Written by Sara Maginn Pacella
Photography by Shooting by the Indies
From Cyndi Lauper as an early advocate in the 1980’s, to the celebration of the birth of women’s wrestling in popular culture through shows like Netflix series GLOW—all about The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling—the roles of women in fierce, competitive sports are growing. While the pioneer years of women in sports once reserved for men have mostly passed, women like Jody Threat are pushing boundaries and inspiring others to literally tackle athletic feats once thought of as inappropriate for ‘the fairer sex.’
Although she’s relatively new to the ring, Jody routinely takes on both male and female opponents with her furious talent and dedication. Watching Jody grappling inside the ring and greeting fans outside of it, one can easily tell that she takes her job as a wrestler and role model seriously. Her charm and ability make her a wonderful ambassador for women in the high-impact sports community. Just ask my seven-year-old daughter, who saw her first match featuring Jody earlier this spring, and now has Jody’s autograph proudly displayed on her bedroom wall.
I in turn was fortunate enough to ask Jody a few questions.
What drew you to the world of wrestling?
I am not a lifelong fan like most and didn’t grow up watching wrestling. About two and a half years ago on a Friday night in downtown Toronto, I walked into a random independent wrestling show and it was love at first sight. I think it was the energy from the ring that sparked my passion, and now it’s my life. What has kept me so dedicated is the fact that wrestling is something that keeps challenging a person, regardless of how long someone has been around. It challenges you physically, mentally, and creatively.
Professional wrestling involves a lot of travel for matches, but there is still this strong sense of community, no matter where an event is held. Why do you think that is?
Within the wrestling community in general, fans included, it has to do with a shared love for a niche passion. We understand the history, context, nuances, the jargon, and things an outsider wouldn’t understand.
In the locker room, it takes a certain type of person to purposely beat their body up the way we do. We deal with a lot of things and situations that the average person would never encounter nor understand. I think it’s because we understand each other, we are there [and] have been there ourselves, we get it. So we can connect. A lot of times, [regardless of where we are,] we’ve crossed paths in a locker room with at least one person we can relate to, or at least [someone we share a mutual friend with]. There are always stories to be told, too, that help bring us together.
Professional athletes are often turned to as assumed role models. How do you feel about this, and the young people watching you in the ring?
Most of my life I’ve been in a “role model” position. I’m the eldest sibling in my family and I’ve worked with kids and youth for 15 years of my life. It’s very normal to me. I understand the responsibility that comes with the privilege.
How do you train? How often do you practice? What does a typical work day look like for you?
There is no typical workday. It is never the same and varies wildly. The only consistency is when I am home; my dog and I share a morning walk to our local coffee shop.
In the gym, I lift heavy plus add in some functional circuits and in-ring training. My training is all over the place at the moment, as I’m coming off being very sick for the last month. When I am disciplined and healthy, I am in the gym four to six times a week, in the ring one or two times, and I hit hot yoga weekly. In addition to that, I have an average of two to three matches a week.
What changes have you seen in the wrestling world since you joined it?
I’m very new to wrestling, been wrestling matches for about a year and a half. In that short time, I have noticed that there is an increase in meaningful opportunities for women.
Who are some of your wrestling role models? Why?
LuFisto (https://www.lufisto.com/), because of the battles this woman has fought and survived to help bring women’s wrestling and inter-gender wrestling to where it is now. I have so much love and respect for her. My other is Josh Alexander (https://impactwrestling.com/talent-roster/josh-alexander/) for his inspiring drive and perseverance.
Who are some of your favourite opponents? Why?
LuFisto: She’s just so cool and has done so much for women’s wrestling. Overall she is just so fun to wrestle.
Alexia Nicole: We have great chemistry and I really love our dynamic and how our styles mesh.
Holden Albright: He feels no hesitation about kicking my ass and will push me to my limits.
You care a lot about dogs. Can you tell me about some of your favourite charities that help out animals in need?
I am a big supporter of animal adoption and believe we should at the very least be considering adopting before shopping.
TEAM Dog Rescue (http://teamdogrescue.ca/) is my favorite animal charity. They are a registered Canadian charity that provides safe havens for dogs while they wait for their forever home. I have two friends who foster for them all the time, and I have seen first-hand the amazing work they do. I try to support them financially whenever I can, as I am far too busy to be able to foster myself.
To follow Jody’s story online...