I’m back from a fantastic (and somewhat painful) vacation in Key West that I will post all about shortly, but today is a very special day! It’s Deb and my 6 year “coach-iversary!” And THAT is a day that I celebrate even more than my own birthday – it is truly the day that changed my entire life.
Deb Cheslow and I met through my son’s karate school where she was an instructor. Of course, she was also a coach… Not an athletic coach (although she would be amazing at that too I am sure), but a “mind coach.” I didn’t really know or understand what she did for a living when I invited her for coffee that day back in February, 2010, but I did know 3 things:
- Deb was my age and was in the best shape of anyone I knew – and I wanted to learn how she did it…
- Deb was one of the most “together” people I had ever met in my life – and I was falling apart and I wanted to learn how she did it…
- I really liked her and wanted to be her friend.
So, I invited her for coffee one Sunday afternoon – February 21, 2010. We met at a Starbucks in Christiansburg, VA and we started talking. And we talked, and we talked, and we talked.
She asked me about myself and I threw up all over her (figuratively).
… the seemingly unrecoverable financial mess of my life
… the inevitable bankruptcy that was looming
… the dead-end job I was stuck in
… the failing marriage I was stuck in
… the abusive, dysfunctional relationship between my husband and me
… the near-daily bottle of wine consumed to escape it all
… the self-loathing I felt every minute of every day
… the unworthiness I felt every second
… how I would watch my son sleep at night and cry because i did not feel deserving of such a precious gift
… the desperation I felt to get my shit together for my son, if not for myself
She listened. She listened for hours. She asked a few questions here and there for clarification, but mostly she just listened. And when I was finished, she smiled and she said she could help me. And I believed her… I trusted her.
Then it was her turn. She talked to me for a long time and explained how most people perpetuate the crap that occurs in their lives with their thoughts… how most people allow their feelings to control their thoughts, which sets up an never-ending downward spiral of more and more crap. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it.
I gotta be honest, when she drew the “hangman” dude and told me it would change my life, I almost got up and left.
By the end of our meeting, I was certain that the key to a better future lay in the things I would learn from Deb Cheslow. I could not afford to hire her as my coach, but I couldn’t afford not to either. So I did. It was – without any hesitation or doubt – the best investment I have EVER made!
I met with her for an hour or so every week. I diligently did my homework and applied the principles I was learning. I got up early and stayed up late to work on myself. I noticed a change almost immediately. I felt better. I started changing my behaviors, especially my eating, exercising, and drinking behaviors.
A month later my marriage came to an abrupt end. Deb was there for Josh and me. And she’s been there every day for the last 6 years. During that time, I have accomplished things I never even dreamed were possible.
- I became financially responsible
- I paid off a mountain of debt (just one more to go – thanks for your patience, Mom)
- I bought half of Deb’s consulting company
- I’ve written and published 3 books
- I earned my blackbelt in karate
- I got in great shape and compete in triathlons now
- I am HAPPY
- I have the coolest kid on the planet for a son and he is as proud of me as I am of him
- I haven’t had a glass of wine in almost 3 years (I enjoy a beer occasionally, but I avoid the trigger of drinking wine)
- I get to go out and do what I love each and every day
- I co-founded a non-profit corporation to help end domestic and family violence – WHAT???
- And so much more
And when the going got tough (and it ALWAYS got tough), Deb was there as my partner and my friend, but more importantly, as my COACH. She held my feet to the fire. She never let me quit or give up on myself. She pushes me right to the edge of the big, scary cliff and says “JUMP!” She believes I can do ANYTHING, and so, I hold onto her belief in me when I don’t believe in myself, and I jump and I learn how to fly on the way down.
So when I celebrate my Coach-iversary, it is a VERY serious matter. It is a celebration of the day that someone listened to the trainwreck that was my life back in 2010 and held out a helping hand. It is a celebration of the day I took back my life and started the creation of something very, very special!
Happy Coach-iversary, Deb! I love you!