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The Upcoming Challenge For Me... Choosing To Live.


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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

One of my greatest fears is economic uncertainty. Those fears have come to pass and now I have to deal with them.

The mine where I work is on the chopping block and a year from now, I may be totally out of work depending on how deep the cuts go, range wide bumping by seniority etc... I am seemingly fearless is so many areas but this is what paralyzes me. Rumors and speculation have been floating around for years but now it is official.

News Link
www.uppermichiganssource
.com/news/story.aspx?id=86
8280


At first, I was in total damage control / panic mode, was going to drop out of all my events, and just build a bunker and wait for the end to come. In this economy, losing your job is like a death sentence and losing your home is almost a certain thing judging from the collapse we have witnessed over the last few years. I feel betrayed and cheated out of life. After working so hard only to lose it all because of something that is out of my control, it is hard to maintain my composure.

I was even going to give up my big race, my 70.3. Yup, the race I had talked about for so long and have come so far to position myself to do.

Race Link:
rev3tri.com/wisconsin/ra
ces-wi/half-rev/


Even my classes I have worked so hard to start doing this Fall and studying for my ACE certification seemed pointless and unimportant. My feelings change from day to day. Some days I deal with it and keep a stiff upper lip, others, I want to crawl into a bunker and shut the door behind me.

It's amazing how courage can vaporize in the face of a crisis, but then again, if courage isn't proven, is it really courage?

After a talk with a friend of mine and some serious thinking, I have decided to move forward with everything. Its one of the hardest things I have ever done. Like someone with a serious illness, your disease will eat you up mentally and emotionally before it takes you physically.

So it is with fear of the unknown.

Then from the videos of the Ironman, a story comes to mind. The story of Jon Blais (AKA Blazeman). He finished the Hawaiian Ironman a few years ago which is a big accomplishment in and of itself but he also had ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease. Basically the disease is a death sentence. No cure. One of his last things he did on this Earth was to train for the Ironman to raise ALS awareness and hopefully raise money for research. Any cure found wouldn't save him but it might save someone else.

Links about Jon Blais-
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo
n_Blais


www.youtube.com/watch?v=
9Vrjp2P0GlE


I had watched his story with a certain passiveness until I found myself in this situation. Now I draw strength. He didn't allow his condition to destroy him, he chose to live and not only live but spend the last days of his life in the most meaningful manner possible.

While I am not going to die, a part of my life is going to pass away and my future is uncertain. In a way, I too feel like I have been given a terminal report. Do I give into fear when it wraps itself around me and threatens to drain every ounce of will out of me or do I choose life?, to live for NOW and make it meaningful? Or do I surrender and give up on everything I have worked for because there isn't any will to fight? Why bother starting anything when I will be begging them not to take my home, watching them tow my car off, flicking a light switch and nothing happens because power was shut off for non-payment. Why bother....

Those are my fears. Its out there for all the world to see and I don't care. I am a real person with real feelings and I get scared just like the next man.

It will be a difficult journey but I choose to live.

I choose not to let fear rob me of my life and kill my desire to live my dreams. 10 years from now I will look back at this with no regrets because I gave it my all in the face of my greatest opponent. I will do what I can to prepare but I will not allow myself to shut down, to lock up and freeze because of panic.

Not only that but I owe it to others to be strong. That it is possible to overcome and achieve and not only when things are going your way.

Today I choose to be strong, Today I choose to do what is in front of me and have faith that in the end, it will be worth it all.

I made my reservations for my triathlon and the show will go on.

Thank you Jon Blais for showing me what real courage is. Rest In Peace.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SUPERSYLPH 7/28/2013 12:49PM

    It's really comforting to read about someone else going through struggles with economic uncertainty, but willing to fight it. Thank you very much.

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NASFKAB 5/1/2013 11:06PM

  thanks for sharing

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WALKINGCHICK 4/30/2013 11:44AM

    Thanks for sharing the thoughts and ideas you have to handle difficult times. I am end the of the road for cancer treatment, but still have a year or so of recovery to get through, the thought of which made me feel like giving up. Having read your blog I am incredibly grateful for what I have, and for the opportunity to do things differently and to set myself up for life.

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ELAINE725 4/15/2013 3:18PM

    Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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HDHAWK 3/21/2013 11:11PM

    This is something you have to face and you are, even though it's very scary. You have a lot of positives going for you and you do have some time to look for other work. Wishing you all the best!

