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    ON2VICTORY   47,759
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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.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
RWILLIAM56 8/7/2012 1:58PM

    "...just finish and do it in a way where you cross the finish line with a smile on your face." Perfect! Remember that and you'll do great!

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CLIMBERS_ROCK 7/19/2012 9:53AM


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MARYM1962 7/12/2012 12:44PM

  Do your best and it does not matter how it ends as long as you know you did what you could. Usually when I follow this I end up finishing what I start and am proud of the results.

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BABY77A 7/12/2012 5:38AM

    You are a survivor and will succeed I am positive. Please relax and enjoy the ride.

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NAVALE 7/6/2012 11:50AM

  I understand you and know how hard it is to fight feelings of loneliness, anger, and fear and living with uncertainty. It is very hard to tackle and win. It seems that you are a winner - great! Good luck!

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MISSLISA1973 7/4/2012 2:25PM


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MARYJEANSL 6/30/2012 6:00PM

"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."

This is so, so true! I can't control how I feel, but I can darned well control how I act. This is one of the hardest lessons to learn - and some people never do learn it - but it is so very important.

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TRISHMO1 6/27/2012 3:28PM

  thank you for taking the time to share this

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GLADGAD 6/27/2012 9:18AM

    You have a good handle on things, and remember that the night shift is there so you know how good you have it the rest of the time. As far as work goes, remember where that is in your priorities. It's just a job. There are other jobs, and there are other ways to support yourself. It never hurts to find other opportunities.

Robert, I know you will do better than you think at your tri. Being off for 2.5 weeks is not going to set you back. I simply cannot wait to read your post-race blog!!!

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VALERIEMAHA 6/26/2012 11:47PM

    One word: Heroic.

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 6/26/2012 6:37AM

    I liked this comment in this blog: "I can be my own worst enemy if I allow it. " That describes me most of the time I'm not doing what I know I need to do for my health. I hope your job situation doesn't end up as you sound like you think it may............. we'll all keep hoping for the best for you!!!

Hang in there..........and I will too!!!! emoticon

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CREECE1 6/25/2012 11:58PM

    I glad you stuck with it and then shared with us your feelings and emotions.

emoticon emoticon

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ANGLEBABIES3 6/25/2012 7:31PM


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MOMMABOOMS 6/25/2012 10:33AM

    Hang in there. Keep up the your personal work and that will help you get through the frustration. Good luck on the race

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CAROLZ1967 6/24/2012 9:21PM

    Good luck with the race. I have a feeling you will do just fine! :-)

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ANSWRGAL 6/24/2012 6:49PM

  Thanks so much for the transparency! I too am challenged by an every fifth week change in schedule. We are on call at night and have to work during the day. So far, what has helped is to stock the healthy food and not beat myself up for minor deviations. This last shift it became apparent that I will need to find an alternative for physical activity when I can't go to the gym or leave home to take a brisk walk.

Again, it is so helpful to know that others face the similar challenges and prevail!

Best wishes in the triathalon!

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LITTLEROX20 6/24/2012 5:48PM

    You seem to have that response-ability. Keep it up, you'll be back in no time!

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BLOOMING52 6/24/2012 5:16PM

    Thank you for sharing this.

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SHEILA-45 6/24/2012 11:49AM

    Carry on; you are doing great! An inspiration to all of us! Many thx... emoticon

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SERASARA 6/24/2012 11:09AM

  Good Luck With the Race! emoticon

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ALDEBARANIAN 6/24/2012 8:50AM

    I'll never understand why employers put people on "swing shift" schedules. Having been a supervisor, I know that it's one of the most stressful and harmful things to do to a person. It just kills production, and devalues their most valuable asset, their employees. A certain percentage of people are wired for night work. They should be able to choose a schedule that suits them, too. This seems to all be part of the journey. Sometimes you just have to ride the emotions bareback.

Congrats on getting through and getting on. Your openness and persistence is a comfort, a model, and an inspiration.

Comment edited on: 6/24/2012 8:51:05 AM

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TRAILWALKERJO54 6/23/2012 11:55PM

    too bad you couldn't get a straight shift then life would eventually run the same--when I worked it was straight 11 to 7 am..loved it I was always there for my son..slept when he was at school..

all the best in your triathlon.

