Friday, October 24, 2008

TNA wrestler talks about her disability

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

As a wrestler, Traci Brooks definitely has the looks.

She will be part of the program Thursday when TNA Wrestling's ''TNA iMPACT'' leaves its home in Orlando, Fla., for a live show in Las Vegas.

Even in high definition (which the show will be for the first time at 8 p.m. on Spike TV), viewers might have trouble realizing Brooks lacks muscle definition in her right arm.

Quick Hits had the chance to chat with her backstage at the recent ''Bound for Glory IV'' show in Hoffman Estates and was surprised to find out as an infant Brooks had Erb's palsy, which affects the nerves in the arm.

''My mom exercised my arm every day till I was 2 and I was also in a sling that was attached over my head in my buggy,'' she said. ''I was one out of six kids with this condition at the time, and the only one to benefit in a positive manner due to mom's persistence, dedication and the fact that she exercised me every day.''

Brooks plays sports left-handed and writes right-handed.

''I've been wrestling for nine years now, and if you are wondering, yes, it does affect me in the ring, both physically and mentally.

''We are in a very cosmetic business in which the focus is on looks, body and physicality. For someone such as myself, that is portrayed as a superstar, this is difficult. In my mind, I am just a girl with a disability and not perfect like we are perceived.

''Just like everyone else, I have overcome many obstacles in my life and career. This was my most challenging. However, I am now a pro wrestler living my dream.''

Not bad for someone who cannot throw a right-handed punch or perform some other wrestling moves.

''I worked around these obstacles and now do things a bit unconventionally, yet still effectively. To this day I think about how lucky I am.''