Gary Goodridge is a Combat Sports Pioneer
Gary Goodridge, 55, is a fellow resident of Barrie, Ontario. Revered throughout the combat sports world in his heyday, Gary’s done it all. It should be noted that Goodridge competed in kickboxing and MMA (mixed martial arts) on top of being a world champion arm wrestler. Additionally, Goodridge claimed gold as an amateur boxing champion (superheavyweight)!
Monikered “Big Daddy,” Goodridge is a gentle giant but a fearsome competitor. These days, Goodridge considers himself an ordinary, retired man. Nevertheless, the fight carries on for Goodridge. Brain injuries sustained from his fight days pose daily challenges Goodridge must overcome.
Subsequently, Goodridge was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Knowledge of CTE was limited during Goodridge’s career. Thankfully, Goodridge sought treatment after retiring. “Doctors could take care of the anger by giving me some sedatives to help me relax and cope,” Goodridge explained. Moreover, Goodridge battles memory loss but keeps his mind stimulated daily.
Becoming a Fighter
Goodridge shared what drew him to combat sports.
“Probably bullying. I got bullied and had a bully who lived up the road. You would either run or get beaten down.”
Finally, Goodridge had enough and began training. First, it was karate. Next, football entered Goodridge’s life. Furthermore, Goodridge began training boxing. Before long, life as a fighter blossomed.
Thoughts on Barrie and His Later Years
Goodridge has lived in Barrie since he was eight years old. When asked about the city, Goodridge stated, “Barrie is great. I like Barrie. Barrie’s my home.” On the other hand, Goodridge believes it’s time for a change.
“There is so much to see out in the world, and people tend to stay put in one place. Nobody likes to step out of the box. I’ve been fortunate to travel all over the world. I’ve accomplished a lot here, and I feel it’s now time to move on and spread my wings.”
Motivational Speaking and Mental Health Awareness
Currently, Goodridge spends his free time traveling to give motivational speeches. Particularly, Goodridge became an advocate for mental health awareness. Goodridge aims to use his platform to spread positivity across the globe.
As well as that, Goodridge touched on how he can make an impact on future generations. “I realize that I have a platform that people will listen to. My words carry weight because I talk from the heart.”
Moreover, Goodridge enjoys how helping others makes him feel. “I like what I’m saying and who it’s affecting. I jump at every opportunity to help,” Goodridge explained.
Best Memories From His Fight Days
Unquestionably, Goodridge is still sharp as ever. When asked about his fondest memory from his fight days, Goodridge recollected, “My best memory from those days is the camaraderie with the other guys that you’re with. You spend a lot of time together traveling and competing amongst one another.”
Additionally, Goodridge stated, “I believe that’s the biggest thing for athletes. When athletes finish playing, they miss that camaraderie.”
Present Day and Family
Life after the spotlight poses challenges, but Goodridge makes the most of each day on earth. Importantly, Goodridge’s family remains a priority. “I’m close with my family. I have five sisters, and we talk nearly every day,” Goodridge clarified.
“My family and I were always close. I mean, they all try to look after me from wherever they are in the world.”
Without a doubt, Gary Goodridge is a local sports icon. Goodridge paved the way for future generations – and other local athletes – to pursue athletic careers safer. Further, Goodridge continues to find a silver lining in whatever life throws his way and make the best of his situation. And that, my friends, is the true heart of a champion!