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Traci Brooks succeeds despite physical challenges
By BRANDON WALKER - Timmins Daily Press


Traci Brooks as a SUNshine Girl in May 2008. Photo by Alex Urosevic, Toronto Sun

Traci Brooks had bubble gum and batteries thrown at her by fans during a wrestling match in Mexico.

Although it sounds like a tough experience, the TNA Knockout wrestler wouldn't have it any other way.

She spoke to a group of students at École secondaire catholique Thériault Friday in Timmins about the love she has for the sport and some of the larger challenges she has faced.

While growing up in St. Marys, Ont., Brooks worked with her parents as a chicken and pig farmer.

She didn't know about the Erb's Palsy in her right arm, which affects the nerves, caused when she was born.

Her mother, a petite woman, gave birth to the 10-pound Tracy Brookshaw (her real name), although the doctor should have done a Caesarean section instead.

The birth yanked her arm tendons apart.

It wasn't until Brooks began to train as a wrestler that she realized something wasn't quite right. She can't lift her right hand higher than her head.

"I overcame a lot of things," she said. "To this day, I can't do a lot of free weights."

While training to become a professional wrestler, each day Brooks would walk out of the gym in tears, deciding she wouldn't return. Then, the next morning, she'd wake up and get ready to do it all again.

"You need to have the heart to keep going," Brooks said. "I used to think it was a one in a million chance but I made it.

"I'm proof it's possible to live your dreams."

Brooks, 33, started wrestling in her early 20s and is engaged to a wrestler. She has visited U. S. soldiers in Iraq, which she said was an eye-opener, and travelled halfway around the world to entertain countless fans.

There were several times before she made it when Brooks wanted to give up, her disability dragging her down.

But Brooks persevered.

"We all have flaws, it's up to you to get over them."

She'll be wrestling in the Big Star Entertainment Rupture! show Saturday at 6 p. m. at Thériault.

With her will be Kono from All-Japan Pro Wrestling, independent rookie sensation Holly Hilton and TNA alumni Petey Williams, among others.

Tickets are $20 for VIP seating and $15 for general admission and are available at The Book Bin, Nikki's Sports Gallery, Wicked Stuff in the Timmins Square, the Windsor Tavern and Inferno.

Proceeds will go to the Porcupine Big Brothers Big Sisters and to help Theriault Lutte pay for wrestling tournaments in the upcoming season.

RELATED LINKS

  • Traci Brooks story archive
  • BSE Pro website