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 3/21/2013 9:23PM

    You have such a positive attitude in the face of the challenges thrown at you by life. I am humbled.

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JISBIKINIREADY 3/15/2013 4:10PM

    It will be worth it all! Don't give up...who know what will happen, I'm sure things will turn around in your favor! emoticon

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MAW_OH 3/15/2013 12:55PM

    emoticon

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SWEETLILCARRIE 3/14/2013 10:54PM

    my dear friend, this is just another obstacle in life that you will overcome. Daily we are faced with challenges and it's about how we react or don't react to them that matters. you are reacting the right way. there are many people that are going through the exact same thing that you are. And yes you are afraid, but you are also going to push through it and still love your life. Sure you will probably make some changes but you can't just stop living your life or doing the things that you need to do for yourself because of one thing that happens. I am very proud of you for all of it; being upset, being scared, worried, feeling cheated, and ultimately feeling like you can get through it. =)
I know you have heard this many times before but I am going to say it again, "God never gives us more than we can handle."

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DOTTY7267 3/13/2013 3:41PM

    Really nice blog. You have a flare for expressing yourself so that others can understand the struggles, and yet get a sense that there is a silver lining, which there always is. I have gone through downsizing several times, and recently in February I was let go again (2nd time in 2 years). Believe me when I say this, life is not always as bad as you may imagine when the thought of losing your job first appears. Remember who is the true source of all things positive and worthwhile in your life, and then you won't be lead astray. There may have to be some changes made to lifestyle and leisurely activities, but the essential things/the things most important, will remain.

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GRGAP86 3/12/2013 5:26PM

  No matter how bad you think you may have it, all you have to do is look around and you will find someone who is in a worse condition than you. Be thankful for the thinks you have and look forward to a better future.

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TIME-4-TINA 3/12/2013 4:43PM

    Ok, I'm going to look on the bright side here....... This may be just the push you need to find something else to do in your career that you are really passionate about. We all know that nutrition and fitness are things that you are passionate about. We also know that you are a great motivational speaker. Maybe that's your calling. The fact that you were on spark radio (you were great by the way) tells me that you inspire a lot of people. Maybe things can grow from doing your class. Maybe someday you could open a gym. Or create a new running shoe. I say RUN with it!!! Now, the only things is, if you do decide to pursue any of these things, I get a cut!!

Meanwhile, we are talking a year from now, right? A lot can happen in a year. You could be one of the trainers on the biggest loser by then! Just start thinking about it now. My husband has been out of work for a year now. He got one year of severence, which was up Jan. 1, 2013. I make a pathetic 5k a year as a reading tutor. My husband has yet to look for a job. I try not to bug him about it because he knows what he has to do for our family and he doesn't need me stressing him out. However, I am telling you, I'm worried. I've been looking for work myself, and I've been on interviews, but he just doesn't seem to be wanting to look himself. So, unlike him, start thinking about it now. Good luck, Chin up!
Tina

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LIFETIMER54 3/12/2013 6:15AM

  emoticon emoticon

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DONDAIN 3/11/2013 1:12AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ISTRALOUISE 3/10/2013 11:09PM

    I am sorry to hear that you are facing economic uncertainty, but am glad that you are keeping your health foremost in mind.

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UWPALUM 3/10/2013 7:28PM

    You have such a great attitude, and are so strong by sharing this with the world, or the sp world. You can get through this, and obviously you have lots of support!

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ALIHIKES 3/10/2013 4:13PM

    Thanks for sharing this moving and powerful blog. So many good people are facing tough times and job loss in this economy through no fault of their own. You shared inspiration for all of us -- to keep on keeping fit, even in the dark times. I hope and pray your job will be secure. But if not, update the resume, apply through your network of friends and acquaintances. I know you will succeed. emoticon

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MNNICE 3/10/2013 12:49PM

    I envy the positive attitude you have. I wonder if I could do the same. Sometimes we can't get all we "want", but most find a way to get all they "need". Best of luck in your endeavors!

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TPETRIE 3/10/2013 7:47AM

  Good luck to you. emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 3/9/2013 8:47PM

    I can totally understand what you mean about a paralyzing fear in the face of economic uncertainty. I think homelessness is one of my greatest fears.

I think it is a wise idea to keep doing all the things you already have planned. Not taking care of your health is not going to help you find a job, and poor health sure isn't going to save you any money.

