[INTERVIEW] Diamond Dallas Page: From The Ring To Wellbeing

Wrestling rose to new heights in popularity during the 90s. The ring made names like Stone Cold, The Rock, Goldberg, or Undertaker common household names. In the midst of this era came an unlikely superstar, a middle age wrestler that had been tending to his nightclub only a few years prior. Page Falkinburg, better known as Diamond Dallas Page, had an unlikely rise to fame.

"I was really an anomaly; that’s what people called me. An anomaly is something that is not supposed to happen but it did. It did because I worked my a** off; I was relentless. I have a movie coming out sometime in 2019 and the title is Relentless. It is my story about how it looked like my career had ended when I broke my back in 1999. My whole story is about hard work, dedication, and the relentless self of never giving up. Inside my Hall of Fame ring it says, 'Work Ethic Equals Dreams!'”

While his return to the ring was obviously a great feat to overcome, it was not the first physical ailment that Page encountered. Early in his childhood Page had to face several surgeries after being struck by a car. His childhood dreams of being a sports superstar were crushed after doctors delivered the news that he would no longer be able to play football or hockey. Instead of accepting the finality of his athletic future, he took the opportunity to overcome the odds and lay the foundation for his future career.

"I couldn’t play football or hockey after the car incident because in 1968 there was no such thing as rehab. They would let me play basketball or baseball but I sucked at both sports. Baseball is a great game but you at least had to have another guy to throw the ball, but it basketball you don’t. You can dribble and shoot around by yourself. That is really how I got started. In 7th grade I didn’t make the team and in 8th grade I sat the bench; I had never sat on the bench at any age. I knew that the only way I was going to get off that bench was to work harder that everybody and that was the beginning of my work ethic. I played five hours a day, everyday. I took that same relentless work ethic and worked that into my nightclub career, wrestling career, and DDP YOGA career."

Page’s work ethic proved to be more powerful than his physical limitations. He went against the odds and found himself as the triumphant underdog facing wrestling’s biggest names. While he was involved in many memorable matches, DDP’s reflects on what was probably the pinnacle of his career.

"I would have to say it was the whole feud in 1997 with Macho Man. That was actually the feud of the year according to Pro Wrestling Illustrated, beating out Stone Cold and Brett Heart… The first time that Randy took then 'Diamond Cutter' on Pay Per View it really skyrocketed my career to the upper atmosphere after that. It was a dream come true."

Since his time as the Heavyweight Champion, Page has found his calling in other areas. Instead of punishing people in the ring, he is now helping them. He has helped peers overcome alcoholism, drug addiction, and even drastically lose weight. When you think of behemoth wrestlers yoga does not normally come to mind. It seems that DDP has yet again become a bit of an anomaly, as that is now where you can find most of his focus.

"I was the guy who wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga the first 42 years of my life. I started wrestling when I was 35 and my career took off when I was 40. The day after I beat Savage, I turned 41. When your career blows up then, you try everything you can to hold back the hands of time. I didn’t understand yoga and wouldn’t be caught dead doing it. That changed when I blew my back out and they told me that I was done after signing a multimillion-dollar deal. At that point I decided to try anything. That’s where yoga came into my life and I was blown away by how much it helped me."

Now Page is a bit of an expert on the subject. In fact, he has created his own yoga program and business that has taken off. How does someone transition from being such an ardent opponent of the exercises to devoting his entire time to it?

"It just sort of happened, nothing planned. I created the whole DDP YOGA thing to help me. I didn’t do it for anyone else but when people saw that it healed me so many others jumped on board. Then I saw some of these super athletes like Chis Jericho, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Adam Cole, and Drew McIntyre using it. They are all DDP YOGA advocates, and they are doing it because they know that it is going to help them continue to live their dream. It hasn’t been contained to just them though. Regular people who live in pain like cops, firemen, and disabled military have all testified about using it... People die because our bodies become too inflamed. That inflammation comes from the food we put into our bodies and the abuse. Most people don’t pay attention to it until they are told that they are going to die. Well, then they become pretty d*mn attentive."

Since creating DDP YOGA he has searched for other ways to improve people’s lives through the program. Talk to Page for a few minutes and you will find out that it is almost impossible to overlook his enthusiasm about the product. Keeping up with recent trends, he has recently released an app called DDP YOGA NOW. The new app is loaded with a plethora of workout options and even includes live workouts each week.

"DDP YOGA NOW is set up for anyone at any level. Our DDP Y rebuild program is geared for people who are unable to even get out of bed... Can’t get out of bed? Well I have three workouts. Each is 12 minutes and has the end goal of getting you out of bed. Can’t get out of a chair? I have six workouts where you are sitting in a chair… A lot of this portion is to help you cheat with the yoga until you don’t have to cheat anymore. There are beginner, intermediate, advanced, and even this psycho extreme workout. The app covers everything from working out in bed to the extreme."

For those avid workout seekers out there this may not seem that different from other exercise apps, but that is just a small portion of what it entails. You can take progress pictures, track your progress, watch DDP TV sessions, and even find a few healthy recipes.

"There are over 60 recipes, my own cooking shows geared to cooking healthy food… I make healthy food that tastes great. I don’t give a shi*t if it is healthy but doesn’t taste good. If it doesn’t taste good then I’m not eating it. I show you all the things that you can eat and what is so great about them. Every Monday there are 'Motivational Mondays'. I will get up there and try to help motivate you through the week. You need more? Well there are like 150 of them up there. Plus, of course, there is the live tracking. It can track your weight, measurement, pictures, pain, A1C, blood sugar, and other things. You get to see those numbers go down as your motivation and inspiration goes up. It literally has everything. All you have to do is put the work in."

Page, obviously excited about the workout app, did issue a warning for those that are thinking about doing DDP Y. He emphasized several times throughout our interview that the program is not a gimmick to gain some quick cash. He truly believes that he is sharing something that will change someone’s life, but only if they are bought into it.

"If you are not thinking about putting the work in then DON’T GET IT. I don’t need your money, but I do want to help you own your life. I just wrote a book called Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It. The book will be out in January; we are going to launch it at the royal rumble. It is all the art of owning your mindset. I talk about this throughout the workout, throughout the app, and in everything that I do. I always tell people that they don’t need to listen to a word I say about my program. When I was in the ring, and people started chanting DDP at a deafening level… That is really hard. You can’t make people do that. People have to be moved by the character, the person that is in that ring. They have to be moved to want to chant their name. Well, it is the same thing on the Internet. You have to be moved to write stuff."

You can check out some of the testimonies at ddpyoga.com, @realDDP on twitter, DiamondDallasPage, @DiamondDallasPage on Instagram, or find other avid supporters at the DDP YOGA group on Facebook. If you would like to see our full interview (with content like how the “Diamond Cutter” was created or how DDP feels about the infamous backstage brawl with Scott Steiner) you can find the full text script here.