Despite the online trend of treating 2017 like it was a shit-storm—although, to be fair, it really was—my 2017 wasn’t all that bad, as I suspect many people’s wasn’t either. Sure, I’ve never had more political anxiety, but on a personal and professional level, I think that it was a good year of growth.
When the year began, I had almost crippling anxiety. There were moments, often times when driving, that my heart would race, my palms would break out in a cold sweat, my vision would blur and I would start to hyperventilate. The slightest provocation would make me feel like I was about to die. To this day, I’m not sure what triggered it exactly. Maybe it was that in 2016 I became a father and I was feeling some of the effects of that that I wasn’t dealing with on a conscious level. Maybe it was my pre-workout paired with other sources of caffeine and/or alcohol in the same day (not at the same time!). More than likely it was a combination of both. So, as the year broke in and I tried to get a grip on my mind, my workouts, my relationships, and my happiness all suffered a bit, but I trudged along determined to beat it. I’ve dealt with similar anxiety attacks in the past and I was able to overcome them, so I thought, I could probably do the same. A more prudent choice would have been to go to a counselor, but I didn’t do that. As the year progressed, I managed to get a grip on it and took measures to rectify the situation. I’m happy to report that a year later, I am for the most part, back to normal. There will still be slight anxiousness about getting into certain situations, like driving on the highway. Funny as it sounds though, its like having anxiety about getting anxiety. It’s not nearly as severe, though.
This same year, I changed my wrestling persona. Though, I had gone under the moniker of “Spartan” for the past 5-6 years, I felt that the name was not reflective of who I wanted to be in the ring, and that it was stifling me creatively. So, I changed my name to RMZ Prime. I wanted there to be more of me in the name. RMZ is short for Ramirez and Prime is simply the first. I’m the first Ramirez of my family to become a wrestler and thus the gimmick was born. 2017 allowed me to find myself in the ring and it really was a year when a lot of things “clicked.” I invested in myself more and took opportunities to make it to seminars by RBG and Jake the Snake Roberts. 2017 also see another injury: a concussion on a accidental kick during a match. It made me reevaluate what I wanted to do in this business, what risks I was willing to take and how far I wanted to go with it. It definitely put things into perspective. After all, I have a daughter that I need to look after now and she must be, and Is, my number one priority in life. I also acquired my own ring. Well, its not technically mine, but it is in my backyard and I started to have training sessions for some of the guys. Soon after, Dylon brought over so kids who wanted to be trained and after some deliberation and soul searching I decided to take them on as a training class and my first students in the business. This was not a decision that I took lightly. I struggled with the fact that I have not made an impact in this business. I haven’t had over 10 years experience and I haven’t made it to the big stage—aside from the extra work that one year. But I am a teacher and a personal trainer, and I am pretty decent in the ring. Plus, if I didn’t train them then Laredo would just have three more untrained kids wrestling with no guidance in this business and the cycle of shitty wrestlers in this city would continue. So, despite most recommendations, I took them on. As of this writing, they have been training with me for three months and have made leaps and bounds of improvements since. It also made me consider opening up my own wrestling school eventually. Again, yes, I know I’m not anyone in this business but I think I can provide a service to the Laredo wrestling scene that is sorely needed. These kids will be wrestling soon and they’ll be miles ahead of me when I started out. I expect good things from them.
In the teaching world, I was lucky to get an amazing group of students in the Spring of 2017 to mitigate the damage that the Fall of 2016 did to my love of teaching. This was an exceptional group of kids that I’ll never forget. I also applied to be department head, and while I didn’t get the position, it did put me in the sights of my principal as someone who is capable of a leadership position. The Fall of 2017 hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been terrible either and I am hopeful for decent STAAR Scores. I hope that the trend continues and that 2018 brings great students once again.
