March 27: Day 2 started early as I woke up at 1 in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I decided to drive to a nearby gas station for some snacks. On my way to the gas station, nature was calling but I thought nothing of it. I was heading to a gas station after all, and what kind of gas station doesn’t have restrooms. Well in this part of L.A, it turns out that most of them don’t. I drove to 4 different gas station before finally finding one that actually a restroom. Relieved and no longer hungry, I headed back to the 24 hour to try to get a little more sleep and a shower before training. Training on this day was more intense than the day before, as the coaches introduced a circuit training routine. The group of about 30 trainees was split and half went to the outside for circuit training, while the other half were in the ring for body weight workouts. The workout was meant for high intensity as the circuit consisted of 20 seconds at a station, then 5 to get to the next. Once the group outside finished, the two groups switched. Everybody went through the circuit twice, although someone had to go through it a third time because their phone went off during training the day before. This day is where the dynamic of the entire camp really began standing out. While this one person went through the circuit, every other trainee was either cheering them on or doing it with them. The major theme of the week was that we were all there to help push each other and ourselves beyond our limits and show that much lauded fighting spirit that drives Japanese pro wrestling (or プロレス for short). On this day, there were a few people who passed out, but got back up, collected themselves and got back to it. I played sports all throughout high school, and sometimes it took months to get the team together the way the trainees came together on the second day of knowing each other. The rest of the day was spent drilling more basics, such as the stuff Okada taught us the day before and a lot of running the ropes the way Shibata wanted us to. After training, I needed some more relaxation and more importantly a ton of beef. When asked a question about diet, Shibata-San had said, “Beef is power”, and I knew a place that had a lot of it. I drove to Santa Monica to a restaurant called Hiho Cheeseburger, located a few blocks from the iconic Santa Monica pier. Naturally, I missed one turn and ended up 30 minutes but only 4 miles out of the way because of traffic on the PCH, but I didn’t mind as it was a beautiful day and the views from the highway were jaw-dropping. Finally, I got to the parking lot next to the Santa Monica pier and walked over the highway I had caused so much destruction on in GTA V.
When I got to Hiho, I splurged and paid $20 for a burger, fries, and shake. As fantastic as Hiho is, this trip may be the last time I go there as I’m not a big burger guy, and McDonald’s will get the job done just the same as any higher scale restaurant. After enjoying my meal, I slowly headed back, soaking in my surroundings. If I had to pick a favorite area that I’ve ever been to, it would be this area of Santa Monica. The combination of the iconic pier, the architecture of the buildings, and the view of both the ocean and the mountains of Malibu, all come together to form an area that is one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been to. After I returned to the parking lot, I took in the picturesque sunset while taking a short stroll along both the beach and the pier itself. I headed back to my car, but the parking lot was a complete mess so I just watched part of Strong Style Evolved on my phone. After it cleared, I drove back to 24 hour and went to bed.
Part 3 Coming Soon