Despite being in the wrestling business for 25 years, Jeff Hardy is still just 41 years old which makes him younger than many of his contemporaries. But all of that wear and tear starting from a young age is catching up to Hardy and he talked with Lilian Garcia about the moment he felt his age.

“I did that a few months ago. I was eating breakfast and was sitting on a hard stool in the airport; we had a group flight or something,” Hardy said. “I was just sitting there for a while and I got up and my back started bothering me, and when I got into the flight my back really started hurting me. I was on my tip-toes trying to walk getting off of the flight. We had a show that night, so I went to a local chiropractor somewhere in Texas and he did what he could do, but my back bugged me for about four weeks. I was freaking out there for a while because the pain came out of nowhere. I didn’t do an exact thing for the pain to come, but it is just one of those things as you get older stuff like that happens.”

With advancing age comes injuries and Hardy suffered the first major one of his career when he tore his rotator cuff in September 2017. He had surgery and had to endure a lengthy rehab process that kept him out of action for six months.

For someone who’s been active all his life, the physical limitations of the surgery was the worst part and Hardy discussed what he could and couldn’t do while rehabbing.

“When I had my rotator cuff surgery, I am so active, so I couldn’t cut my own grass or anything like that,” Hardy stated. “Luckily it was winter so I asked myself ‘what I can do to stay productive and creative?’ So, I began painting with my left hand because I couldn’t use my right hand, so I thought let’s see how this goes.

“I did about four complete paintings and they came out really well. I came up with a name for them as I always do, so, is where some of them are still available, original artwork, and I slowly began using my right hand again. But that is one of the things I will never forget after rotator cuff surgery, which is painting with my left hand. Writing is just terrible, it’s like a kindergartner. But that was one of the things that I did to get myself to go through the healing process a lot better.”

Hardy returned to action on the Raw after WrestleMania 34 and a week later he won the United States Championship for the first time in his career. That win catapulted him into an exclusive club as Hardy became just the 12th WWE Superstar to complete the Grand Slam under the modern format.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Peter Bahi contributed to this article.