An interview with the awesome Serena Deeb! :)

We are so excited to share with you today an interview with the wonderful Serena Deeb. For those of you who may not know who Serena is, she is a former professional wrestler, she has worked for every major wrestling company in the world including ROH, TNA, SMASH in Japan and of course the WWE, where she was a part of the Straight edge society alongside CM Punk.
We first started watching Serena when we moved to Louisville to train at Ohio Valley Wrestling, everyone would tell us to study her, as regardless of gender, she was one of the best. So study her we did and we soon found ourselves in awe of her style and wanted to be just like her! We loved everything about her character, the way she moved in the ring, her outfits, the way she acted, just everything, she quickly became our absolute favourite. Unfortunately, we never actually got to wrestle Serena, but she is the answer to all those "who would your dream match be against?" questions that we get asked. Never say never! ;) We have been lucky enough to meet Serena a few times, when she has made visits back to Louisville, and outside of the ring she is just as, if not even more, awesome. How is that possible? Read the interview below and you will see. :) We love her outlook on life and who she embodies as a person, she truly is beautiful both on the inside and out! We couldn't be more excited that we get to bring you this interview today and we hope you enjoy it!

Thank you so much to Serena for taking the time to answer these questions, we absolutely adored reading your answers and continue to be inspired by you!

1) You currently live in California, it is such an awesome place and one of the coolest cities, do you have a favourite hang out spot?

I absolutely love Venice. I have lived in and traveled to many places and I have never found a place that inspires me like Venice does. There is a culture of art, music, yoga, etc. that is so incredibly unique, diverse and fun. I always meet interesting characters when in Venice and I love hearing people’s stories and what brought them here. LA is a huge city but there is a collective weirdness in Venice that I believe connects people on a deeper level.


2) What/who got you into yoga?

My lovely friend, Angela Fong, gave me a Groupon for a hot yoga studio in Tampa. I’ll never forget my first class; dripping with sweat, couldn’t breathe, thinking, “What the hell is this?” I spoke to my teacher after class and he encouraged me to come back the following day…and I did. I went back for 30 days straight and completed my first 30-Day Challenge (I have since done several of these just to personally challenge myself). I was hooked on hot yoga, specifically the Bikram series, for several years. When I moved to Los Angeles, I began experimenting with other forms of yoga, excitedly traveling with my mat to different studios in the city. I really fell in love with Yin, which is a restorative practice that just softens and heals your entire body. I have since acquired a position as writer/editor with “LA Yoga Magazine” and it has allowed me to continue this exploration. I love yoga and I love writing; now I get to combine the two. I believe that initially I was physically drawn to yoga; it helped my body feel better after the abuse I did to it through pro wrestling. As my practice deepened, I began experiencing the mental benefits. I felt serene. Today, my most blissful moments are on my yoga mat. It is truly my passion and one that I will keep close to my life forever.


3) You have travelled the world as a professional wrestler and made many a trip to Japan. What do you enjoy most about Japanese culture?

There is a sense of respect and kindness there that is not found in many places anymore. I met this beautiful Japanese family once in Odaiba and spent hours at their family-owned waterfront café, conversing with them about their lives. They fed me dinner and as the sun went down and it became chilly, the mother rushed off and returned 10 minutes later with a beautiful handmade scarf as a gift to me to stay warm. I missed my train home and the mother drove me all the way back to my dojo. They were the kindest of people. I hope to be able to pay them a visit sometime in the future. This would be unheard of in many places, but in Japan it is quite normal. Kindness is the most beautiful part of our world.


4) What got you into wrestling and when did you decide you wanted to become a wrestler?

I grew up a huge tomboy, being the only girl in my neighborhood. I remember one summer spent at our neighborhood pool when the only topic of discussion was WWF. I had to find out why they were so obsessed, so I joined my friends to watch a pay-per-view. I was 12 years old. I was hooked instantly and I quickly became the most obsessed of all my friends. My mom still recounts when, at age 12, I told her I was going to be a pro wrestler when I grew up. I was pretty strictly a WWF girl and Chyna was my hero. Once I got a little bit older, I began researching wrestling schools and I decided on Ohio Valley Wrestling when I was only 16 years old. I moved to Louisville when I was 18. The rest is history.

5) Growing up a wrestling fan who was your favourite?

At the time I started watching, I was extremely obsessed with DX. Once I started going back and watching older wrestling, Mr. Perfect was my #1.

6) When you got into the wrestling business, who was your biggest influence?

Rip Rogers. I am forever indebted to Rip as a coach and a mentor. He taught me how to be a great wrestler and his teachings are timeless. I humbly consider him the best trainer in the entire industry.

&

Mickie James. Mickie was ‘Alexis Laree’ at OVW when I first met her. She was also a Virginia girl who wrestled better than most of the guys. I looked up to her so much and aspired to move in the ring just like she did. She started calling me her protégé and took me under her wing, helping me immensely during her time at OVW. Fast-forward to 2015 and I got to wrestle Mickie on TV in one of my last matches. It was a great example of things moving full circle and I am deeply grateful for that. Mickie never grew an ego and she always treated people well; that is what I most respect about her.

7) Through wrestling we learned a lot about ourselves both inside and outside the ring, what did wrestling teach you about life and yourself?

One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes reads: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Sure, I receive compliments about specific matches and moments across my career, but the most common thread of compliments I have been paid have been things such as, “You were so nice to me when I first started,” or “I had a tryout with WWE in 2010 and you made me feel very welcome.”  Those sentiments mean more to me than anything because I always felt an enormous desire to be kind to people, especially considering how cruel wrestling can be. I have never subscribed to hierarchy or certain individuals believing they are better than others. I maintain widespread kindness and will always do so in my life. My experiences with unkind people in wrestling actually caused me to become even more compassionate. I learned that darkness can be our greatest teacher. For me personally, no amount of millions of dollars could ever tempt me to do something awful to another human being. I truthfully realized that I did not fit into wrestling in many ways in these respects. I achieved my childhood dream due to hard work, while staying good to people in the process. And, you know…I can always be proud of who I see in the mirror because of this.



8) How did you celebrate your WrestleMania moment?

An unforgettable moment for me was before the fans came in and the arena was totally empty, I found a secret spot by myself between some curtains and I just looked around the arena as my heart pounded. I felt so much gratitude, and still do. I’ll never forget it.

9) We are huge bookworms and are always talking about books on the blog. What is your favourite book?

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

10) We love baking and are big foodies, what is your favourite sweet treat and do you have a must visit place in California for the best dessert?

I am a sucker for the chocolate/peanut butter combination. I think it’s fair to say that Reese’s cups have the lifetime #1 spot secured. Also, Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream. There are lots of great spots in LA but I am happiest hitting the grocery store for the aforementioned and lounging at home with my sweets ;-).

Dream big!

Lucy and Kelly xx

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