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Thursday, September 12, 2013

I know its been a while since I have been on. I have had some issues and I figure that this would actually be a fantastic time to blog. Nothing is more artificial that blogs that are always gung ho because we as humans are not always like that. Some of the most encouraging blogs that I have ever written were actually written to myself. They were written during a dark time or just after coming out of one and I am putting into writing the musings of my heart while in the fire and lessons learned.

My motivation really hit the skids over the last few weeks. Its like someone flipped a switch and I just shut down. Couple that with the personal sense of isolation and living in darkness for 7 days during my night shifts and all those issues became a potent mix that I couldn't just shake off. It is in those moments that there isn't a motivational quote or feel good mantra that can lift you out of that hole. I sometimes snicker at motivational posters at a workplace. I saw a quote that fits that perfectly.. yes, and sarcastically as well... "If all it takes is a quote and a pretty picture to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job... the kind robots will be doing very soon..."

At a time when I need the emotional gas the most, all I got was sputtering. Everything is coming together in a very big way and I have to be at the top of my game, not just barely getting by.

I laid in bed last night and felt the most real, chilling sense of utter futility I have ever felt. What am I trying to prove? What do you think YOU are doing? YOU are a fraud. YOU are living a pipe dream and reality will dump ice water all over your little one man parade. WHY do you even bother?

Many of those voices were correct so how could I argue with them? Some people whine about a "plateau" when they do not lose anything for a few weeks and get all discouraged. I have been on a plateau for well over a year. Some of that is probably because I have learned what I can get away with and not gain. Some of it is because it is actually very difficult to lose weight AND maintain the energy necessary to perform a long distances.... at least it is for me... now maybe some of the rockstars reading this don't have any issues but I can't seem to beat that.

I think it has finally caught up with me.

-"To be truly prepared for something, one must actually
expect it. One cannot be prepared for something while
secretly believing it will not happen" - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom.

I think I have been stuck for so long that I have secretly believed that I cannot lose the remaining weight and that has further entrenched me in this unbearable condition. I also think that because I will be teaching a class about this very thing, I have been struggling with my own personal credibility.

It is easy to have faith for someone else but have none for yourself.

I need to believe that even now, I CAN do this.

I have come to a place that it is EASIER to train and finish something big like a marathon or a 70.3 than it is to conquer myself and my own habits. In training for an event, there is an end, a finish line, and a reward. In changing yourself, it is a continual process that requires tireless focus and dedication. There is no finish line in this race, neither is there a discharge from this war.

I am reminded of a chant we sang as we ran in boot camp... one of the verses said " there's no use in looking down, ain't no discharge on the ground..."

I laid there and began to strip away everything and answer the basic question... WHY. Once the racing, certifications, medals, classes, training and feeding the midlife crisis fell away, one answer remained.

I want to live.

I have lived more in the last 5 years than I have in the past 39 (i'm 44 btw..)

Life is found, not in how well things fall together but in how well you hold together when things fall apart. How you come through when you are tested and how you soldier on when you challenge yourself. I have done just that. Every medal is testament to the fact that I accepted a challenge and finished what I started no matter the cost. Through that process I have learned more about myself, both my strengths and weaknesses, that I knew even existed.

A life unchallenged isn't worth it.

That sums up my life prior to me starting my journey but does not describe it now, not by a long shot.

I have come to the conclusion that I am tired and simply need to regroup. The feelings are gone and the storm is over. I am not gung ho, my get up and go has got up and went but I am committed. Commitment always rises above feelings because commitment is what you do in spite of how you feel. When you do what you know to do, the feelings eventually come around. If you abandon what is right because you lose heart, you lose something.

I'm not exactly jumping for joy but I am committed.

