Year-End Review: 2015

I had a lot of fun with my birthday post, I figured I would go ahead and look back at all of 2015. A year I really enjoyed.

So many things happened this year that just blew my mind. The year started off pretty stagnant. I was sliding into the heaviest weight I had ever been. I was slugging along with Main Event Radio, even though my heart was no longer into and I moved back home to my parents house in an effort to save more money for a house in 2016.

It’s very safe to say by May I was pretty depressed with it all.

I started having the world’s worst panic attacks. I say the world’s worst because I’ve only ever had; all this year. The last one occurring in May. I was at work and my breath cut. Something that had begun happening in February. Thankfully I am able to navigate the internet well enough that when googling symptoms I can zip past the cancer-self diagnosis stuff, that I knew it was from stress. I knew I was stressed. I knew I was chubby. But I didn’t know how bad it really was.

That is until my breath cut at my desk and I got dizzy. Dizzy is not a sensation I am used to. I could spin on my head for house and not come out dizzy at all. So I rushed to the washroom and splashed some water on my face. The mirror looked like it was spinning. I decided the confines of the toilet stall would maybe help me keep my head straight. Ten minutes later and I still couldn’t breath. My heart was pumping so powerfully I could see my chest and gut jolt with every beat. I, in the very moment was dying. I truly believed I was going to be that story my coworkers would tell their friends and families about “this guy that died on the shitter at work.”

That’s when I got up and zoomed out of the office. I called my mom, like every good Italian boy does when something is hurt. I told her I thought my heart was exploding and that I was going to the hospital. She called my family doctor and he had me come in right away. Without looking at me longer than two seconds he said “you’re fat and stressed.”

He calmly explained to me that losing a lot of my 260 pounds of chub would help in relieving some of my stress. He also told me to find the source of it and deal with that. Easy right? Wrong. Well kind of wrong.

The trouble with losing weight and fixing your stress isn’t the action of doing it. The difficult part is starting the lose and identifying the cause of your stress. Luckily for me, both problems were slightly related. In my family, we eat our emotions. I knew that. I still do it too. (I made myself better, not perfect) 

I was an interview with Jonah Hill. He was on a random late-night talkshow debuting his slimmer body after he lost weight. He mentioned all he did was cut out the crap from his diet and hit a treadmill every day. In my mind if that worked for him, it would most certainly work for me. That’s exactly what I did. No McDonalds, no Nutella, no bread, no pasta! I didn’t count calories, but I became conscious of the general “caloritic” count of most food. What I did monitor like a hawk was the sugar content of everything. Both my parents are diabetic and the doc said I was 2 pounds away from joining them in the club. That scared the Jebus out of me. I also decided 45 minutes every day on the treadmill would be my goal. Even at a brisk walking-pace I could easily hit 5KM every day. The pound just melted away. By October I was 193lbs.

So with my weight issue in check, I started to examine my life for stress factors. Living with my parents again? Stress. Work? Not really. Main Event Radio? Hella Stress.

Living with my parents wasn’t the stressful issue. The issue was the fact I felt like I had taken a big step backwards in life. I had to realize this was for buying my future home. This was so that I could have a better home of my own. Once I sat down and put pen to paper and laid out a plan, the stress just vanished from my mind.

Main Event Radio on the other hand was a whole other bag of cats. I was cohosting with a dude named Ryan. Ryan started the show in 2004. I only joined in 2009. So I always understood my role of 2nd-Man. No problem with that. Sometimes Ryan would make up bullshit excuses to take weeks and even months off from the show. This would leave me solo. A situation I didn’t mind. What would bother me was having him “steer the ship” from a distance and talking about wrestling when everyone listening or in his life knew damn well the guy hadn’t watched pro-wrestling in years. His way of masking this fact was to tell people he was old-school and preferred the old stuff. What is ironic in that mentality is his favourite wrestling organization is TNA. The least old-school promotion in the world. But I shouldn’t delve too deep into that.

To sum it up: Main Event Radio was an awesome little show we ended up producing out of our homes due to our last studio partners going belly-up. All the production fell on my shoulders once Ryan left. I had all the responsibilities and none of the decision making power. Finally I had another argument with Ryan and in mid-sentence I realized the majority of stress in my life came from Main Event Radio and that dill-hole. So I quit the show. For my evident vanity I must point out since my last show, Ryan has declared MER on hiatus.

I decided to start anew. Rowdy Wrestling was born. A pro-wrestling podcast devoted to discussing the art, and interviewing wrestling and people involved at all levels; indy and pro. Through this new show I have rekindled long lost friendships and met some new amazing people who have quickly become like family to me.

This quick little anecdote has turned into a thousand word story. To sum it all up, I had let myself down. I was in a bad place and then decided to do something about it. Wonderfully this has lead me to the light.

Other highlights of my year:

2 Guys Movies & a Mic: A film review podcast that lasted all of 2015 with my brother from an aquatic mother: Matt Fish. We decided to pull the plug on weekly drops for the show starting January 2016 as we’re both getting too busy. But what a fun and wild ride it has been.

Star Wars: Yes it is a movie. BUT WHAT A FUCKING AWESOME MOVIE IT IS. I cried. I did and I am not ashamed to admit it.

The Boys: I don’t know how to call them. But Chris Aros agreed to be a guest on Rowdy Wrestling even before it was a thing. He is my biggest supporter and invited me into his flock. A group of dudes who are just too kind: Felix, Ryan and that no good son of a bitch Nico.

Family: Yeah. As I mentioned, I moved back to my parent’s house. This was my dad’s suggestion. Rent free and full of love and support. My family rocks.

Work: I work for a billion-dollar multinational insurance company that has the word ‘life’ in their name. I’m well paid and surrounded by great people that make going to work fun. Most days. Bonus: There’s a great gym in our building for employees only. 

Suffice to say 2015 was an uphill journey but I look back fondly at it all.

I’ll leave you with a goal list for 2016.

1- Buy a house.

2- Use my passport at least 3 times.

3- Run a 10KM race. Spartan?

4- Get as healthy as possible. Hopefully get down to 180lbs.

5- Hit 100K downloads on The Rowdy Wrestling Podcast.

May your 2016 be filled with love, laughter, family and good health. Everything else is just a byproduct of those.

Screw Flanders,

Tony

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