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    Good luck with the race!

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GRANDMABABA 6/23/2012 6:17PM

    Have an amazing triathlon. You are a great inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

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LESLISNEWLIFE 6/23/2012 4:21PM

    Robert, as always I feel like you are writing my just proves that the winners of this journey go through a lot of the same things to get to the place where they consider themselves happy and healthy. For me if was whooping cough and pneumonia and stress of graduation all at the same time. I too did not fall off the wagon, just wasn't putting in my best effort! Take care friend, and keep on keepin' on...good luck with your triathalon! You can do it! :-)

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JERICHO1991 6/23/2012 3:33PM

    Lots of great quotes/mantras/reminders in that blog. Thanks.

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PATTOMMC3 6/23/2012 3:21PM

    emoticon Good luck with you race!

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GODIVADSG 6/23/2012 2:53PM

    You may be surprised that your body might respond rather favoribly to the rest from the working out. Glad you are calling your issues what they are and moving forward. That is huge.... Enjoy your Triathlon and the anticipation of it this coming week. Believe in your training.... not all is lost in 2 weeks. Often something is gained. Finish strong and give it all you got. Leave NOTHING in the tank!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DUXGRL1 6/23/2012 2:34PM

    You have a great attitude!

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DR8561 6/23/2012 2:22PM

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

Well said! I hope the stress at work subsides soon and wish you luck in the triathlon. Great post!

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NIGHTOCUPS 6/23/2012 1:45PM

    Good luck!

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HEALTHY4ME 6/23/2012 12:30PM

    Night shifts always did a number on my hubby, eventually ending in severe depression anxiety from which he has had to quit work way too early. He was only 47 when the dr said No work.
Sounds like you need a new job! HUGS

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RUTGERSM0M 6/23/2012 11:23AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BRASKIN 6/23/2012 10:47AM

  amazing.... thanks for sharing

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LEANMEAN2 6/23/2012 7:10AM

    Thanks for sharing

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SBNORMAL 6/23/2012 4:03AM

  Hang in there, with those night shifts and do the do with the triathlon!!

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RAINBOWCHOC 6/23/2012 3:51AM

    Night shifts suit some people better than others. I seemed to enjoy them but my health suffered as I became deficient in Vitamin D. It might be worth looking at a supplement for night shift weeks.
Thanks again for the series. It will be a great tool for long term changes in my own journey
best wishes, Sandra

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PMFISH 6/23/2012 3:02AM

    Good luck with your triathlon. Will stop by and check on your outcome. Bet you will finish with flying colors.

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BLUEJEAN99 6/23/2012 1:30AM


perfect timing for me to read this. I really relate. emoticon

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BANNERMAN 6/23/2012 1:12AM

  Thanks for sharing. HAve worked changing shift and they are a killer.

Keep up the positive attitude.

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HYATTI1 6/22/2012 10:37PM

    Good luck and keep up the good efforts.


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TEESLIM 6/22/2012 9:57PM

  Another reason why one has to be thankful. Thanks for sharing!

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LINDAB4HIM 6/22/2012 9:19PM

    GREAT!! You have kept on keeping on!!!! emoticon

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 6/22/2012 9:09PM


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FRANCES-AGAPE 6/22/2012 8:39PM

    emoticon WOW !

Boy, you do have a lot on your plate right now.


Do you agree with Friedrich Nietzsche,
What does not kill us, makes us stronger emoticon

PLEASE keep posting -
your Spark buddies CARE!


> emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/22/2012 8:40:15 PM

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JAMER123 6/22/2012 8:30PM

    emoticon blogging! I am a retired night shift worker that worked a total of close to 35 yrs on the third shift. My other 5 yrs we rotating through all the shifts. I totally understand and I had many trials and errors with admin. as the yrs. passed. I had to always look at it as "This too shall pass".
emoticon Good luck on the Tri!!! emoticon Hoping all your emotional upsets are gone by then or your able to "work" them off at the tri!

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HEARTS116 6/22/2012 7:39PM

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!

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DEBK0923 6/22/2012 6:04PM

    I used to work nights, I know what you mean, good luck on the tri. and again great blog

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NEWCHINELO 6/22/2012 4:59PM


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JUDYAASH 6/22/2012 4:40PM

    Good luck on the tri. emoticon

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