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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

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:

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v COREY04
    First off: Many many emoticon for you and your family. We all take part in providing for our families and having that very existence threatened is powerful. I know how you feel. I lost my job in 2007 and was underemployed for the next four years. Here is what I learned: Like with every grieving process, there will be horrible, bearable, ok, and good days. Get through the bad days and hang onto every inch of the good days. Control what you can control. You have control over how well you workout, how much you run, how well you take care of yourself. Your screen name is On2victory, and that is precisely what will come your way. Capitalize on the blessings in your life: your family who loves you, your health, how far you have come.
    See if you can expand some safety nets and implement some new ones. This is a bump in the road, and a part of you and your family's journey. You will come out on the other side and maybe sometime down the road will be thankful for some of the experiences you will have because of this bump.

    1239 days ago
    if you would consider relocating......... with your experience in the mines you may want to work in alabama. jim walter has several coal, under ground coal, natural gas and coke mines. here's a link:

    good luck and God bless you !!!
    1239 days ago
    I know fear can be so hard to overcome in the face of financial difficulties, I will be praying for your situation. emoticon
    1239 days ago
    Great blog keep up the hope.
    1239 days ago
  • v SJKENT1
    When I heard about the Empire, I wondered if you would be affected.

    We have faced some big hardships in the past few years - you are right - mostly out of our control.

    We are affected and don't know what to do.

    My husband and I continue to stand firm and trust that God will make a way, even when all ways look impossible. Some days the stand is not as firmly planted and we begin to sway but we keep our eyes on the promise that God has a plan for us and it is good.

    Praying for you and your future.

    1239 days ago
    emoticon m emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1239 days ago
    “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie
    1239 days ago
  • v EMLG11
    Hi Robert, Y
    Your post really resonated with me. I lost my job 2.5 yrs ago after 24 yrs with the same organization. I was paralyzed with fear, anger and depression for a month. Then I found a job counselor who helped me retool my resume which had not been kept up because I had no plans to leave my job. She helped me realize that there are so many resources out there to tap into. I am a freak when it comes to worrying about money. I found a job and started 5 months later. I was able to actually increase my income. I just celebrated my two year anniversary in my new job. It hasn't all been easy, but there is life on the other side. Take control of that aspect of your life just like you have with other aspects of your life. Don't be a victim...push forward. You will need the same tools and will you utilize for you 70.3 race!

    Best of luck to you.....I am rooting for you!
    1239 days ago
  • v MONTREAL12
    1239 days ago
    Hi Robert, I just listened to your last video blog before reading this one. I can understand the fear factor but there is opportunity with every new thing your try. With all that you are doing NEW and EXCITING opportunities will present themselves and you may want to quit the mine before it closes!

    Best of luck to you! You will be fin!

    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. ~ Winston Churchill

    You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before. ~ Rahm Emanuel

    1239 days ago
    Be strong and put your trust in God to see your through. My prayers go out to you. emoticon emoticon
    1239 days ago
    I am sorry to hear about your job and related stresses. Be strong. I truly believe that challenges put in our path helps to build us up. I know it may be hard to see it as such--but try to see your circumstances as an opportunity to move in a whole new positive direction--one you might not have moved toward without this "push" from the universe. Meditate, reflect, think-- what might this whole new positive direction be. It might take a while to peel back the onion, but I have confidence that you will. Good luck. I am rooting for you.
    1239 days ago


    Have a Terrific Thursday !

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    1239 days ago
    You have amazing courage, and you should be very proud of your resolve to go on doing what is important to you.
    1239 days ago
    Courage isn't the absence of fear. It's putting one foot in front of the other despite fear. You have courage in spades, my friend!
    1239 days ago
    Robert, so glad you are moving forward with your plans. You are working towards a possible new career; plus, it brings you such joy and satisfaction. Hang in there!! You have LOTS of people pulling for you!!
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    1239 days ago
    I can't add much to say to you in the face of all that has been posted as a response to you from people. Just know that you rock. And the spirit is limitless. And we can be happy in any circumstance-if we choose to be. Sending love and the best wishes and good karma I can send. emoticon
    1239 days ago
  • v SANDYLH1
    1239 days ago
    You have made the courageous decision for all of the right reasons. I admire you and send you all of my good wishes that everything turns out for the emoticon !!!

    1239 days ago
  • v NANADEE44
    It's so hard in the face of adversity, to look for the silver lining in the huge cloud that is seemingly looming over your head.

