Monday, June 1, 2009

5 Questions With A Wrestler

First Lady of Fog City Wrestling from manolithtv on Vimeo.

I was recently introduced to Fog City Wrestling, a group that promotes women's wrestling. They turned me on to the video above interviewing one of their wrestlers, Nikki Tsugranes and got me in touch with Nikki so that I could ask a few questions of my own. I'll let her introduce herself:

I'm Nikki Tsugranes aka Nikki the New York Knockout. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and I moved out here (to California) in 2002 to train at Ultimate University wrestling school after I graduated from the NY institute of technology with a degree in Biology. I became a teacher in 2005, and am currently working towards my masters degree in education. And...I'm a firm believer that life is a journey, not a destination.

1. How long have you been involved in wrestling? Are there other sports that you have been a part of through your life?

In October it will be 7 years since I started training. I went to college on a basketball/softball scholarship, but since I started wrestling I've lost my passion for those sports. I also train in boxing, my first fight being at the end of this year.

2. What is your typical training routine? Is there a particular diet and exercise plan that you follow depending on whether you have a match coming up? What is the most difficult part of this routine?

I train in American wrestling around 2-3 days a week and lucha libre 1-2 days per week. I also go through my boxing training 3-4 days a week for at least an hour. Matches pop outta nowhere so you always have to be prepared. The most difficult part of my workout routines is getting there. After work I'm wiped every day but I have to consider my workouts like a second career.

3. What advice would you give to a young person about becoming involved in your sport? How young do you believe someone could become active in your sport?

I say have a back up plan in case of injury or burn-out. Finish college!! Be very open minded. Wrestling is sports entertainment!! It can also lead to stunt work and acting. Also, don't get into this business if you're not a hard worker and you don't know how to make fun of yourself. You totally need to be able to laugh at yourself. I believe there is no age limit as far as how young, but make sure before you get into wrestling you can give it your full attention. Once it gets in your blood, you won't be able to leave it.

4. Do you believe that athletes should be considered role models? Do you consider yourself a role model? Why or why not?

It depends on the athlete. Athletes can be phenomenal leaders or they can be rapists and drug users. I definitely consider myself a role model. I work hard, I don't take the easy way out, and I'm well rounded. I also make it a point to help people in the business along the way just as so many have helped me.

5. Are you able to concentrate on your sport 100% as far as being able to train and compete or must you have a "day job"? How realistic is it that you could make a living solely by wrestling?

I always told myself I'd never let my job get in the way of my dream. It's true to this day, but I do love my job. I'm a 7th grade science teacher in east LA and there is never a dull moment. I feel I can make a living not necessarily by wrestling but through wrestling. I've already shot two pilots for two different TV shows and I have a lot more to come, because of my wrestling ability. Anything is possible and I won't stop until the day it isn't fun anymore.

I'll be keeping tabs on Nikki's career developments and get out the information about boxing, acting, and anything else as I get it. I really appreciate the time she took to answer questions for me with such a busy schedule. Thanks and best of luck Nikki!


Lindsay said...

I love hearing stories about people who are doing what they truly want to do. Nikki sounds like she is very happy with her life and she sounds like a great role model. I like how she said life is a journey, not a destination. I agree.

Apryl DeLancey said...

She does sound like an excellent role model and I am quite fond of looking at the journey myself!