- Freddy Ramirez
What I May Have Been Posting
About My Last Posts
When I went back to see when I had written last, I was surprised that I had 4 entries for 2018. I feel like I've written next to nothing this year. I've been deliberately avoiding writing here and I'll get into my thinking on that in a bit. After going back to look, I see that there are six entries since my "Time To Pivot" entry from June 2017, where I wrote briefly about what Restrungmag has been for me, which then led into discussing my view of where I thought things were after having spent 5 months working with the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour. Since that post, I've handled the subject matter somewhat "safely". I guess I tried to craft them like the entries I typically would write, though I was careful because of my connection with the LPRT. Because of that, they feel incomplete and contrived to me now. Most of them anyway.
My initial thoughts of how I viewed the blog going from that point forward leaned towards talking about things on the ground with the LPRT, from my perspective and the work we were doing. As it turned out, we were working through a precarious time for the tour that Spring. The previous commissioner had abruptly quit after the first event of the 2016-17 season. The tour had been operating for a prolonged time without a board of directors and with only one person left to manage all the aspects of the tour, a considerable sense of instability filtered through player sentiment. Getting by that initial period was critical for what the tour would be able to do moving forward. We laid down a plan to work fundamentally on all the things that currently existed with the tour. Getting back to why the tour had a website, the purpose of live streaming, and how the tour reflects and works for the players were aspects that had to be re-thought and executed. So, when it came to the blog, I thought I could use it to document the work the LPRT was going through.
It wasn't that simple. Stepping in with LPRT as players were feeling a sense of uncertainty, made getting to work an exercise in patience and having real faith in a process. Building trust would take some time because of what happened at the beginning of the 2016-17 season. As a team, would need to be deliberate, open and transparent with players and hyper sensitive to certain dynamics that were happening in the sport. The International Racquetball Tour had just been purchased and the new ownership, in what seemed like a very short time, took on the LPRT's former commissioner for that position. A swelling of chatter started popping up in the sport about bringing LPRT players into what was developing with the IRT. This included individual LPRT players getting pulled into conversations. Almost none of the talk directly included us. Much of it spilled out onto Facebook, again, without us. I was finding that some conversations I was having with figures in the sport where filled with an assumption that events that were being planned to include professional women could be continued without including the LPRT. All this to say, there was an effort to take advantage of the climate within the sport to persuade LPRT players to basically move away from the LPRT in some manner or another. So as a team, we decided to keep pushing forward while remaining hyper-aware of what was our main focus, to build up their tour into a platform that enables them to thrive. In order to do that, I felt I had to keep my head down and keep sowing into the LPRT. Everything else I was doing with Restrungmag pretty much had to take a back seat. (Even as I write this, I feel I'm holding back, as well as acknowledge the climate has since changed. Though I've learned from some good people that it is best to look forward and remain in a place with solid foundations.)
What It May Have Looked Like If I Had Been Posting
In June 2017, I thought I would have transitioned the blog to talk about the work being done on the LPRT. Our basic properties and efforts needed to be repurposed. I would have been writing about that. We also desperately needed to rebuild the board of directors. Before we could do that, we needed to take a comprehensive look at the by-laws in the way of relevancy. That led to pulling together a committee that included people with real experience in these matters and real experience in the sport as well as making sure the players approved and understood the necessity to get this done. The players had representation that was well suited to take this on and with that, we revised the by-laws and elected a working board of directors. After it was said and well on its way, I would have been writing about the wealth of things I had learned and just how dedicated and inspiring our group turned out to be. Initially, I imagined sharing a ground floor view of the reformative work being done on the tour.
From there, I would have been writing about how amazing these players actually are. They are professionals in almost every sense and they make the vision of our tour model possible. Maybe, I would have included some individual examples of the work players put into their professional careers. I would have been writing about the dedicated people involved with the tour in different capacities. I may have been writing about how the LPRT has been shifting as we make mistakes. I may have been writing about all the work we do to reflect what the tour really is. I may have been talking about how working to bring outside interest to the tour is a struggle because of the state of our sport and of the competition in today's media advertising climate versus what we have to offer. Likewise, I may have talked about how some of those conversations are getting longer and more comprehensive. Writing about these things would have been more an exercise in mapping an experience. A definitively traditional blog may have been something I could have done.
But things aren't always what you may think they will be. Sometimes, they are much more.