Baldwinsville Marc Mero has made bad choices in his life.
For close to 10 years, though, he’s been trying to make up for lost time.
“Today I want to entertain you. I want to inspire you,” he said to members of the Baldwinsville freshman class. “When you leave school today I want you to think differently.”
Mero addressed students Friday, March 30, at Durgee Junior High School as part of his New York “I Believe” tour in which he tackled topics like bullying, substance abuse and suicide prevention and talked to the students about how he wrestled with each of those issues.
A former WWE and WCW Wrestling Champion, Mero was born and raised in Buffalo. At 8 years old, his parents divorced and he moved to the “poorest, most drug infested area of Buffalo,” he said.
Growing up on the West Side, Mero spent his time dreaming of the things he would become and began keeping a journal.
“I started writing down my dreams and goals at 10 years old. I hated living like this,” he said, pointing to a photo of a simple brick and mortar apartment building. “Happiness is the key to success and happiness is a choice.”
It wasn’t until Mero was living in Liverpool with his mom, playing hockey and football for Liverpool High School and with his entire life ahead of him, that he began making bad choices.
He competed and became the New York State Golden Glove boxing champion and began training to be a professional boxer.
But, two weeks before his first professional event, his nose was shattered and he required reconstructive surgery. He took a year off from boxing to heal.
One year turned into two. Two became four. Eventually 10 years had passed him by and he found himself surrounded with drugs, alcohol and friends who only brought him down.