That counts for something doesn't it?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Robert, you have to think of yourself like a car. You tune it up and check all the fluids and fill the tank up before a big trip. Once the trip is over, the car is dirty, needs a bath and sit in the garage for a few days... all the while you check the fluids, brush out the crumbs and fill the tank up. The car is always there for you when you take care of it. You just went on a HUGE journey. Before it you were careful to give your body proper fuel, new shiny duds and tools. After the journey you need time to sit in the garage so to speak to re-fuel your life. When we put our bodies under what you did, you have to rest and re-group. Your not super-human as much as you want to be. It's OK to not be super-charged, ready to go and conquer it today. One thing is certain, you will be there again. I remember back with your first marathon, you went through something similar. And look! You just finished a Triathlon! YOU ARE A TRIATHLETE! Oh my word! AMAZING is the only thing I can say to that. This too shall pass.... give your self time, you WILL do it again!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    984 days ago
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    997 days ago
    1003 days ago
    Commitment better count for something! If not, I'm in a heap of trouble. emoticon
    1010 days ago
    Robert, you run because you can, you swim because you can, you cycle because you can and you will lose more weight because you can! You are an amazing, inspiring person and we are all waving a flag for you!

    Let yourself recover from that endurance race - mentally as well as physically - and who knows what your new goals will look like!
    1010 days ago
    Commitment counts for a LOT !!! Beautiful, raw, open blog- thank you for sharing
    1010 days ago
    Great blog!!! Its good to know even those who have accomplished so much still struggle from time to time. You are a very inspiring person, hope you catch up to your get up (I'm sure you will) and get back into it. You have done an amazing job on your journey - keep it up!!! Ever need a little extra push let us know! I think there are a few of us willing to help ya out :)
    1011 days ago
    I felt like I was reading about my own life just now.

    I had that same thing happen to me last month. I have been at this weight loss (trying to get the scale down) for years. But in that time I have become an athlete and also began my year(s) long plateau. I started to think that this was the end for me. I was never going to get down more in weight. My body was comfortable at where it was and that was where it was going to stay.

    Until one day it finally clicked. You know what clicked.... I REALLY wanted it. You may think, wow... how could you not have wanted to lose weight all those years before. But I didn't because my actions proved that I was not committed. I was not focused with my food. I was focused with exercising but not with food.

    So I made a promise to myself and rededicated to getting this weight off. Why... because I truly want it this time. I want to see a lower number on the scale. I want to fit into smaller size clothes. I want to be an even better athlete. I want this for me!

    So far it has been working... I am staying in my calorie range and lost over 10 pounds in one month. You really have to want something with your whole heart in order for it to come true.

    Great blog! I am glad you are finally at that place in your life as well. No one can change it for you... only you have the power!
    1011 days ago
    That is beautiful Robert! I was wondering where you went. I even thought about you while I was running last night and sent a little prayer out for you. You are an amazing man and we all go through the peaks and valleys on our journey. You are a testament to "living life" and making it happen. Keep pressing on!
    1012 days ago
  • v ZIGGY122
    Oooooh my goodness... it certainly does counts! You Share, you Inspire and you are a Friend. emoticon emoticon
    1012 days ago
  • v DUXGRL1
    I could identify with so much of what you said. I thought I would have hit my goal by now, but am maintaining between 10-15 lbs above, been doing it all year. I guess that in itself is a victory for me, because I have never been able to maintain a weight loss, but , I hear those same voices that you do, and my motivation waxes and wanes. Also, you must be feeling a letdown after your big event, too. But you'll re-group and get back to it.
    1012 days ago
  • v DR8561
    Thanks for sharing, Robert. I've been feeling the same way for a while now. I have some physical issues that are interfering with my exercise goals right now and I've been eating too much. It's easy to slide into depression and self-doubt. I really like what you said about "Commitment always rises above feelings because commitment is what you do in spite of how you feel." That's what will get us through. You will be a much better trainer because you understand these low points that we all go through. You rock!
    1013 days ago
    Counts for alot...
    1013 days ago
    After finishing a 70.3 you have the right to be tired. Regroup and find that desire you have down deep in your soul. I know you can do it.
    1013 days ago
  • v MRSRIGS1
    You can do it! Never doubt yourself. emoticon
    1013 days ago
    In my 4th year going to start number 5 soon and it goes through cycles of motivation and lack thereof. Good habits and "well I haven't had to loosen the belt yet" habits. We do need a phone call hit me up when you got a minute I do really want to chat with you about nutrition

