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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 JUNEAU2010
    I need this blog today! I am going through the same thought processes on a lesser scale (bad stuff at work).

    I remain in your SP fan club!
    1242 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78

    We know all about those very fears. This is a hard neck of the woods to be living in these days with job uncertainty. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your attitude!! Keep your chin up - keep inspiring us!!
    1242 days ago
    That is a lot on your plate... you are also projecting and worrying about this that 1. you have no control over (job) or 2.things that may never happen (taking your house or the lights)

    Go ahead and do your marathon you need to do it for yourself. the other things.... I really really do believe everything in life happens for a reason. We may not like or understand the what or why, but God is in control and He will never give you more that you can handle.

    How do you know that the mine closing (future) is not another opportunity for you to pursue another career choice that He has been preparing you for?

    You have to take steps to protect yourself but don't close yourself up to the possibilities that will be coming your way.

    You will get through this stronger and much more capable of handling the things that life throws at you. I just know you will! My prayers will be with you and your family. emoticon
    1242 days ago
    In your position, I don't know if I could keep from hunkering down to weather the economic hard times. I admire your decision to keep the 70.1. That's a memory that will last you a lifetime, and I don't think I'd have the guts to make the decision you did.

    You are incredibly strong. That strength will see you through hard times, though your life in the future may not look much like your life in the past did.
    1242 days ago
  • v JOYCRN
    Thanks for sharing about Blazeman, I was very touched to learn about "log-rolling" across the finish and enjoyed reading a Chrissie Wellington blog from 2011 where she mentions him a few times (as well as rolling across herself)
    1242 days ago
    1242 days ago
  • v DUXGRL1
    Good for you. And you never can tell, something even better could come along. But I can certainly understand your fear, because that is a huge fear of mine, too.
    1242 days ago
    Sometimes you have to lose everything you know to get everything you dreamed of. I lost a Marriage, house, car and even some friends. But along with that I lost 106 pounds, fear and learned patience. I am living the life of my dreams right now. Have everything that is truly important to me but I had to go through the wringer to get it. But I wouldn't change a thing! Don't look at this as a death sentence but something pushing you to greatness. Are you up to the challenge?

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    1242 days ago
    I'm moved by your courage and determination. Best of everything to you!
    1242 days ago
    Wow! What a tough, tough thing. I agree that probably the best thing you can do right now is keep things as "normal" as possible. Go ahead with your plans. If go ahead & get your certifications, maybe you could be a personal trainer & build up a clientele to have something to fall back on in case you find yourself without a job. I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class. I had a mountain of medical bills last year after having cancer & even with all that, except for our home, hubby & I are now debt free.

    I'll be praying for you & your family.
    1242 days ago
  • v 4CYNDI
    It's always tough to see change coming when you have absolutely no control over it. However, with the ACE certification you may be able to find another job. Maybe not where you are now, but somewhere new. My friend is working towards her ACE certification too and there are job opportunities if you are willing to consider moving.

    Great blog! Glad you have decided to live and not give in to fear. Which is kind of a death inside isn't it. Everything you accomplish will make you that much happier in the end.
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    1242 days ago
  • v BBECKER1955
    You're making the right choices! In my 57 years on this planet, the two things that help me when I'm in a tight spot and afraid are faith and taking some form of positive action. Just keep moving forward even if you stagger and stumble a bit. As others have already mentioned, this may be the being of a whole story for you! God bless. Excelsior.

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    1242 days ago
    You will overcome this... the fear of the unknown is the biggest obstacle. When I lost my job of 36 years I thought I would lose everything... but I didn't. I eventually did go back to work part-time in a completely different field making much less... but you know what? I'm much happier. Less stress and more fun. Things will sort themselves out. Just remember that your physical health is KEY.

    Hugs to you,
    1242 days ago
    I know you have heard the expression, "When one door closes, another opens." I look at this situation of yours as one door closing in your life. I also know that you have another door opening: that door where you want to become certified as an instructor and teach classes. Will you be in the same financial bracket? I honestly don't know. Will you be happier? If I had to hazard an educated guess, I would say yes. I strongly feel that that avenue is something you really need to pursue! Will it be difficult? Any unknown can be. Will you rise to the occasion? I think you will! Will it be scary? Yep! Depend on your friends, in the RW and here at SP. That's what friends are for!! We are here for you.
    1242 days ago
    Right on.

