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Join me December 27, 2023 to January 5, 2024 for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. This is the United States Champion. He became my personal savior. Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is set for one flaw. Introducing first, from Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos, the Russian Nightmare, Nikita Kolov. Now, the Devil's Nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. A special guest on the show today.
If you want to talk about overcoming adversity, then this is the story that you're going to want to listen to today. It's a pleasure to have with me on the show today, Bill Janosik. Did I say that right, Bill? Yes, sir.
You got it. Well, Bill, before I dive into your story, I'm curious of the pronunciation of the last name. What's the background on that? Well, it's funny because I have an ancestor that's Slovak. And that's where the name comes from.
But he was known as the Slovakian Robin Hood. So that was interesting. Okay. Well, that is interesting.
And so Slovakian background. Yes, sir. Well, that's fascinating. Bill, just for our listeners, you had reached out to me, you had emailed me, you reached out to me, and you were inquiring about launching your own podcast and seeing if I'd be interested in being on yours. And then I started, you sent me some of your story. And as I'm reading your story, I'm like, man, I need to have Bill on my radio show and on my podcast before I do his. And so let me just, for our listeners out there, just give you a little backdrop here on Bill, and then we'll take the conversation from there.
January 14, 2014. So it was January 14, 2014, when Bill's life was changed forever on his way to do a job interview involved in a horrible car accident. Not his fault, but as many accidents are not our fault. Sometimes we are at fault, but in this particular case, not.
He's driving on a highway, and Bill, you said the speed limit is 65. And just as you phrased it in your story, Divine Chance, you were t-boned by a trash truck, by a trash truck. And your car, you can give us more details on this, but I'm just visualizing your car became maybe like an accordion or something and just folded up on you.
But there's more to this story. You were severely injured, but no broken bones, no limb injuries or anything like that. But you had what was called an extremely severe TBI. And of course, I want a traumatic brain injury, which I actually am somewhat familiar with, and I'll share why I'm familiar with traumatic brain injury in just a moment. And your family was told that, I mean, it's just, life would be, you'd be at, I guess the way you phrased it in your story, at the very bottom of the rung, right?
That you wouldn't have much life. And doctors even told the family to begin planning for your funeral? Is that right? Absolutely, that's correct.
They did. Because you were in a coma for a little while too, right? Well, I guess for over a month you were in a coma? I was in a coma for 32 days, I believe to be exact. That's funny because the injuries themselves were not, it didn't appear to be life threatening. But what happened was the extremely severe TBI, and I also had what's called a D.A.I., a Diffused Actile Injury. And if you look at that, that is not good. That's probably the worst of the injuries that I've ever seen because they tell you 90 percent, hear that, 90 percent of the people that have a D.A.I. do not wake up.
They remain in a permanent vegetative state. And not only did I come out of that, I've come out of that with very, very few little issues. I mean, you can probably hear my speech a little bit, so that's one of my long-term adverse impacts that I can actually hold up and actually launch credibility to my story.
Right, so there's a little bit of like, right, you can hear, you might say a slight speech impediment. But, and I mentioned, I'm somewhat familiar, I actually, I played in a, for years, I played in a golf tournament for the Brain Injury Foundation in Charlotte, North Carolina. And Martin Foyle, he had actually had a child that had had a brain injury. That's what inspired him to have this golf tournament. And in fact, it was called the Davey Allison, the NASCAR, right?
The Davey Allison, yeah, the Davey Allison tournament. And they eventually developed this, it was called Heinz Feet Farm for people with brain injuries. It was like a permanent living facility in Huntersville, North Carolina, Heinz Feet Farm.
And it came from a scripture in the Old Testament of Heinz Feet. And, but I say all that, so I actually got to meet a guy named Gary Busey. I don't know if you're familiar with that name or not, Bill. Yeah, I know Gary, yeah, I know all of them. Yeah, and because Gary actually had suffered, he was riding, you know, he's an actor, for those who don't know, or maybe aren't making the connection to the name, Gary Busey. But he was an actor, very successful actor, riding a motorcycle, riding a motorcycle without a helmet. And had had a wreck that left him with a brain injury, of which he recovered quite a bit from as well. And so I had the opportunity, the pleasure of meeting Gary. And he was actually one of the hosts, became one of the hosts of that golf tournament for the Brain Injury Foundation.
