I am Joe’s grinding teeth.
I am Joe’s white knuckles.
Monday through Friday, Boyd Sharpe goes to his desk job. He’s a nine to five-er. Now he sits at his desk with busted lips and a banged up face as co-workers walk by with confused glances.
One day Sharpe decided to create a real-life fight club in Halifax. No, it’s not as extreme as Chuck Palahnuick’s novel, but it has been made into a documentary series called Cubicle to the Cage.
The series follows 30 Maritime Joe’s as they learn mixed-martial arts and essentially get beaten to a pulp. Each new fighter trains for a full year before they enter a caged fight with a professional.
“I was almost 40 and I was probably clinically depressed at the time and didn’t even know it. I was in that mid-life settling down with kids funk,” said Sharpe.
All that changed one night after work. Sharpe got home, ate some supper and settled in front of the T.V. for the night. This was beginning to be his daily routine.
“I was watching UFC one night and I was doing the whole yelling at the T.V. thing, you know the ‘I could do better than that’ kind of stuff. Then I just really got to thinking, there’s no way I could be in a fight. These guys are half my age, I would just be destroyed,” said Sharpe.
Later in bed, Sharpe couldn’t shake the idea of a fight. He couldn’t shake the desire to feel something, to redefine his physical limits.
“I just knew I needed some kind of challenge,” said Sharpe. “I was always the smallest kid in school. I was always picked last for teams and had to work my butt off just be able to play at all. I started to think this would be my last chance to do something like this.”
Sharpe decided to film his adventure.
“I wanted to see if a normal person who has never even been in a fight could do this. As I started this more people got really into the idea and wanted to join me,” said Sharpe.
Sharpe held a one day audition for a few other people to fight with him. He expected about 30 people. He was amazed when 250 willing fighters showed up at his doors.
“There were people from all over the place and like me most of them had never been in a fight. There was accountants, nurses, dentists and all kinds of people who just wanted to see what they were capable of before life settled in,” said Sharpe.
Besides, how much can you really know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?
Eventually, there were only a handful of people to make it to the end of the program.
“When it came to actually hitting another person, a lot of people just couldn’t do it. It became a transformation of the mind and body,” said Sharpe. “ We’re all very passionate people who believe in living and not just existing.”
Cubicle to the Cage is not the human cockfighting which mixed-martial arts fans want to see. With all the cheeky elements of a reality T.V. show, it makes for an alternative to all those guilty pleasure shows which we all indulge in our times of boredom.
I am Joe’s rotting brain cells.
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