This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series A Coach is Born

A Coach is Born Pt. 2


I started secondary school as Miss Goodie Two Shoes. But then, suddenly the 60’s happened and guess what? I was a part of it all. I discovered music the like of which none of us had ever heard and a lifestyle that was so far removed from that of my parents and my elder sister that it really blew your socks off. The rebellion had begun. Battle lines were drawn.

My school reports reflected the change eloquently. I went from being “an excellent pupil” to “Vivien day-dreams in class”, “Vivien’s approach to school is casual”, “Vivien’s interests seem to lie outside class.” Too right they did. This was the time to experience life head on.

Looking back, I must have been a nightmare for my parents, staying out all night, doing my own thing and, eventually, living my life, my way. Somehow I managed to avoid getting hooked on drugs or alcohol but I think it was more luck than good management.

Being a part of all that taught me some serious lessons. I started to realise who I could trust and who I couldn’t.   And, more importantly, I learned how to trust myself and be responsible for my life. Not all my decisions were good ones and I think that was because of the way I took them, using my head rather than my heart.

I tried, after my years of revolt, to make amends for past misdeeds. Guess what? I got married to a lovely man but, lovely thought he was, I realised that he wasn’t the man for me. Long before Elizabeth Gilbert wrote her book, Eat, Pray, Love, I was sitting on my kitchen floor bawling my eyes out. I didn’t want to be married any more.   I needed to spread my wings even further, to return to being that person who had emerged thanks to Auntie Jessie and the swinging 60’s. That person had got lost again. I learned that decisions made for the wrong reasons are not decisions at all, they are compromises. What was to be done?

You are probably becoming aware now that I’m not one to do things by halves. On a visit to some friends in Greece, sitting round the dinner table on their terrace, my friends asked me what my plans for the future were. I felt blank. I really didn’t have an answer to the question. What followed was probably the first coaching session I had ever experienced, but in those days it wasn’t called coaching, it was simply common sense. My friend, Spiros, and his mother had become unwitting coaches. We teased out that I liked people, talking, and travelling.

Years later a friends asked me how many times I was going to re-invent myself. The answer to that was simple – as many times as necessary. So there in Athens another beginning was on the horizon.

Six months later, I had my qualification to teach English as a foreign language. The world was my oyster.



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