Have you ever considered publishing your writings? You are very talented and inspirational. People would love to have your work in a book! Also, I think you could make a living at being a trainer. Maybe you could start something like that part time now to help you feel like you are prepared for the transition. Just some thoughts. Maybe you might find one helpful.

Hang in there!
emoticon Lisa

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IMIN2GENES 3/9/2013 8:26PM

    Robert - thank you once again for showing your true colors. You are so real and so honest. Times are kind of scary for all of us right now. Here it's the sequestration. I work at an Army post here in Maryland. We're going to be hit hard. I'm so glad to see you're not giving in to the fear and are finding some inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing it and for being mine!

I'll be thinking of you and sending wishes for the best! Good luck with your race!
Chris
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DHINDS2 3/8/2013 6:06PM

    Thank you for your honestly and inspiration. I was recently advised that my contract will not be renewed due to the financial difficulty facing the firm. In six months I will be jobless. I was terrified. Your blog reminded me why I need to emoticon .
Thank you very much.

Comment edited on: 3/8/2013 6:07:24 PM

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KUTEY5041 3/8/2013 5:07PM

    we are all with you. Things will work out. Have faith

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LUCKY8GAL 3/8/2013 3:44PM

    emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 3/8/2013 11:35AM

    emoticon

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MARIANNE9855 3/8/2013 11:17AM

    Six months ago I unexpectedly lost my job- was fired on my 57th birthday. I am lucky to have a husband with a job but what the experience has taught me- is that- it can happen to anybody no matter how professional or well-educated you are and it is happening more and more which is very sad. While I had a job, I didn't have my health- it took several months before I stumbled into spark people. Now I have lost weight and can move and feel better than I have in years ( I still have far to go weight wise) which was my basic goal to get healthier. It was only through that bad experience that I was able to start over and take care of myself- and I am committed to becoming healthier and stronger.
You absolutely are right to keep up with all you are doing- giving it up would just make you more unhappy whether you end up with a job or not.

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CJYOUCANDOIT 3/8/2013 11:02AM

    This is my first time reading your posts. Many times in life we are presented with big changes. They truly are scary. I am looking for work also. Attitude is 90% in everything we go through. You can come out of this on top. Keep thinking positive and keep your role models in mind. Leave no stone unturned. Prayers for you and yours as you work through this to find the opportunities.
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TERRIJ7 3/8/2013 10:52AM

    I don't know you, but have followed many of your blogs and I appreciate your candidness and honesty about things. Not every negative emotion can be swept away by a virtual pat on the back and sometimes life is just really hard and the future seems frightening; however, one of the blessings of SparkPeople is...well...Spark PEOPLE. It's easy to find friends here who are going through similar things--or worse--than we are, and we can find encouragement in their struggles to overcome their own adversities.

I hope that your job does not end; but if it has to be, I hope that your determination to look forward and to choose to live your life well will put you in a position and frame of mind to recognize and seize the opportunities that are sure to open up for you.

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SEABREEZE65 3/8/2013 7:38AM

    Getting these feelings on virtual paper is a great step. My husband's greatest fear in life is financial ruin - losing what he has worked so hard for.

Take steps....
Can you relocate?
Can you find a job in another field?

There are options.... what are they?

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LEANMEAN2 3/8/2013 6:28AM

    Thanks for sharing

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LIFETIMER54 3/8/2013 3:16AM

  emoticon emoticon

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EATVEGAN 3/8/2013 1:21AM

    I know I have the words wrong, but isn't there a saying that "every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise.:? With the attitude you show at the end of your blog, I'm sure if this actually happens to you, you will find something more wonderful that you might never have known. When a door closes, God opens a window. I know these sound like cliches, but that's because they are true. emoticon

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SHARIKAYE 3/8/2013 12:13AM

    Great blog! I enjoyed reading and facing your fears with you. In this economy none of us are really certain of our future. You just happen to be fortunate enough to know what's coming and have a chance to prepare. A lot of people just show up for work and there is no work. You have some time to adjust for the future.
Trust in the Lord and He will never fail you.
I'm anxious to follow your blogs now and watch you discover what's yours.

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ADAPTOR 3/8/2013 12:02AM

    Say it and believe it - you will live and maybe you are meant for something greater than you ever dreamed.. but you needed to leave behind what was between you and that greatness. Think big and you will find that magic.

