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.
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.
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-
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.