By William Morassutti
The dislocated shoulder. The herniated disc in her back. The broken and missing knuckle. The torn ligament in her thumb. The thrice-fractured nose. The bone chip in her ankle. These are the things you don’t see when you look at Trish Stratus, and it’s your loss. Because if you only see the blonde bombshell, you’ll miss the most intriguing part of the story – a tale of relentless, almost militaristic will and determination masked by a pin-up girl facade.
It’s incorrect to think famous people are lucky; more often, it’s pure cause and effect. For instance, see how these dominoes fall: pre-med student becomes fitness model, becomes superstar WWE champion, becomes successful entertainer, entrepreneur and TV producer. A mantra of “preparedness meets opportunity” fuels the transformations, along with an unceasing drive to challenge herself. The injuries arrive like hidden blessings.
The bone chip in her ankle led to her first championship. While sidelined with the thumb injury, she found time to perform with Second City; the bad shoulder allowed her to host Canada’s Walk of Fame. And when physiotherapy didn’t help the chronic shoulder problems late in her WWE career, yoga did. Characteristically, “Stratusphere Yoga” emerged, a 5,200-square foot yoga studio. Stratus was hands-on with every aspect of construction and design, her vision emerging directly from her experience as a practitioner. Essentially, she produced the studio.
She’s also co-producer and host of a new travel show, “Stratusphere.” Not surprisingly, the show arose out of an injury. From her initial involvement with Second City and traveling with the producer of “Second City’s Next Comedy Legend”, the idea for the program took shape. As noted earlier, Stratus possesses an uncanny ability to turn ideas, and contusions, into reality. The concept was written up, the show pitched and sold by Suddenly SeeMore...Productions. In it, Stratus globe-trots in search of challenges that highlight local cultures – like paragliding in the Himalayas or sword fighting in southern India.
A dream job, really – and, as is typical, all emanating from a torn ligament in her thumb.
Once, during a WWE Hardcore match, someone hit her in the face with a trash can lid. And what resulted – a new series or business; a multi-million dollar contract or lawsuit?
No, Stratus says. Just a missing tooth.
Trish Stratus recently visited the TORO studio for an exclusive photo shoot with Franco Deleo and answered this Q&A.
Q: What is the quality you like most in a man?
A: Sense of humour.
Q:The quality you like most in a woman?
A: Sense of humour.
Q: What is your present state of mind?
Q: What is your greatest extravagance?
A: Food. I love food. And between my husband and I, when we go places the question is always, “What’s the food there?” And when we got married it was like, “What food would we want to eat here?” And it’s probably from all that dieting that I had to do. But as soon as I’m free to step away into the world of food, mmm, I love it!
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: My family.
Q: Who is the living person you most admire?
A: My mom - my mom is my soldier. I call her my soldier after the fight that she went through (with cancer). She made me into who I am today.
Q: On what occasion do you lie?
A: I never lie. Oops – I just did.
Q: What talent do you most wish you could have?
A: I wish that I could sing. I’ll never forget this one time – it was years ago, and unfortunately at a funeral – but a friend of my cousin sang, and it was amazing what I felt when she did. And I thought, “Wow – to be able to stir such emotion just by doing that is quite a gift.
Q: Other than your present occupation, what other occupation would you most like to try?
A: Probably a professional MMA fighter. Ever since I went to Thailand and took Muay Thai boxing I’ve been thinking, “Hmm. Wouldn’t I be good at this.”
Q: Do you watch the UFC?
A: Yes, I think it’s an awesome sport. And I think they are taking a few tips from the WWE to make it more entertaining as well, and that’s definitely the way they should go. And I’m enjoying it. And it’s the people who don’t actually watch it who say, “Oh, it’s so violent – why would you want to do that?” And people asked me the same thing recently after I got into Muay Thai boxing – they’d say, “But wouldn’t you be afraid of messing up your face?” And I reply, “Well, I’d be winning. So why would I mess up my face.”
Q: In what country other than this would you like to live?
A: Probably, Greece.
Q: My wife is Greek. She’s from Sparta.
A: So am I.
Q: You know – it makes sense that your family is Spartan.
A: I know. I’m a fighter! [laughs]
Q: Greatest fear?
A: I’m fearless, I have to say. I was bungee jumping in Bali and I had a motorbike and I was about to go off an edge, and my brain said, “What are you doing? There’s no road there and you’re revving a motorcycle.” And I thought, “Oh. Right.” But I look at it like, “If I’m supposed to go right now, then I’ll go.” And that’s it.
Q: That’s very Spartan too. Did you see the film 300?
A: Oh, I loved it.
Q: What trait do you deplore most in other people?
A: People who are just not genuine.
Q: What do you deplore most about yourself?
A: Well, I need closure around me. I need to make sure that everything is done before I focus on the next thing. Which is a good thing because it means you focus 100 per cent on something. But sometimes it means but the time I close up everything and get to the thing that finally needs to be looked at, it’s late. And I find myself at the very last moment possible.
Q: Who do you admire most – as far as people in similar careers to yourself.
A: Well, the woman would be Madonna – especially considering the age she’s at, and what she’s done with her career, and how she’s always kept them guessing, which is awesome.
Q: What would be your ideal media platform?
A: I think what I’m going to end up being is a producer in some capacity. I like behind-the-scenes. I like the steps that are involved. I’m very thorough in everything I do. I’m one of the producers on this show. WWE used to do “home videos” for their superstars every once in a while – and the home video for me was the very first time I ever produced. I wasn’t supposed to be producing, but I ended up being so hands-on that I wrote the outline and just everything. So I ended up getting a producing credit on that and it’s just how I do things...
Ultimately, what I like doing is being in touch with people and connecting with people and helping them make lifestyle choices – whether it’s through the fitness or whether it’s through travel, anything really. I love to just translate things to people to help enhance their life. Because, you know, you’ve got one life – and all these teeny little tweaks along the way can really enhance your life.
Q: What is your motto?
A: Preparedness meets opportunity.
Stratusphere, a new Travel + Escape original series
debuts Monday, September 1st at 9pm E.T./10pm P.T.
255 Bass Pro Mills Drive