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DALADYDENEESE 3/8/2013 12:02AM

    I agree, have faith, keep positive it will get you through.. Never Ever Give Up what is good for you to give in to thoughts that are counter productive. You seem to be stick to the right track and staying on it. GL emoticon

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JEFEIST 3/7/2013 11:34PM

    Perhaps a side career as a motivational speaker/author. You have a talent - in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty - you are an inspiration.

I do not know where you are in the area of matters of faith.

I can tell you from personal experience of turmoil, despair and uncertainty - that I have learned that God has a plan.

I know that can sound hokey - but I want to let you know, if you do not know already - there is hope.

Thank you for your inspiration.

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TERRIPAL1 3/7/2013 10:28PM

    emoticon

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GRAPHICS2 3/7/2013 9:56PM

    You will be strong enough to go through this. You will grow through this. Your life will change, but not necessarily for the worse. It just may be better.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 3/7/2013 9:48PM

    Your Spark Friends are here for you.

The economy is so uncertain right now. As hard as it may be, follow your heart.
Stay strong!

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FLDEEZ 3/7/2013 9:33PM

    I used to just browse sparkpeople but have recently declared myself "all in" and have been participating more. I always liked your posts and was glad to see you posting again. You are a good writer and very inspirational - don't discount that as a freelance idea! Sell your story of what it takes to make it in this economy. I'm sure your lessons and insight could help a lot of people.

I've lived very cheap at different times in my life and when you shed all the "stuff" there is definitely a sense of freedom and a realization that the basics (if you are in relatively good health) don't cost THAT much :)

The job market in some areas of the country is even picking up - maybe it's time for a new adventure in a new location?

Best wishes and good luck!

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ALEXISNERDY 3/7/2013 8:02PM

    Truly, you are an inspiration, just as Jon Blais is. Stay strong! Have faith that the universe will provide for your needs.

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FROMNDTOGA 3/7/2013 7:07PM

    I was glad to read in your blog as you wrote along that you went from utter despair to deciding to keep going and take life as it comes to you!
You inspire me because you are not afraid to tell it like it is! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/7/2013 7:08:22 PM

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AJB121299 3/7/2013 6:35PM

    nice

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BRENDAF761 3/7/2013 6:15PM

    I enjoyed reading your blog! You are a strong person and will find more success! Staying positive will help you in many ways. You can find a better job and be even more successful. You must believe to achieve! Good luck to you! emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/7/2013 6:01PM

    Robert, I have scheduled vacation time to come watch you cross that finish line. I totally get the "duck and cover" response to big things like this (been having one myself over the full marathon and my work project that's bludgeoning me currently). While my situation is not as severe as yours, there are parallels... life in other areas goes crazy, we're tempted to pull everything!

Hang in... still hope to watch you "roll" across that Ironman line! My own symbol of Blaze-dom!

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-DAVE- 3/7/2013 4:54PM

    Great story and inspiration. Keep it up!



Comment edited on: 3/7/2013 4:54:21 PM

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SHERRY28269 3/7/2013 4:18PM

    Keep your positive attitude and this misfortune can be turned around as an opportunity for you. I have a hard time with change too but once you get through it you realize how strong you are and why everything happens for a reason. Best of luck...I will keep you in my prayers. emoticon emoticon

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JOYOUS1917 3/7/2013 3:35PM

    Having lived on a dirt floor with a wood stove and being snowed in for 3 months really changes one's outlook on life. I actually enjoyed it! The reason I did not stay was I became alone in that endeavor. You are blessed to have family. Remember the pioneer days. Literally thousands of people lived without all the perks of 'civilization'. Perhaps you could sell and start looking toward a different future. Being out of debt is an ultimate freedom! Always look for the potentials. emoticon emoticon

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RAWCOOKIE 3/7/2013 2:14PM

    Very well-articulated blog Robert 'face the fear and do it anyway' is a great adage. I read somewhere that we are (99.9% of us anyway) are only two paychecks from the gutter - I live hand to mouth - the fears you express are in the back of many people's minds. I am fortunate to live in the UK, where we do have a much-maligned, but functional social security system - it's not a pleasant experience, but at least it's something! I have only just started to do jogging, and am amazed at how much it has improved my well-being/confidence/mood - so keep at it - keep yourself well not matter what!

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 3/7/2013 2:08PM

    There are times that when things are the bleakest plans are in the making for something far better than you could imagine. Hold on to that faith and the determination to make a difference. emoticon emoticon

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