Excellent. Yeah, I've got to spend quite a bit of time with Gary and get to know him a little bit and learn more about the brain injury. Bill, let me ask you, let me go back to the accident itself here. You're on a highway, 65 miles an hour, you get t-boned by this trash truck.
And you said it never hit its brakes. Give us a little, give us a little back story on how, what happened. Well, that day, I don't remember at all, which is probably a blessing. And that can make me be what I am now, mostly a driver. So I can handle driving folks from location to location with their problems. And I believe that it's really because of the fact I don't remember that day, of that experience. But I do, I have looked at a lot of first responder reports and they tell me what happened is, you know, a three, one of those three foot Herbie style trash cans you keep outside of your home.
Yes. You drag up on the street once a week. One of those came out of a truck in front of me and I swore to miss it, which I did, but I had to run off the road to do that. And when I came back on the road, I got t-boned by that trash truck.
And that was ugly to say the least. So, okay, so one of those buckets comes flying off the truck. You swerve to avoid the bucket.
Boy, the illustration here is no promise of tomorrow and anything on any given day can happen, right? The unexpected can happen. And I actually, because I do a lot of drive, I do a lot of interstate driving, I do a lot of travel on the road. And I'm behind a lot of these different types of, whether it's a garbage truck or dump truck or semi tractor trailer, you know, losing its tire. I mean, there's so many different things that we need to pay attention to when we're on the highway.
And so you swerve, you avoid the trash bin, but then the truck t-bones you and I'm guessing it just all happens in an instant, right? It had to happen really quick. I mean, for me to actually live through that alone was a miracle by itself.
Because if you can see my car, which I will send you pics of it so you can post them if you want to so people can see a little bit of what I went through. It was devastating. It was beyond any kind of a question as to whether or not they could be fixed. There's no doubt.
There's no fixing that. Well, yeah, I'm just envisioning my mind's eye, you swerving to miss and going off the road, back on the road in and of itself, right, is probably a miracle in and of itself. So doctors tell the family to begin planning funeral arrangements. You're in this coma for 32 days. It doesn't look like you're going to make it. But then you begin to recover. I know you said in the story you sent me, you said Christ had other plans.
Jesus had other plans for you. And you began to work and scratch and claw your way back to where you're at today. As you mentioned, your speech is 95 percent back. So your ability to walk and all of that, how about your physical body?
So we know about the brain injury. In your speech, what about your physical body? My physical body, I'm in the best physical shape that I've ever been in in my life. So I've been able to rebound from that very well. In fact, I was a personal trainer before this happened, so I kind of was preset with what I needed to do to better myself when the time came.
I just didn't know I needed that information like I did when I did. So I've been able to get myself back in a pretty good shape. I mean, in the accident, I think I broke a couple ribs. I did do that, but that's it. That's the one thing.
Pretty amazing. And you said you didn't just survive, but the good Lord in your view, and I don't want to put words in your mouth, but in your view, spared your life. And you didn't just survive, but you were saved for a bigger plan, a much bigger plan.
Absolutely, 100 percent. I feel like I didn't just happen to live through that and kind of work my way back. I've been saved, and I feel like I've been given a mission to help others realize Christ is there, and He is your best friend. Whether you believe it or not, He's there to help lift you up and get you through whatever you need to face. Well, you are a story of overcoming. That is for sure. Anyone listening to your story today and or will listen to this interview in the future, you might say the poster child for overcoming something that was not only life-threatening, but could have been life-ending.
And God did have a different plan for you. I believe that, too. And here you are, and so I know part of your motive, even in having a desire to start, as we mentioned, start your own podcast, or you say you feel your job now in life is just to show others just how amazing our Lord and Savior really is, right?
You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. Nikita Koloff here, and I am excited. Did you hear the huge announcement, the big announcement?
