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Wellness Matters 11.03.2022

Learning From Our Fears Generates Wisdom


This time last week I was participating on day 3 of an intensive 3 day training programme on Team Coaching with EMCC David Clutterbuck. Having completed the Foundation accreditation in September, this Practitioner Level was designed to push us even further out of our comfort zones, to explore the complexities of team coaching.


Upon arrival on Wednesday 2nd March, I was delighted to be greeted with warm smiles from familiar faces who commented that I looked like Nanook of the North. I had left a very cold but sunny Edinburgh at 07:00 and arrived in mild and mizzly London wearing a thick woollen coat, cashmere beanie and faux fur lined gloves!


The journey was smooth: my lovely partner Steven drove me to the airport at 05:00, check in had been completed online and security was a doddle. This was the first flight I had taken since February 2019 and I felt like a fish out of water, constantly checking I had my passport with me. Once we were settled and take-off commenced, I focused on additional preparatory reading: Coaching the Team At Work by David Clutterbuck, who incidentally was our tutor and at 74years has an incredible amount of energy, knowledge and passion for coaching.


A change in routine can unsettle me, and I barely slept on Tuesday, fearful that the biggest challenge was actually in navigating the closure of Terminal 4 with limited access to The Hilton, where the course was being held.

Signage in Heathrow was appalling, as it had been in September, and I nearly boarded a train which would have hurtled past Terminal 4. Fortunately I was directed to TfL 490 bus with the assurance that it stopped at T4.

It did. I alighted and then panicked. Although I had seen The Hilton from the bus I had no way of knowing how to walk there, because the walkways are closed. Just as the tears were pricking my eyes, recalling similar travel frustration in September, making me late to the course, I flagged a TfL 482 bus and explained my predicament to the bus driver.

He smiled broadly: ‘Hop on,’ he said, ‘I’ll drop you near the Hilton. It’s a few minutes walk but closer than going from here.’

What an angel! He didn’t even ask me to pay and as we emerged from the subterranean car park/taxi rank/bus stop area, I felt lighter and he dropped me as close as possible to my destination. I thanked him profusely, blowing him a kiss as I joyfully alighted.


My faith in humanity restored, I threw myself into the course with energy and enthusiasm. Most of us had opted to stay in the Premier Inn which was considerably cheaper than the Hilton but didn’t have a gym. I was determined to keep my steps up to at least 10,000 and so walked along the A30 Southern Perimeter Road every day. It’s not very attractive, but safe and easier to walk straight up and down rather than look for a loop, which would probably lead to a dead end.


I arrived home later on Sunday than I had hoped, but the salty sea air hit me like a reassuring hug.


The week got off to a great start with lots of busyness at NBCCC on Monday and Tuesday, culminating in a skins swim on Tuesday evening: freezing but exhilarating.


On Wednesday, however, I hit a slump: the adrenaline from my travels had dissipated, I became distracted and unfocused and felt quite discombobulated. However, as it was date night with Steven I shook myself down, cooked a delicious spicy cajun prawn risotto and relaxed as we caught up with Season 6 of Outlander: fabulous in all its nonsense.


The weather has been kind this week, my energy levels are on the rise, and as the daffodils nod their heads in the gentle sea breeze, my soul is quietly uplifted and restored every day.


I caught up with my lovely friend and neighbour, Ali for a walk this morning and I intend to spend the rest of the day and weekend in the garden, removing fleeces from plants, adding topsoil to the flower beds, repotting, plotting, pruning and planning.


I hope you are well. I hope you are responding positively to the longer warmer days.

I hope, most of all, that the pain and anguish being so cruelly hurled at Ukraine, will cease soon.


Picture in support of Ukraine.



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