Of all the people on the planet, there are very few who can claim the title of “World Champion”. There are even fewer who can claim that title three times over. Page Joseph Falkenburg, better known to his fans by his wrestling name, Diamond Dallas Page, is one of those select few. By age 42, he had succeeded in winning that crown as well as a slew of other titles, including United States Heavyweight Champion twice, World Tag Team Champion four times, and becoming the fourth WCW Triple Crown Champion. His success in the professional wrestling world makes him one of the all-time greatest entertainers in the industry.
Page, to his fans known affectionately by the moniker DDP, is no stranger to adversity. He always believed that he was destined to be an athlete and an entertainer. He grew up in New Jersey as a fan of professional wrestling, and knew as early as 8 years old that he wanted to be involved in the sport. His early career was plagued with setbacks caused by injuries and lack of proper training, as well as his advancing age. He became a rookie wrestler at the age of 35, over a decade older than the age at which most wrestlers begin their careers. In addition, he admits to his lifetime struggle with dyslexia in his autobiography, “Positively Page: the Diamond Dallas Page Journey”, published in 2001. Despite these obstacles and the discouraging remarks of those who told him that he was too old and should give up on his childhood dreams, Page pressed on and overcame the adversity before him. By believing in himself and giving it his full effort, he eventually realized his dreams and much, much more.
Since retiring from pro-wrestling, Diamond Dallas Page now keeps busy as a fitness instructor, and has developed an intensive “power yoga” workout dubbed “DDP Yoga”. He still makes the occasional wrestling appearance, most recently at the WCW Royal Rumble pay-per-view event on January 25, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, where he showed up as a surprise entrant to the competition. He has also picked up various roles acting in movies and tours the country as a motivational speaker.On June 25, 2014, Page paid a visit to a residential substance abuse treatment center in Southwest Michigan known as A Forever Recovery. The patients and staff there were treated to stories from his time as a wrestler as well as encouragement to emerge victorious over the addictions that they have come to the recovery facility to overcome. He related to the audience by telling them all about his own trials and tribulations that he had experienced in his rise to fame in the professional wrestling and entertainment industry. With the message of “Never give up!”, DDP talked about how he ignored those who doubted him and put hard work and dedication into realizing his dreams on a daily basis.
A Forever Recovery has a unique approach to the treatment of addiction. The rehabilitation program was designed to be adaptable to any person that comes to the recovery center seeking help with their substance abuse. The program directors understand that every person is different and that no two patients will respond in the same way to any particular modality of treatment. They have designed the recovery process to encompass many different individuals from all walks of life and all spiritual or secular backgrounds, rather than expecting every patient to conform to a single-view “cookie cutter” rehabilitation program. This open-ended, result-based addiction recovery center has helped thousands of people to regain control over lives that have been sent into the dangerous and, all too often, deadly downward spiral caused by drug abuse and alcoholism.
Diamond Dallas Page has had some experience in dealing with substance abuse as well. He has been instrumental in helping more than one colleague in the professional wrestling industry overcome their addictions. Another wrestler who came to speak at A Forever Recovery, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, says that he owes a debt of gratitude to DDP. Addressing the audience at the on August 17 at the 2014 Alumni Picnic at A Forever Recovery, Roberts spoke about his own struggle with drugs and how he got help to overcome his addiction. “I had completely given up,” he says. “I was just so bad physically that I couldn’t even get out of a chair. I was waiting to die. But my buddy Page reached out. It was the first positive thing that had happened to me in 10 years.”
A shining example of the success and happiness that comes from hard work, determination and perseverance, Diamond Dallas Page is a role model that everyone can look up to. Regardless of whether or not someone is a fan of the professional wrestling entertainment industry, DDP’s story of dedication to his goals and overcoming adversity is contagious, serving as a source of inspiration, encouragement and motivation in life and helping to push those around him to exceed the expectations of others and to realize their own full potential. In the ability to make the world around him a better place and to lift up the people in it, Diamond Dallas Page is a huge success.