    1013 days ago
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    1014 days ago
    Very well written. You can do it. :)
    1014 days ago
  • v PDAN04
    I'm not sure if you are a Christian or not but everything you are expressing is very Biblical.
    1014 days ago
  • v DIETER27
    great blog!
    1014 days ago
    Hugs to you brother of the Spark.
    1014 days ago
  • v MOMMY445
    it sure does!
    1014 days ago
  • v GEORGE815
    Yes it does!
    1014 days ago
    It counts for everything! hang in there and keep moving!
    1014 days ago
    1014 days ago
  • v JRRING
    1014 days ago
    Great blog! Thanks for sharing your true feelings. Yes, it's easy to feel gung ho sometimes, but other times it's "why is everybody else succeeding and I'm just stuck"? Thanks for this blog.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1014 days ago
    Let's see... you succeeded at something you had trained for, for many months... You then went on the night shift. Hmmmm... yes, double whammy... There is always a let down after the euporia, the "what next" stage. Especially when the achievement is mammoth! Which yours was! For heavens sake, you TAUGHT YOURSELF TO SWIM!!! Just a few months before the event!!! Yeah, I can see what a loser you are... NOT! And of course you are tired. Even the adrenalin rush makes you tired once it is over. And you have been running on fumes to get this done. So give yourself a break! and then get your butt back to it! (I need to read this part aloud to myself, too)

    Will you EVER get enough seniority to avoid the night shirt???

    1014 days ago
    emoticon for sharing your story, but what makes it really great is that you were honest and it came from deep down inside of you! I find that my strength always seems to come in my darkest hour. This week and last week have been pretty difficult for me because I was let go from my job. It has been stressful, but I keep saying to myself, "I was able to conquer weight loss, I can conquer the job market!" So I just keep having faith that God will open another door, and I know he will! I think you will make a great teacher because you are so passionate and have a positive attitude! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1014 days ago
  • v JACKIE542
    1014 days ago
  • v NUMD97
    Robert, you always nail a theme on the head. I really liked your Nelson Mandela quote, but in all honesty I liked what you said more:

    "Life is found, not in how well things fall together but in how well you hold together when things fall apart."

    You've given me a lot to think about. As usual.

    You'll get to where you need to be, Robert, because you never allow the stalls and sputters to completely stop you. You will not lose all that you have gained thus far, and it is simply stupendous what you have accomplished to date. You've achieved so much, and your holy grail is almost in your grasp.

    We're rooting for you, Robert. And if we cannot be there in person, we will be there at your virtual finish line cheering you on.

    All the best as you continue on your journey to better health [because in the end that's what it's all about, as you say, and it's very true],

    1015 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/15/2013 6:54:27 AM
    Keep moving forward. Keep pushing forward. Keep doing whatever you need to do to stay positive AND in good health. emoticon
    1015 days ago
    1015 days ago
  • v 1DRWOMAN
    Thank you. I have been going through some things as well and you said it much better than I did...probably because you spoke from your heart and was honest...I still try to be that positive person for everyone. Thank you thank you. Have a great rest of your journey.
    1015 days ago
    Thanks for your honesty. I think working in the dark and not seeing the sun emoticon would bum any of us out. I still get depressed sometimes living in Seattle's winters. It's harder to do what we need to do when we don't feel motivated. Fortunately, exercise helps. Blog lots, blow off steam and just keep those Spark streaks going, especially the exercise ones.

    1015 days ago
  • v CKTALL
    what a wonderful read - your perspective and honesty. Sometimes life throws us lemons and we just don't know how to make lemonade. We wallow in that period of confusion and questioning with no real answers. Then like you we get a "spark" showing us that we are still in that race just in a different position.

    Sounds like you are ready to regroup, recommit, reconnect and re-energize. I am really proud of you for allowing yourself to feel and be honest with yourself that everything is not always roses.

    A plateau is a pitstop and while you are not moving forward just yet you are not moving BACKWARDS either. You have climbed to a peak and sat for awhile. Now lets get up, dust off and get moving.