    In times like this, it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    But the truth and the facts remain. What is happening to you has happened to many others before you. Draw from their experiences. Learn from their successes and their failures and continue to move forward. To hide from your problems, does not make them go away. To stand tall and face each issue as it comes, not as it is anticipated, but as it comes, will make you stronger and more determined to be in control of your own destiny. When we worry about what might or might not happen, we are wasting our own time and energy needlessly. We could be planning for future positive possibilities, banking on our skills and desires to succeed.

    I sounds like you are preparing yourself by setting goals for your future. Good for you. Remain positive. Know that you have a support system in your friends at SparkPeople and lean on all of us whenever the need arises.

    Stay motivated in your quest for the triathlon and continue your pursuit of ACE. If you have a faith in God, lean on that faith and pray positively. God answers prayer.

    Best of luck to you. I am praying for you. God bless you.
    1239 days ago
    I'm glad to hear you are going ahead with your race plans and your new classes you're planning, because quitting all of those things that make you happy will not keep your job cuts from going away.

    Nothing in life is a given forever and your employer is not obligated to do anything for you other than pay your for your time given to them. It's your responsibility to use your off time to design the life of your dreams, which sounds like you started to do with the classes you are designing and your races that you train for and run.

    If I remember correctly, in a prior blog you mentioned that working swing shifts really cause you problems. Maybe this is really an opportunity in disguise to either get a new job more in line with your needs and desires or do something else that brings you joy. The good news is that it sounds like you have some time to prepare for getting a different job or turning those classes into a way to earn.

    I know change is scary, but don't look for the worst until you have to. This could be a chance to design a life that makes you much happier.

    Hang in there!

    Karen emoticon
    1239 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/6/2013 5:40:16 PM
    Live life, live life, live life!
    1239 days ago
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    1239 days ago
    Thank you for one of the most moving blogs I have read on SparkPeople! My matra for today is: "Live life, live life, live life!" You will make it through - take a deep breath and move forward!

    1239 days ago
    I grew up in Nova Scotia, and saw this kind of shutdown in a number of industries, including mining, fishing and ship building. I know how devastating it can be to have your livelihood, and therefore your whole lifestyle, threatened.

    You are doing all the right things - you're upgrading your skills, broadening your experience, and facing the possibility that your job will not survive this shutdown. I hope that you don't have to move, but if you do, I believe that you are a very strong person and will be okay.

    I hope that you and your family will be strong and work through this together. Please know that your Spark Friends really care about you, and want you to continue to use your posts as a sounding board. We are with you!

    gail emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1239 days ago
    Know that we're all here rooting for you!

    1239 days ago
    WOW ! You are amazing.
    I wish only the best for you.
    1239 days ago
  • v JUNETTA2002
    God will see you through this trial. I know how you feel things are shaky all over but you have some good friends and sparkpeople to help you talk through it.
    1239 days ago
    2 Timothy 1:7
    For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

    It is wonderful that you are facing your fears head on, it demonstrates your strength. We were meant to live life regardless to what it throws at us; because you have chosen to live you will do so abundantly. Best wishes to you with your race and everything you will accomplish. Remain encouraged. emoticon
    1239 days ago
  • v SATCHMO99
    This is God telling you to prepare to make the fitness your primary employment. If you get a severance package, that should give you a bit of a cushion.

    Write a series of articles for publication in your local area, so that your name will be known at the expert voice.

    1239 days ago
  • v DDOORN
    Whew...yep, know what you mean about courage vaporizing sometimes and the challenge in holding onto courage...!

    Hang in there, we're all rooting for you and for LIFE!

    1239 days ago
    I don't even want to tell you how low I am having to go. I wish for all the best for the rest of you in your situations.
    1239 days ago
    John, Can you really SEE how people here believe in you? No it's doesn't pay breakfast, lunch and dinner and your house payment but hey ... your not alone.

    You also pushed a few buttons. You obviously have bee watching thing change in the economy and the news reminds us constantly also.

    Sometimes i does feel like Russian Roulette , waiting to see who es knocked off from their jobs. In a group I attend, several are laid off or under employed.

    My husband and I recently had two bills go up to the tune of $ 235.00 a month and we are getting less for this increase.

    However we have also seen God provide in unexpected surprising ways.

    I'm thinking, you may be one of hem to miss the hammer, or be one to reinvent yourself. I know there are things in you job that are a problem you hate ( like the shifts ).

    Actually you have more time to prepare. That could be good in the right context.

