Indy Wrestler Fiji Widman, a.k.a. Andrew Meade of Lancaster, Kentucky, is a man who would make a Theory of Knowledge teacher squeal with enthusiasm in a discussion about Sensory Perception. The 27-year-old, independent wrestler grew up with only 12% of his hearing, but it doesn’t get in his way. He only needs the brotherhood of the gym to keep on wrestling 2-3 times a month. In fact, he is more concerned about other people being worried about his deafness.
Raised as an only child in a small household, Meade lost his hearing after a high fever when he was 2 years old. And when he was 3, he dreamed of being a tag-team duo with his Uncle Curt, what with having become interested in wrestling after watching WWE matches with his uncle. His childhood passion for it was almost comical.
After growing up and involving himself in other sports, his Meade’s wrestling dreams had all but faded away. That is, until his uncle died in 2008 from cancer, thus sparking a realization of his love for wrestling. It was an attendance at a WWE event in 2011 when Meade received a flyer for a professional wrestling ring in Downtown Indianapolis, and later took up training at the Wild Championship Wrestling Outlaws gym, where he first found brotherhood.
Now living in Kentucky with his wife, Ashley, and a 5 year-old daughter by the name of Riley, he makes the 3-hour journey to Downtown Indianapolis every other Friday to wrestle his heart out. It isn’t just for a love of the sport and the brotherhood that makes him come back time and time again, it’s also the fans. He loves being onstage, to quote:
“I’m not in the dark. I’m not behind the curtains. I’m not behind someone else. I am upfront, doing a show,” he said in reference to his greatest inspiration. “Everybody is watching, cheering, dreaming.”
The wrestler also noticed that when he is wrestling, people are far from afraid of walking up to him and saying hi or getting their hands signed. But when he isn’t wrestling, he feels that there’s a fear of approaching him because of an uncertainty in how to interact with him. The lip-reader is willing to communicate through the likes of even paper and pen, all it really takes is a desire to connect with him.
On one final, heart-gushing note, Meade wants to be a reminder to people disabled in any way, shape, or form, a reminder that they can do anything they wish to accomplish with made-up minds.