Eric Irons: The Younger Years
To say I grew up normal is a fucking joke. I grew up with alcoholic parents who fought a lot. They got divorced when I was 5 years old. At age 7, my Mom got remarried to…..you guessed it, another alcoholic. To say my home life was unstable would be a fucking understatement. I loved my parents but hated what they stood for. My step father was a piece of shit who I learned to hate very quickly. Successful, intelligent but a complete dick. He used to do cruel and vile things to my Mom and my sister. My sister was his favorite target. At age 13, he would tell her she was a fat, ugly, stupid cunt who wouldn’t amount to anything. He was merciless to her. With me being the youngest, he would manipulate me constantly by taking me places and being nice to me. He needed an ally and the young one was his choice. I considered myself to be the glue of that house. I would wake up to my Mom and stepfather screaming at each other and usually throwing some punches. It was very hard to deal with. Needless to say, my behavior at school left a bit to be desired. I was diagnosed with ADD and as is with kids that suffer with this, I struggled in school. Not because I was dumb, but because I was bored. My favorite times of the day were recess and gym class where I could let of some pent up emotions. That’s where I excelled. I was always playing sports with kids in my neighborhood 3-4 years older because I would beat the hell out of my friends my age. This would be a common theme throughout the years. I became all about sports and physical activity. That’s the place I felt most comfortable. It was a sign of things to come.
The Tumultuous Teen Years
At age 10, my family moved from an area that was predominantly blue collar middle class to white collar middle class city that was much more affluent. It was less than 10 miles away from where I spent my first 10 years. It was also completely different. We were tougher kids where I came from. We dealt with our issues boy to boy. If we had a problem, it usually got solved physically. My new city, the kids were kind of soft. There was a group of kids who ran the entire elementary school. They were the “cool” kids. When I first moved there, I just didn’t understand that they were in control and made all the rules. Of course, the ignored the new kid, but I was embraced by the regular kids. I used to enjoy competing against the “in crowd” because they weren’t better than me and I certainly wasn’t afraid of these assholes. So after me going against them tooth and nail and never giving in, they decided I should be in their little clique. So being a dumb ass kid, I thought that sounded like a good plan. So for 2 years I hung out with these shitty people and treated people shitty as well. In 8th grade, I had a moment of clarity and suddenly hated who I had become. I decided to distance myself from them. Well, if you’re not with them, you’re against them in their eyes. So I made it my goal to make these fuckers miserable whenever I could. In high school, I had a reputation as someone not to fuck with. I had been boxing since I was young and could fight well. I actually got in about 50 fights between 7th and 8th grade. Needless to say, my reputation was that of a trouble maker. I really wasn’t, I was just an angry and frustrated kid due to my shitty home life. I would take shit at home off my drunk parents and than off load it on the first asshole dumb enough to piss me off at school. I remember liking that people feared me because it kept them away from me. Inside, I felt helpless, but not many knew that.
High School: Turning A New Leaf
I decided when I got to high school, I was done being a troubled kid. A lot had changed. I went from 5’4″ and 120 lbs in 8th grade to 5’9″ and 120 lbs. I looked different, and I felt different. I remember girls I knew walking down the hall and one said “Oh my God, is that Eric! He looks so different.” I was a skinny kid, literally wearing 26″ waist pants. I went from stocky to lanky. My face changed a ton too. I was no longer this freckle faced cute kid. My freckles disappeared and I started to look like a man. When I have attended class reunions, most people say I look exactly the same, just a little older. I vowed I was done with the fighting. My boxing coaches didn’t like me street fighting anyhow. So freshman year went pretty smoothly until the spring. I had an altercation with a guy I had gone to school with since 6th grade. We were friends and got along really well. Due to a mutual friend kind of fueling the fire, I was headed for my first fight. Paul, the guy who decided was going to kick my ass, made this all happen. I tried to apologize, to put an end to it. He wasn’t having it. He told everyone it would be a two hit fight; him hitting me and me hitting the ground. The whole school knew by mid day. My sister was a senior that year and even she said at lunch “I hear you’re gonna get your ass kicked after school?” I said “That seems to be the consensus.” So after school we walked out behind the tennis courts and fought. There must have been 500-700 people watching. I beat the absolute shit out of Paul. He looked like a complete asshole because he was bigger and stronger than me, talked a lot of shit, and got pounded. Now I had a new reputation as a kid not to fuck with…..again. Not exactly how I wanted it to go.
I Kind Of Like People Fearing Me
I liked having control in my life. Fear is a great form of control. I didn’t really care if people liked me, but they certainly weren’t going to disrespect me. I went through high school fighting a ton in and out of the ring. I was a pretty damn good boxer winning Golden Gloves my junior year of high school as a junior middleweight(156 lbs). I was also racking up impressive numbers in the street. I was undefeated in my fighting career. I figured at that point I was about 100 plus wins and 0 losses. I rarely got hit in the face in these fights. I took on all comers and would whip ass. It got to the point my senior year where I knew I needed to cut it out because me and my group of friends weren’t particularly well liked by the police either. My senior year, there was a huge brawl between our school and our cross town rival school. I knocked a kid out cold, flipped a cop on his head, and was arrested. I had to go to court and to this day I remember the judge telling me “You’re hanging with the wrong crowd heading down the wrong path.” That was right around the time I lost my first boxing match. A 3 round decision loss to a guy I should have beaten senseless. I wasn’t training properly; I was drinking beer on weekends with friends, and I realized I needed to quit fighting. So February of my senior year, I hung up the gloves. I needed something to do so I started lifting weights. I got big and strong at an astronomical rate. When I graduated high school 4 months later in June, I weighed 204 lbs and was benching 365 lbs. My arms were also 18″ and I had a 32″ waist. It was a sign of things to come in the next part of my life.
Eric Irons: The College Years and Beyond
When I arrived at college to play some football, I had lifted all through the summer hard and showed up at 217 lbs. The coaches who signed me at 180 lbs were in shock. They actually asked me if I did steroids. I remember thinking “What the hell are steroids?” Well, I found that out shortly when I ran my first cycle. Pretty soon I was benching 425 lbs and and getting pretty big at 230 plus pounds. I decided to try my hand at a bodybuilding show. I dieted 9 weeks and weighed in at 187 lbs. I lost a lot of muscle but I looked okay. There were 32 bodybuilders in the show and I placed 8th. They didn’t have weight classes which was weird but we are talking late 80’s NPC. The NPC was just taking over in bodybuilding at that point. I kept lifting and did 12 more shows. I won my weight in all of them and a few overalls as well. I was getting ready to do the Michigan for the first time in 1990 and I weighed 273 lbs. I just said fuck it, I quit. Just didn’t love it enough to keep on that path. So within 3 years I was down to 162 lbs. I was going to turn pro in boxing. All I did was a ton of calisthenics, a lot of road work and stepper, and trained in boxing and karate. I said screw boxing, why get hit in the head all over again. I decided I would compete again. And so the next chapter began….