Well, maybe it's a minor announcement. Anyway, Facebook, go look up my new fan page, Nikita Koloff Fans, and like it and follow today. If you would like to support Koloff for Christ Ministries, for a gift of $25, Nikita will send you his two CDs, Adoration and Declaration. For a gift of $50, Nikita will include his book Wrestling with Success. And for a gift of $100 or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption.
Go to www.koloff.net and donate today. We want to thank everyone together and inspire others to be able to realize and recognize what our Lord and Savior can do for us. Russ, so no matter what the challenge, right?
I mean, you may not be involved in a tragic car accident, you know, it may be some other type of injury, or it may not be physical, right? It may be mental, or you're just struggling spiritually, and so you've developed this Facebook website, Conquerers for Christ, that's the name of it? Conquerers through Christ, yes sir. Conquerers through Christ.
Absolutely. And so, definitely want to encourage everybody to, if you do the Facebook thing, please go check that out. And for what it's worth thinking, I also started a YouTube channel under the same name, it's Conquerers through Christ by TBI Guy, which is what I started forcing that name probably eight years ago, right after I got out of the hospital. Because I knew one day I would want to use that, and I've got so many people following that name now, and it's kind of odd.
People are looking for hope, people want to cling on to hope because they're going through, or I have a family member that's going through something very close to what I want to do, and I want to be able to provide them with that hope through that. Well, I like that, the TBI Guy, I like that. Of course, again, TBI is for Traumatic Brain Injury, the TBI Guy. And you know, Bill, your story reminds me a little bit, again, in overcoming a dear friend of mine, I call him my 3P, my Peak Performance Partner, of course I'm referring to, once known as the total package, Lex Luger. Lex and I now do Camp Together Man Camp, and we've done quite a lot of other ministry work together, we do autograph signings together, we do a lot together. But anyone who knows Lex's story of overcoming paralysis, paralyzed from the neck down in a hotel room in San Francisco several years ago, but how the Lord had other plans for Lex. And one of the scriptures, Bill, one of the scriptures that the Lord was encouraging Lex with, even in the moment of laying in a heap in paralysis on a hotel room floor was Proverbs 3, 5, and 6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don't lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. Your story kind of reminds me of that scripture as well, Bill. I'm blessed, man, undoubtedly I'm blessed. I have a scripture I like too, it's Romans 837, it says, But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. And that's a fact. You just have to accept that and realize that's the truth.
Well, you just prompted me, that just popped in my mind, yeah, we are more than conquerors in Christ or through Christ, and so fascinating, fascinating story. And so, Bill, where do you, where are we talking, like where do you call home, where do you live? I'm in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond, Virginia, which I'm very familiar with. The Richmond Coliseum comes to mind, I don't know if you ever, you venture your way down, did you ever, we hadn't really talked about, you know, whether or not you're a wrestling fan or not, were you or are you a wrestling fan at all?
Absolutely, absolutely. It's funny because my dad used to be a photographer for Bill After when I was born, when I was a kid, and I used to go to him with truth and I wouldn't hang out backstage while he took pictures. And then I re-established some of those contacts in my teen years.
So you'd go back and hang out with your dad pretty much, maybe a little bit later. Come on, yeah, shout out to Bill After, come on, who is still out there. Bill was instrumental, you know, I give a lot of people credit for my wrestling career, I mean obviously Ivan Kolov, Don Curnodle, Dusty Rhodes, Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, Ric Flair, The Nature Boy, and so many others. The Road Warriors, Animal and Hawk, Animal who made the phone call to introduce me really to the opportunity to be a nephew of Uncle Ivan Shatoata, right? And then of course Bill After, you know, he did an incredible layout, we were in Washington D.C. and he and I and Uncle Ivan and Crusher Cruzchef, Barry D'Arso, one of my high school football teammates, and we did this whole spread how the Russians were storming D.C., right?
