugs to you all

Laura and Haydn Walden xxx
Ps a little excerpt from Roald Dahls book, Flying Solo gave me inspiration for this blog: p.108
“Curiously enough, it did not frighten me. It did not even depress me. In a world where war was all around me and where I had ridden in dangerous little aeroplanes that roared and zoomed and crashed and caught fire, blindness, not to mention life itself was no longer too important. Survival was not something one struggled for anymore. I was already beginning to realise that the only way to conduct oneself in a situation where bombs and bullets whizzed past, was to accept the dangers and all the consequences as calmly as possible. Fretting and sweating about it all was not going to help”.