Hitman: Lessons Learned from the Best There is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be — CJ Quartlbaum

CJ Quartlbaum
3 min readMay 12, 2023

I recently finished up Bret Hart’s memoir, . Undoubtedly, he is one of the greatest wrestlers to ever step into the ring. At the end of this book, while reflecting on his career he had this to say: I’m not broke, not broken, just a lot of scars. How many of us resonate with that?

The wrestling business is dirty. It’s a hard life where superstars are on the road 300+ days a year and wreaking havoc on their bodies. An interesting thing happens when many former wrestlers, post-career, turn to drugs or Jesus and most of them end up penniless.

What makes Bret unique amongst his peers is that he didn’t turn to either. And yet when thinking back all he has is: not broke, not broken, just a lot of scars.

Of course, this is literal but it’s figuratively as well. For someone with such an illustrious career and is correctly considered by man to be the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, he looks back with a lot of bitterness. Events like the Montreal Screwjon and being concussed by an unsafe coworker don’t help.

It’s deeper than that. He was overlooked, unchosen, and not believed in for most of his career, despite the amount of work he put in and how beloved he was by the fandom.

A lot of Scars

I am reminded of the words in 2 Corinthians 5: If any man is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away and the new has come.

Sometimes, we don’t feel new. We look at our lives and our bodies and all we see are scars. We’re up late tracing them…naming them…rehearsing how they got there…wondering if they’ll ever go away.

Some scars fade, some don’t. We rarely get to choose their fate. We’re left longing for the day our bodies are resurrected and made new, completely spotless.

That’s me. I imagine it’s most of us. There are some things you need to forgive yourself for, namely because God has already forgiven you. The consequences of those things may be with you forever but when God looks at you, he sees the righteousness of his Son, not your past.

Not Broken

You guys know I love the Japanese art of Kintsugi. The process by which artisans restore broken vessels with gold paint between. Jesus is the gold in our lives. He takes our sins and carries them as far as the East is from the West.

What does healing look like for you? What will it mean for you to forgive yourself, and others, and embrace your new identity?

It has taken me years to come to grips with some past pain. If I’m honest, there’s plenty that I’m still working through but I think that’s a part of life. We’re constantly growing and working into a deeper relationship with Jesus. We watch him transform those past scars for his glory and our good.

There’s a story behind every scar. May ours tell one of redemption. I pray that you and I would know that we are loved.

Originally published at https://www.cjquartlbaum.com on May 12, 2023.



CJ Quartlbaum

Writer and Speaker from Brooklyn. Race, justice, theology, fitness,and a few random things are what I like to write about.