And in the magazines, and really I credit Bill with a lot of the success of my career, you know, the magazine covers, I don't even know how many covers I ended up on, I know it was quite a few in my career, and many of them to Bill After's credit. And so pretty interesting, but yeah, the Richmond Coliseum, many matches there in the Richmond Coliseum. Bill, one that comes to mind just real quick is Jim Crockett Promotions, Jim Crockett Jr. had the idea of booking Ric Flair and I in a main event match for the World Heavyweight title in two towns on the same night.
Two towns on the same night. Yeah, talk about a stretch, Richmond, Virginia being one, and Baltimore, Maryland being the other town, and I'll never forget, he and I wrestled, and we had to wrestle before intermission there in Richmond in order to make it to Baltimore on time, which we still didn't make it to Baltimore on time. But all that said, and I know the fans were not happy about the world title match, the world championship match being on before intermission, but of course they didn't understand that we had to jump on a plane and fly to Baltimore and do it all over again the same night.
It's one of the reasons Baltimore is one of my favorite towns. We got in the ring, Bill, we got in the ring for real, we got in the ring in Baltimore at midnight. That's when Ric and I stepped into the ring. Now mind you, we'd already wrestled in Richmond for, I don't remember exactly, 30, 40, 50, probably 30 or 40 minutes, and then hightailed it to Baltimore. We stepped in the ring at midnight, and I'll never forget looking at the clock on either end of the building when that final bell rang, it was 1255 a.m. We wrestled for another 55 minutes in Baltimore that night, and those fans in Baltimore, I don't know if they ever sat down in their seat. They were on their feet, and they had been there since 8 o'clock.
The show in Baltimore started at 8 o'clock. That is unbelievable. That shows, though, that you worked hard for these guys, for everyone.
They should be too happy for that. I say over and over and over again, I think of the most amazing on the planet, and that's not just tongue-in-cheek, I sincerely mean that, and I believe the most loyal on the planet. I go to all these autograph signings still, and people come from literally all over the world. And Bill, I am absolutely just flattered and humbled at the thought, all these years removed from in-ring wrestling, that someone still wants to come out and meet me and get my autograph just blows me away. It still does to this day.
Because you made a psychological impression on them at a very important time. Stick with us. Yes, sir, and I appreciate that. And so, Bill, let me ask you this. How are people going to, you mentioned the Facebook and the YouTube, okay, and Conquers Through Christ, right? Right, correct. Okay, so Conquers Through Christ, your Facebook presence and your YouTube presence, and now will that be the name of your podcast, or what's your podcast going to be called?
It is most likely going to be the same name. Okay. I might put a coin behind it, because I've come to the conclusion over the last probably 24 hours that I think we need to all have, I produce a couple videos a week to go on YouTube and to go on my website or my Facebook page, and one of those I call Faith Warrior Wednesday. Well, I believe a faith warrior mentality is something we should all have. So I believe maybe that's going to be a semicolon behind my Conquers, so faith warrior mentality, so people can really appreciate that when the time comes. Yeah, absolutely. Man, woman, and child can be a faith warrior.
Absolutely. You know, just an amazing story. I did watch one of your YouTube interviews that you had sent me, and I just want to encourage everyone out there listening, especially if you dial in. You know, someone, if you had, somehow you come across Bill's story or his channel, his YouTube channel or Facebook page, and eventually his podcast, and you're listening to Bill talk, and maybe you don't know the whole story, the backstory on overcoming this accident, which has led to, you know, somewhat, you know, the speech impediment.
Someone may not understand why you have the impediment until they know your whole story. That's why I wanted to have you on the Man Up show today. Bill, thank you for being with us today. Thank you, Nick. Thank you. Thank you. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support, and generous gifts.
May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to Kolob.net and donate today. Hi, Nikita Kolob. Be sure to check out the Man Up show now available on television, broadcast, and podcast. Go to MorningStarTV.com or the Truth Radio Network. Check out your local listings or better yet, download the Truth Network app today. Nikita Kolob here.
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We're going to do something special just for you. It is Father's Day weekend, so get registered today. You don't want to miss a champions summit. Why? Because it's time to man up. Go to NikitaKolob.com for more information or to sign up today.
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