Finally, there’s the real big deal. My personal life. This past year was a year where I learned a great deal about myself as a person and more importantly as a father. I have learned how to maintain a relationship and how to play the role of father, I think, fairly competently. There is nothing more that I enjoy than seeing my baby girl enjoying her time with me and it melts my heart every time I see her face light up when she sees me or when she grabs my hand to go have a tea party. 2017 also became the year that Amber and I became homeowners and solidified our house as the “get-together” house for my family and a lot of friends. In the 8 months or so that we’ve been here we have already made countless memories like Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and almost setting the house on fire, to writing letters to the Santa a week before Christmas. I think that being at our house brings a lot of joy to the people of my family and that’s honestly all I could ask for. Amber has really been fantastic this year as well—as she is every year. She’s my rock and has put up with my grouchiness when I’m hungry and my inability to stay put for too long of a time and has become one of my road partners when it comes to wrestling. In fact, there’s so many trips that I wouldn’t have been able to make if she hadn’t been around. She continues to be my number one supporter and fan and she’s never afraid to tell me the truth about a match and I appreciate her even more for that. She is wonderful mother to our daughter and a soul so generous that it’s hard to believe. If you read this babe, I love you and I couldn’t imagine my life without you.
And now on to 2018. New Year, New me! Kidding. I’m not that unoriginal, nor am I totally unsatisfied with myself that I feel a need to become a new person. But , as in anything, there is always room for improvement so I’ll just layout some things that I will accomplish in 2018. Let’s start small. I will get my wisdom teeth removed as they are really starting to cram my teeth and I cannot and will not have a jacked up smile. I mean, I know I love the Brits, but I don’t want to look like a bad stereotype. Second, I will get corrective eye surgery this year. Seriously, though. It’s time. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in 2nd grade (about 24 years) and contact lenses since 8th grade (about 17 years) and frankly, I’m just tired of it. My doctor says I’m the perfect candidate for it so I plan to move forward with it in the coming months. Next, I will finish my thesis in the spring. Even though I’ve said this before, Dr. Duffy told me I have until Spring or I have to retake a ton of stuff over so, this is really it. Luckily, deadlines are precisely what I need in order to work efficiently so I am confident that this will pan out and I will finally walk down that aisle and obtain my Master’s degree. As far as wrestling is concerned, I want to be back in LWA and win their championship. I want to be back home and part of an organization that is growing and is homegrown. I have lost desire of running my own promotion, though I may run a show here and there for my trainees. Ah yes, my training. I think I’ll keep training people. I think I’ll determine this once my kids graduate from my training program but it’s something that I love doing and I think I want to provide this service to the city. I think I’ll keep my class sizes to 4. Make it simple. I also want to work out of state a few times, though not make it a habit, after all I do have a family.
Which brings e to my personal life, I just want to be a better father and definitely be a better partner for Amber. I know I can be a little selfish at times, though I don’t mean to be, and I want to work to rectify that as well. I will also strive to be a more present godfather to my goddaughters. My god parents were like a second family to me and I want my god children to feel the same. Maybe, my family will grow a little bit too….although, that may only be by getting another dog. Having my sister’s dog here has made me realize that having a third one won’t be as miserable as I thought, but I’ll still have to think about it. I also want to start writing more for fun. I know I always say this and its hard to find time to write, but I was doing well when my friends and I started that workshop, but once everyone else stopped writing I found no real reason to continue. I also want to improve my physique. I think I kind of let myself go last year with the eating and drinking and I need to reel it back in. I want some semblance of abs by Jan 30th and some decent abs by Spring Break. I don’t need to have a six pack all the time, I enjoy cheat meals too much for that shit, but I do want to have more definition than I do know. Lastly, I want to improve my home gym even more. For me, for Amber, and for the kids who train here. So, I will, as Captain Picard would say “Make it so.”
If you’ve read this far, then I hope you enjoyed this and you’re probably my sister, Amber, or someone who is really bored. Either way, thanks and Happy New Year! May your hopes, wishes, and resolutions come to fruition and may 2018 be a better year than 2017 was.