    It's always a good thing when the things you do for fun make money for you too.
    1242 days ago
  • v 4RASCALS
    emoticon I've always been told when a door closes another one opens. Stay strong

    1242 days ago
    emoticon I am glad to hear you have decided to pursue your plans despite the economic uncertainty you are facing. Courageous is the word that comes to mind. emoticon
    1242 days ago
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    1242 days ago
  • v SANDYL54
    I cannot top the good advice your Spark friends have given you here. I can tell you that you are not alone with this crisis and your fears. Many of us have had to face this and are living with the changes job loss brings. Please try to live today well, draw on your tremendous inner strength and pray that other doors open to you as the future unfolds. I love following your blog and send you my warm thoughts and prayers!!
    1243 days ago
    You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers. Take your fears to the Lord as fear is from Satan.

    Good Bless You!
    1243 days ago
  • v _BABE_
    You have time to prepare so be wise. At the same time you do not know what the future will bring...stay positive it may open a door that you would never have what is in your control and trust in the universe. emoticon
    1243 days ago
    As a former Michigander, I feel your pain "big time". Michigan has been so hard hit by the economic downturn. Any possiblity you could be transferred to the Tilden mine, or get a job in one of the prisons up there? (I used to be a teacher in several of the prisons "down under".)

    If not, all you can do is prepare as best you can, cut costs, pay down bills, etc. And of course, keep training and stay strong and motivated!

    At least you have a LOT more notice than a lot of people. I have a friend who worked for a company for 30 years and was told Friday morning to clean out his desk -- he was to be out as of NOON.

    Good luck, we're rooting for you.
    1243 days ago
  • v KT-NICHOLS-13
    WOW! This past week, after giving 12 years of service, I was told by the owner of the firm that we are closing down at the end of March. I'm still processing the news and much of my emotions are all over the place. Your blog helped put a different perspective on my everyday life.

    "I choose not to let fear rob me of my life and kill my desire to live my dreams." Oh ya, this is a statement that I will carry around with me!

    My thoughts are with you and all others affected. Blessings.
    1243 days ago
  • v ESILBO

    1243 days ago
  • v GINA180847
    That is a situation that hangs over us as humans. Right now we have a home that is not worth much but then we bought it for a song. It is a house in the heart of a mining town of a mine that folded. Before that we lost a building that we had 80 thousand sunk into in the nearby city because of a down turn in the economy. Long before that I was forced to give up a job because the board of directors had a not so bright person (with a cruel streak) at the head. Yes, life can suck! But like you said 10 yrs. from now you will look back at this and wonder.
    1243 days ago
  • v GENEVIE5
    Absolutely and good for you! That's completely the right path to take! You shouldn"t let the things you cannot change affect your current path!

    My husband is going through something similar at his work and it's been 4 years now. Some cuts have been made, but not him yet. I completely get it! The first two years, we were super "cautious" with plans/ money, now not so much. While we are not going crazy, we are also not letting the unknown deter us from what we want.

    Good for you!
    1243 days ago
  • v LYNSEY723
    Stay strong and keep pushing. Your fears are so valid. But, you have time to prepare. To save some money, to put your feelers out for another career, should you lose yours. You have options. You are a wonderful man with a great heart and ambition that doesn't quit. You will get through anything life throughs at you.

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    1243 days ago
    Reading your blog about fears I was thinking abot this book:
    427X . 'The essential laws of fearless living' by Guy Finley.
    You might like it.

    1243 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/5/2013 3:24:55 PM
  • v LIV2RIDE
    Look at it like you are preparing for the next chapter of your life. If the mine is actually closed what are you going to do? you are going to use that ACE certification and find work. You will continue doing the classes you started at the gym for others and share your story and experience. If you only look at the negative side of things you will live in a negative world. Find 5 positive things about this situation. You will be able to get back to a more normal schedule and not have to deal with night shift work. you will be able to work with people that have the same issues you are dealing with and help them work through them. You will be able to work with those who need to lose weight and all the baggage that comes with that. This can be a new chapter in your awesome life if you let it.
    1243 days ago
    Robert...I think the biggest thing we need to learn in life is to live in balance. The good news is you have some time to prepare. There are many things you can do to make sure your family budget is in as good a shape as possible. Like paying off any debt. Finishing your classes so that you will have some income coming in to help supplement unemployment. I wouldn't sign up for anything that you can't pay for in cash now or if that cash is needed to take care of a debt. Running is free and you can do it whether you have a race to run or you are running on your own. Just because their is a lay off coming that doesn't give any of us an excuse to stop taking care of ourselves. Just make the best choices possible. And trust me it does get better and God will open another door. I lived through that between 09/10 and now we are having the best year since the company started 30 years ago. I will be praying for you and your family...hugs...Robin
    1243 days ago
    Wow. My best wishes for strength and peace - and good news, my Friend!
    1243 days ago
    Stunningly well put!! The show will go on & when you let go, the universe gives back. Just believe!!
    1243 days ago
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