Jake “The Snake” Roberts woke up every morning praying it would be his last.
The former WWE superstar made famous for dropping opponents on their heads with his blistering DDT, had seen decades of drug and alcohol abuse take a toll on his body to the point where the once-mighty wrestler had given up hope of a better day or way of life.
“I was a person who was beat up, gave up, and didn’t want to live,” Roberts told ESPN Playbook. “I was so disgusted with myself. I had ballooned up to over 300 pounds and was doing drugs and alcohol every single day. First thing I did every day was get my dope and get my alcohol set up for the day. That’s what I was living for, and that’s the only thing I was living on.”
But then one of Roberts’ former wrestling protégés, Diamond Dallas Page, reached out, asking about his deteriorating health, while offering to help introduce “The Snake” to a new workout Page had developed called DDP Yoga, a program that combines the poses and flexibility of yoga with the muscle building ways of calisthenics.
“I can never thank the man enough,” Roberts said. “He started telling me about this yoga thing, and I was like bull—-. Yeah, right. But the bottom line was, I told him I’d do anything he said just to get him off the phone so I could get what I need. Next thing I know, he sent me a package, and I was like, ‘OK, I’ll try this crap,’ and it snuck up on me. Seven days later I had lost six pounds and that’s all I needed start believing that there were possibilities in my life again.
“I was ashamed of where I was living and how I looked. To go from the penthouse to the outhouse really sucks, but it’s where I was. Dallas came down to see me and he told me if I lost 25 pounds, he’d let me move into his house and we’d get serious about this. It was humiliating for him to show up and see where I was living and what I had become, but there was just enough pride left that I got angry, and that’s exactly what I needed. I needed to get angry to get me off my ass. I am so grateful for that moment. The first time I tried his workout, I lasted about two minutes before I was winded. I was stuck in a chair before this. I couldn’t open up my hands before, they were like claws, and my toes were the same thing, but now I can straighten all that stuff out. Through DDP Yoga, I got my hands working, I got my feet working, and I got my mind working and my heart pumping. I’m in the best shape of my life, even if I still have a long way to go.
“If it wasn’t for DDP, if I wouldn’t be dead right now, I’d be asking to die.”
DDP Talks DDP YOGA, Recovery And Progress For Jake Roberts, Scott Hall, More Read more: http://www.WrestlingInc.com/wi/news/2013/0328/561544/ddp-talks-ddp-yoga/#ixzz2Otc1JY4T
On DDP Yoga gaining the popularity it has: “I expected it to gain the popularity it has only because it’s changing lives on a different level. In the beginning, it could have been any weight loss program that really had nothing to do with weight loss. I never developed this program for weight loss. I developed it to heal my body. And anybody who’s listening, obviously wrestling fans who are listening your show, a lot of them may have heard but the bottom line is that I didn’t start wrestling until I was 35. My career did not take off until I was 40 and that was in 1996. The beginning of the Monday Night Wars which is probably the greatest time in professional wrestling as far as the fans are concerned because it had the WCW directly competing against the WWF which is pretty fascinating at the time. And when that happened in 1996 and wrestling blew up huge, well I was lucky that I put in 5 years of working my ass off you know. And it all paid off. Because when wrestling blew up, so did my career. And ’97-’98 it was on top of the world. And then I blew out my back. I blew it out so badly. It was my L4 and L5. I had ruptured those discs between my vertebrae and three specialists told me my career was over. And I had just signed a multi-million dollar three year deal and they’re telling me I’m done. It’s pretty disheartening. But I was actually pulled back in. I was married at the time. Kimberly was trying to get me to do yoga to heal my body and my mind. So, it was like yoga? No way I’m not doing that. So I get when people go “DDP’s doing yoga? What?” I get that. It came out of necessity and I ended up after about three weeks feeling a significant difference. So I started believing in it and I started adding it to my rehab I already started doing and mixing them together.
Few people believed in Diamond Dallas Page when, at the age of 35, the nightclub owner-turned-pro wrestling manager decided to try his hand in the ring.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts, at that time one of the biggest names in the business, was one of the believers.
Insiders considered Page too old to begin a career as an in-ring performer. But Roberts ignored the skeptics and trained the New Jersey native. Within 10 years DDP (short for Diamond Dallas Page) was a three-time WCW world heavyweight champion and living his dream.