After learning of Superfly Jimmy Snuka’s death, I was inspired to read his autobiography to learn more about his life from his perspective. And boy did he live an interesting life, moving from the Fiji Islands to the Gilbert Islands & Marshall Islands in a very different childhood than I lived.
Here are some takeaways I took not just from his time wrestling in Hawaii, Portland, AWA, Dallas, the Carolinas, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Japan, WWF and ECW, but from other portions of his life that he spoke about in Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story.
Part of Snuka’s journey as explained in his book was overcoming his childhood trauma through other ventures like swimming in the ocean, playing baseball, working out and wrestling. He always gave 100% of his dedication to each of those ventures so he could succeed at them, whether it’s making it to pro baseball, winning bodybuilding competitions or having a hall-of-fame in-ring career.
A big portion of Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story spoke about his addiction to alcohol and drugs. It caused all sorts of chaos in his life including wrestling (skipping out on matches after his famous cage match with Don Muraco) and his marriage. I don’t do any of that and this book was a reminder to never let myself go off the rails.
One of the things I never knew about the Superfly was that he did not know how to read or write English. This had an adverse effect on many aspects of his life, specifically his career and finances. It was really impressive how he was able to adapt to life in the US while being illiterate in our primary language.
Other lessons learned include:
- The dynamic of his marriage failing and being a stepparent
- The 1 celebrity and 1 character he truly took inspiration from
- Knowing when to do something based on an aha moment, such as taking time off for injury
- Knowing how to extract the good from the bad times