JBL Discusses Interest In Returning To Announcing, What Sparked It, RAW 1000, Blanchard, More

WrestlingINC: With the Seven Summits idea, is that something you've been thinking about for a while?

Layfield: Yeah, it's something I had been thinking about for a long time. I always wanted to try Mt. Everest since I was a kid. I never thought I would be able to do anything like that. My back was so bad when I retired. My back has gotten better, I'm now able to train a lot, enough to do these mountains hopefully. You never know about a mountain like Everest. There are a lot of great climbers who don't make it. So, it's not just about being in shape.

I ran into Anabella Bond, who was the fastest woman to climb the Seven Summits, and she raised something a couple million dollars for a charity. I think that's right. So, it occurred to me that this was a great way to raise money for my kid's programs here. Also, it gives an example to our kids. We try to tell our kids that you can do anything you want in life but you have to work hard at it and you have to be able to plan smart. I'm kind of doing a lot to lead by example here with our kids. Their following me on the different things I'm doing. So, hopefully it's a big deal to them and hopefully, I raise a lot of money for them.

WrestlingINC: Yeah. You started in June with climbing Mt. Elbrus and the storm came in. Did that climb change your strategy at all for handling it as far as weather conditions and time of year?

Layfield: Yeah, as far as my conditioning. I trained a lot. I was up to 18-mile hikes, I was up to three hours on the Stair Sapper. I really put the effort in. The one thing I'm changing is that I'm starting to jog which I haven't done since I was 19. When I broke my leg in college my first year, they were worried that I wouldn't walk straight again. In fact, I'm pretty pigeon-toed and most people think I don't walk straight anyway. [Laughs.] The doctors told me to never jog again, so I never have.

But, I've started jogging again and I actually feel OK. You know, the body needs to get hardened up to it. But I think I need to raise my heart level a little bit more. I was doing these heights of up to 18 miles with a backpack and I think I need to raise that level just a little bit, I think I can get in better shape. I also think I can lose more weight. I was down to 240-pounds on the mountain. My next mountain is Kilimanjaro and the next really tough one is Aconcagua in December and I'd like to be down below 220 for that. I think that would help me tremendously to lose more weight and to do that, I think I need to up the cardio and go more from hikes to running.

WrestlingINC: With the climb, with Mt. Elbrus, you mentioned you wanted to try it again. Is that still the plan to go back and try again.

Layfield: I want to go back to Elbrus. I feel very confident I can make the mountain and I was very confident that we could have made it then. I don't know exactly how high we got, but we were in what's called the saddle, in between the two summits. 17,500 feet -- somewhere around there. All the hard climbing was done, we had been climbing for a week. We were so close, it was really frustrating to turn back. We had less than a thousand feet, but that's still three to four hours at that altitude. But, we had no choice. It's very frustrating but that's part of mountain climbing. You get up there but you have to have a little luck as well as just being in shape.

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