LAKE PLACID - Tim Lacey has been a fan of pro wrestling since he was young. And over the past two years, the Saranac Lake resident has enjoyed watching matches on television with his step-son Jeffrey LaVair.
Later this summer, Lacey hopes to be among the wrestlers being watched in the ring after he attends a two-week training camp in Queens at the FTW (Fight the World) World Wrestling Academy.
Lacey, who dubbed himself Tim "The Legend" Lacey on his Facebook page, never planned to become a pro wrestler. In fact, the 30-year-old has never been in the ring. But after posting some promotional videos on social media, he's caught the eye of the Fight The World Wrestling organization and has been invited to the camp, which will be held in July.
Saranac Lake’s Tim “The Legend” Lacey flexes on the porch stairs behind his home on Broadway in Saranac Lake. Notice the new Legend tattoo on his left arm.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Lacey's first video was meant just to entertain his son, but after he posted the footage about two months ago on YouTube, he said viewers were asking for more. Not only did Lacey begin producing more promo footage for the internet, he also began hosting a live internet broadcast called the Live Legend Show, accessible through his Facebook page.
In his most recent video produced earlier this month, Lacey even conjured up a scenario where he wrestled and then buried Sean "The Pug" Walsh, who is a host of the Angry Gorillas Radio show on Long Island that promotes professional wrestling and can be found at GorillaMark.com.
In the video, which runs a little more than three minutes, Lacey strolls through a hall at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid and up a set of stairs into the empty arena. With an admiring female fan at his side, Lacey pretends he is at Madison Square Garden promoting his fight with Walsh while warning his opponent what will happen if he takes on The Legend.
"About two months ago, this all started as a joke," Lacey said. "My son always asked me 'Why don't you wrestle daddy,' so I did a video pretending I was a wrestler. It went on YouTube, and before you know it, people wanted more. It was supposed to be a joke and it turned into reality.
"I already know how to entertain people, now it's time to find out what I can do in the ring," added Lacey, who also had a stint as a DJ at WNBZ radio years ago. "I have the talk down, now it's time to find out if I have it in me as a wrestler. Obviously, you have to be a showman as a wrestler, but you also have to be athletic."
At the FTW World Wrestling Academy, participants learn from current and former stars of the sport. It's website says, "From running the ropes, to basic bumps, ring psychology and the art of cutting a promo, FTW's trainers are dedicated to helping you achieve your dream."
In an effort to be prepared for his two-week session, Lacey has been working out as he "trains for the training camp." He said it will be an intense learning experience from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.
"I'll learn in two weeks what usually takes a year to grasp," Lacey said.
In the span of one year, Lacey said his weight has gone for 140 pounds to 190. In further efforts to promote his quest to wrestle, Lacey has also dubbed himself "The Beautiful Machine."
Lacey expects there to be 15 FTW hopefuls attending the training camp, and said he'll be the oldest person there after he turns 31 next month.
"I'm going to be the senior citizen of the group," Lacey said. "This is an opportunity for me to make some real money if I move on, but the clock is ticking."
Lacey said depending on how many fans wrestlers draw to events, they can earn up to $5,000 a month in the sport. Lacey said that amount of income could go a long way in helping raise six children, including three of his own and three more from his fiancee Heidi Collins.
Lacey said he's dedicated to this pursuit, and it's part of the process he's undertaken while turning his life around. Lacey admitted he found plenty of trouble during his younger days, which ultimately proved to be lessons learned.
"I was a kid back then, and as a kid, you sometimes do stupid things," Lacey said. "I've gotten into trouble, I've experienced jail and prison life, and that's something you don't want to get into.
"I'm 30 now, I'm an adult and I'm helping support six kids," he added. "I don't have time for trouble anymore. That's all behind me. I have a family to take care of."
In an effort to help defray costs for the training camp, Lacey has been selling T-shirts. He said business is good.
"My ultimate dream would be wrestling in the WWE," Lacey said. "There are a lot of big guys out there, but there are a lot of small guys too. It all depends on whether or not you can wrestle.
"I'm not going to sit around and wait. It takes a lot of guys five or six years to get there," he added. "I don't have that long. I have this opportunity now. After camp, I can say that I went and made it, or I tried and it didn't work out."
For more information, visit Tim Thelegend Lacey on facebook.com.