    I wish you much luck and keep us posted on your move forward.
    1015 days ago
    Well written.. Life is funny at times with ups and downs which is normal. But in the end you have come so physically and now mentally which in my opinion makes you a winner!! emoticon
    1015 days ago
  • v AJB121299
    1015 days ago
    You are a different person than the one who started this journey. A much healthier and wiser one. This is just a rest stop, a time to regroup and recharge. A "spark" will ignite your spirit and give you what you need for the next segment of your quest. Hang in their buddy! emoticon
    1015 days ago
    Mate you are a total inspiration, I am still quite early in my journey, lost 26.5lbs need to lose another 50 or so.

    I just think you need to look beyond the numbers sometimes.

    Look at the truly amazing things you have done and can do now. And remember when these things would have seemed impossible to you. Don't give up, Don't doubt yourself, you will never go back to where you were, you are in a much better place now..

    Congratulations on everything you have achieved I hope to be able to emulate you..

    1015 days ago
    All I can say ... is you have to look past the glory and start again ... it isnt easy as matter of fact it is the hardest thing you will ever do but one baby step one drop of sweat and one lone tear will get on the right track emoticon
    1015 days ago
    Yes it does count for something! On this journey of mine I have been so fortunate that I have not really had what I call a Plateau. I have my built in diet and exercise buddy that helps keep me on track. I don't want to sound pompous but maybe you do need to go back to the beginning and restart your diet portion over again. What can it hurt. Let the spark experts help you get through this plateau. They are the experts after all.
    God bless you on your journey!
    1015 days ago
  • v JUNEAU2010
    YES! It does count!
    1015 days ago
    You have the right idea, do what you know is right! We have times of light and darkness and they pass so we have to have faith. Push yourself to not just maintain the weight but to keep going down, you can do it!!!
    1015 days ago
  • v ZJAMEZ
    I appreciate you transparent honesty! It is good to hear that even when the wind is out of your sails, you still have the fight left in you. I have some what of an idea where you are because I too have lost alot of the drive that I had a few months ago. I too had a goal and the goal came and went and I thought I was getting back in the swing of things and then I had a big schedule change. I know that we all have stresses, stressors and trigger points. I have learned well how to deal with them and not let them get the best of me.
    Thank you for sharing with us and I wish you well. And you will soon find the desire and enthusiasm to get back what you want.
    1015 days ago
    Great blog!
    1015 days ago
    I have to say this hit me right in the gut and heart. I am having issues in believing in myself cos of long term disability and having to appeal my case, making me think am I really doing all I can, should I be working. Then I will fall, or ache or get it.
    I wold love to borrow your line, life is found, not in how well........... That so fits what I need now. I am eating so so, not exercising and just get in these down moods really quick. Luckily they dont last long so far!
    Good luck re starting and as many have said you are so worth believing in yourself!
    1015 days ago
  • v WENMARIE78
    Thank you for sharing. I fell the same way sometimes, but I never been able to put into words. emoticon
    1015 days ago
  • v LINDAK25
    Wow! Love your honesty. It isn't easy to be vulnerable. You weathered the storm and came out on the other side. You have a reason to go on. That's fantastic! I was in a holding pattern with my weight, maintaining for 10 months at what was still an unhealthy weight. My motivation was gone. I started exercising more consistently, but I was eating too much. Then my yearly physical rolled around two weeks ago. Diagnosed with pre-diabetes, I was finally motivated. Thank God for Spark. I can do this.

    You want to live? You want to live and be healthy. Do it now. Don't wait for the doctor to give you bad news. You can do this.
    1015 days ago
    Robert (I actually only know your name because of Tina's response) thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability and for being "real". It really is what I needed to hear today. I am struggling with weight and diabetes and when the blood sugar readings are high, I get scared and when i get scared, I eat and the cycle goes on. I need to remember that we are human beings and that our feelings ebb and flow and it's hard to deny that we feel them and harder still to not give in. Ironically, your vulnerability about lack of motivation is so motivating because you are committed and because it means we don't have to pretend that this is supposed to be a straight uphill climb. We are human beings, not robots. Thanks so much!
    1015 days ago
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