Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition or what defines you?

No, this is not a Monty Python skit…..

On August 17th, the world, my world came to a brief significant halt. My husband suffered a stroke.

The day had started well. On this Friday morning, we walked to the gym where we took up our positions, side by side, on the treadmills. Ten minutes in to his workout, Steve left to go to the washroom and didn’t return. I found him quietly sitting in the Reception area, looking “dazed and confused”, staff and gym patrons walking past him, nobody any the wiser as to what was happening. Steve was having a stroke.

Over the next several hours, the full extent of the damage emerged: paralysis on his right-hand side, the loss of peripheral vision in the right eye. It wasn’t until several weeks had passed, that we realized Steve had also lost his ability to read, to recognize letters, words.

So, what has all this to do with coaching? In the simplest terms, as a coach, I know that small steps can make a huge difference to one’s life and Steve has shown me this in the most literal terms.

While at times, it has been crazy and sad, these last five months have also been a period of optimism, celebration and,just sheer luck. Eight weeks post stroke, Steve had relearned to walk by taking one reluctant and tentative step then another, first using a walker in the living room, graduating to an exhausting stroll to end of the driveway, then onward. Each day, taking a few more steps, not satisfied to stay with the ‘status quo’, not willing to let his physical limitations define him.

What defines you? What limits you? And what small step can you take today to propel you forward into a new and better future?




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