    I've rarely considered saying his, ... but if you lived local, I'd give you a hug, meet for coffee and encourage you. But I will pray for your welfare.

    There is a word picture in the Bible, hat Aaron held up Moses arms( while he was holding a staff ).Moses was told to do this in order to win a battle. I would think that
    his arms would be burning after not so long. In like manner, we are Spark desire give you support, so you can accomplish what you were meant to do. emoticon
    1239 days ago
    woo thats a lot or what ifs to carry around is it true can you absolutly know its true
    The work of Byron Katie
    1239 days ago
  • v PABA77
    Thanks for your frank and honest sharing. Facing similar issues around financial security and uncertain future. Also days of going forward and others just wanting to stay in bed. It is big help to hear someone else voice my fears.

    Yep, must do the best we can from this point forward and future will be what it is.

    Thanks again!
    1239 days ago
    Good luck. emoticon
    1239 days ago
    ...and thank you for putting the humanity in this entire journey.

    The very best of success to you as you breathe in, breathe out and LIVE every single moment of every single day.

    1239 days ago
  • v FUSCHIA6
    Wow, thanks for sharing your experiences of life on the road to good health. This is certainly a big pothole, a crater really, in the road. Your personal growth & stamina are showing. It is amazing how many great ideas are out there. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Something popped into my head while thinking about all of the gifts that you have to offer the world. Consider checking out employment opportunities with Sparkpeople. It seems like a positive work environment that fits with some of your core values (personal growth, optimal health, team work, hard work, healthy lifestyle, inspiring self & others.) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    I have many times seen situations that seemed like the absolute worst case scenario, turn into the best thing that ever happened to someone. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    I wish you the best. Seize the day!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1239 days ago
  • v TLG71567
    I too have been in this position, not once, but five times over the last 18 years. Through no fault of my own, I was laid off because of company closures. While it was terrifying to keep having to start over, what I found was a new strength in myself. I also found that every time this happened, I ended up in a better situation in the end. Do not sit still, but rather start looking for a new future now. You have a choice to let things happen to you over the next year or to make things happen over the next year. You seem like you have the strength to make things happen, so reevaluate what else you can do and just go for it. You never know how far you can go unless you get out of the safety net. Good luck to you.
    1239 days ago
    good luck!
    1239 days ago
  • v HFAYE81
    You are so strong. I will keep you in my thoughts. The economy is truly terrifying. Many of my friends graduated college in the past few years, and they are all dealing with under or non employment. Something has got to give.
    1239 days ago
    You are truly an inspiration and a fantastic writer. Thank you and hope life hands you a beautiful reward beyond your dreams!
    1239 days ago
    You seem to be a very well-educated individual with the gift of writing. Have you heard the statement that you can't open your hand to receive something new (and maybe better) if you don't let go of what you have? This may turn out to be a blessing in the long run, but if you give up, you will never know that. Hang in there! Have faith and it will work out for you.

    1239 days ago
    Thank you for sharing. This is why I do SP.

    1239 days ago
  • v SPEEDY143
    Evolve or die... you've chosen well emoticon Seems like our 40's are the watershed years... YOU will survive emoticon So many wonderful comments from the SparkCommunity!!! Aren't you glad you've got a handle on your health and so much support? emoticon emoticon
    1239 days ago
    What an awful situation to be faced with. HOWEVER, having witnessed the outcome (and continuation) of your drive and determination, I have no doubt that you will flourish at the end of this story.

    Look at all you have accomplished in your journey to health. How many times in the past did you think that this success would never happen?

    If you approach this new challenge in the same way, I'd be willing to bet that your results will be just as wonderful. emoticon emoticon
    1239 days ago
    I'm familiar with the UP--my DD goes to Tech. It IS scary but hiding won't work in this case. You are strong--and you are smart and, as scary as it is, you will find a way out of this. I don't envy you this next year or two but you ARE a strong person and will figure something out. Trust yourself and trust in God.
    1239 days ago
    Wow, I love how you are showing your vulnerability to write this post. You may not even realize the power that your message has for yourself and others. To shift the tides of fear, it is vital to be open and honest and to not let the fear of being vulnerable stop you from moving on in your life. I would be honored to continue to support you on your journey. emoticon
    1239 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/6/2013 11:59:49 AM
    NEVER GIVE IN and NEVER GIVE UP where there is life there is hope. GOOD LUCK. emoticon
    1239 days ago
    In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein

    Good luck!
    1239 days ago
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