What You Can Learn from Edge
By Kevin Kelly
College grads sit in chairs, wearing their cap and gowns, dreaming of what may come. Most start off strongly chasing those dreams, but over time, obstacles get in the way of their goals and those still pursuing the dreams they held begins to dwindle. This smaller group continues, but over time, fewer and fewer are able to continue the journey. Finally, a select few make it closer to the home stretch but even some of them fall by the wayside before crossing the finish line.
How many of us grow up dreaming of what we want to do and actually do it? Did you dream it AND do it? Did you wish and hope, piss and mope or keep climbing the rope?
How many of us who do what we dreamed of as kids went as far as we could go? Did you reach your full potential?
If you dreamed big and wound up making it happen, consider yourself lucky. Most dreams get dashed on the rocks… the bigger the dreams, the bigger the potential for coming up short. Did you navigate the dangers to make it to safe harbor?
Edge had to step away from the ring because of injury… wear and tear from a long, successful, grueling wrestling career.
But Edge is in rarified air neither for his umpteen title reigns nor his long WWE run. What makes the guy unique is that he dreamed of being a champion pro wrestler when he was a kid, worked to accomplish the goal and then maintained a level of performance over the long haul to keep living his dream.
No matter the line of work you are in or hope to be in… if you dream it, you can do it but so few get there. Many make excuses along the way and I’m not talking wrestling here. Set goals, achieve the goals and then make new goals.
Adam Copeland dreamed big AND did it. With a lasting legacy for consistent hard work and resilience, he lived up to AND exceeded expectations. Forever known as Edge, he brought his own dreams to life, balancing the right mix of luck, opportunity and passion to carve out a future Hall of Fame career.
I first met him when he came to Stamford for a week’s worth of workouts with Dory Funk Jr. and Dr. Tom Prichard. Edge, Christian and Val Venis were three anonymous wrestlers who were given memorable gimmicks and took off with them. Val went as far as he could with what he was given but Edge and Christian avoided the typecast and blew up.
Then, Christian went as far as he could but Edge continued to go. While Christian was better in the ring (perhaps one of the smoothest I’ve ever seen), Edge avoided glass ceilings, political pitfalls and career quicksand to compile one helluva resume. Was he ever the best? If longevity and consistency are the measuring devices, then he’s in the conversation.
A lot of guys get over and get comfortable. They stop growing. X-Pac and Brian Christopher were two guys who fell into that trap. Edge kept it simple but always presented a different energy to different roles. How difficult it must be to keep it fresh each week?
Many of Edge’s peers relied on convenient excuses to fall short of their goals. Child-proof caps on top of orange plastic bottles were never too challenging for the man-children who frequently open them and abuse the contents within. Pills provide escape but cause dreams to fall apart for the over-users. Edge did not cause his own failure and stayed in control of his career path.
How did Edge stay on the right side of the political power within the WWE? Smart enough to know when to speak up, smart enough to know when to keep his head down, always could go in the ring. He was a quiet ally. If this was “Survivor”, he’d win.
As a kid, Adam Copeland dreamed of making it big in wrestling one day.
Now that he’s done it, whatever Adam Copeland dreams of doing next, my money says he’ll accomplish that as well.
Adam Copeland is a winner, not for the wrestling titles he won but for the goals he set and accomplished all while continuing to dream, grow and improve all the way to the finish line.