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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Now that my blog series is over, I need to catch up a little. I made it a point to not blog about anything for the duration of the series to preserve continuity. In short, I have been through the grinder. Without too much detail, there have been some things that have happened at work that have exacted a high emotional toll and I have been under a lot of stress and fear for weeks. Combine that with having been on night shift for 7 days and it was the perfect storm. Every time I rotate to nights it's the same thing, loneliness, always in the dark all the time, feelings of solitary confinement. Every 21 days it's back into the crucible I go. Days and afternoons are pretty easy but nights always keeps me off balance.

There were times that I just retreated to my room, curled up in a ball, and felt like I was going to be swallowed whole by my fears. Everything went numb. A complete 180 turn from my normal go-get-'em take charge attitude.

Overall, I feel like my mind and heart has been sitting in a deep fryer, cooking with anxiety.

I am not invincible, I am human.

I cry, I feel fear, and I can be afraid and act irrationally.

Yes, it affected my momentum, my attitude, and my direction.


The principles I laid out for everyone else also apply to me too. I practice what I preach and it keeps me in the saddle. My eating, not perfect but no damage, no damage = no worries. Workouts took a hard hit. Nothing for the last 2 1/2 weeks but that changes today. Still, no worries. I may not be in the most optimal shape for my upcoming triathlon but confidence is still high. I've done the work. My goals are realistic. Like I tell everyone else, just finish and do it in a way where you cross the finish line with a smile on your face.

I will do what I have always done. Be kind to myself, keep my expectations realistic, and slowly be re-patriated back into the human race.

I am, and always will be a survivor. I have always landed on my feet after some hard and painful blows. I acknowledge my weaknesses and embrace them, not deny them. They are there and as soon as they are acknowledged, there will be progress.

I have learned that circumstance can influence but they cannot determine the ultimate outcome. Only I can do that.

The one thing that I have learned through this is that one must feel the feelings but stay in control of ones actions as much as possible and live in the moment. It is possible to create the storm one fears by allowing out of control, irrational feelings to dictate actions and create the crisis. I can be my own worst enemy if I allow it.

The recovery: response-ability. I was living in a muddy swirl of anxiety and confused emotions and my actions showed it. I got knocked off my feet for sure but with each hit that I took, I stepped in the tiny gap between stimulus and response to try to allow logic to prevail until I felt more in control.

-Am I still angry?, yup

- Do I still feel like injustice will prevail?, yup

-Am I still mentally exhausted after being saturated with fight or flight hormones for weeks?... yup, yup and yup.

- Will I allow my outlook and goals to continue to be trashed by an outside influence? Nope....

Only I can give circumstances permission to damage my journey. They influence but they do not have the power to dictate.

As soon as I am done writing this, I am baby-stepping my way to the gym, then tomorrow it is a brick workout in prep for my tri next Sunday, and then it is a clinic for open water swimming put on by the organization sponsoring the triathlon on Saturday. You better believe I'm going to that. The 130 mile round trip will be worth it to get some instruction.

See you at the finish line...

-also, as a side note, the ebook is finished. If you would like a copy of the Holy Grail blog series in PDF format, email me at and I'll get it out to you.

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