Do you miss it?”
That’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the past few months, ever since I decided to dedicate my life to mixed martial arts.
People want to know if I ever miss my old life as wrestling personality CM Punk. They wonder if I ever think about the crowds chanting my name or the rush of jumping off the top rope during the main event. It’s a fair question with a simple answer.
The truth is I don’t miss being CM Punk as much as I used to miss being me.
For a long time, the demands of my schedule as a professional wrestler forced me to prioritize my job over everything else in my life. My family, my health and my own ambitions had to be placed on the backburner. I gave everything I had to the job. But my time as a professional wrestler didn’t just end — it reached a conclusion. I achieved everything I wanted to in that arena, even beyond what I ever dreamed was possible. I had thought about trying something else for a long time before I actually made the move to MMA. And now that I’ve done it, I know I’ll never look back.
My reasons for pursuing MMA were simple.
First off, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
More important, it makes me happy.
For a long time, I didn’t really consider those things. Instead, I focused strictly on what I knew I was good at, which was being a professional wrestler. But in order to pursue what I was meant to do, I knew it would mean starting from a blank canvas. I have a background in jiujitsu, but besides that, I had to learn everything else from scratch — which excited me. So ultimately, I decided to put aside what I was good at in order to pursue what I wanted to be great at.
I knew that if I was going to do this, I had to approach it with no ego and a positive outlook. It’s difficult to do both of those things when you’re trying learn something that’s really difficult.