“The greatest limitations are those that we put on our ourselves”.
You’ll meet Jill Wheatley on Sparta Chicks Radio this week.
Growing up in Canada, Jill developed a sense of adventure and a love of the outdoors.
It was this sense of adventure that led Jill to work in international educations as a Physical Education teacher in Singapore, Russia, Switzerland and Germany.
However, it was her job in Bavaria that changed the course of Jill’s life.
She was working as a Jill was working in Bavaria when on a cool, overcast day in September 2014, Jill took her class outside to practice baseball skills.
In a freak accident, Jill was in the head with a ball struck by a student.
Her right eye closed immediately and she was rushed to hospital where the doctors (unfortunately) concluded she just had a black eye and sent her home to nurse her injuries with an ice pack.
Jill spent the next 48 hours alone, drifting in and out of consciousness, before she was found by a friend and rushed back to hospital where it was discovered she had a fractured skull (amongst other injuries).
2 years, 7 hospitals and 3 countries later, Jill’s black eye never re-opened.
She was left with a traumatic brain injury, no vision in her right eye and limited movement in her left eye, leaving her with approximately only 30% of her vision (not to mention the physical, mental and psychological by-products of such injuries, which include an eating disorder which was misdiagnosed and left her dangerously ill).
As she recovered physically, mentally and emotionally, Jill’s thoughts turned to the mountains which she could see from her hospital bed in Colorado.
Originally she set herself a goal to circumnavigate the world and run not just trails but what she describes as “illustrious mountain ranges” with her “differently abled” body. It’s been over a year now and she’s going!
In this conversation, we discuss:
* life growing up in an outdoors-loving and adventurous family in Canada,
* where her love of travel developed,
* the accident and what she remembers of the immediate aftermath,
* the eating disorder she developed as a result of the injuries (including the damage to the part of her brain that controls appetite so she never feels hungry),
* why she set herself this goal to circumnavigate the world.
* the benefits of being vulnerable and asking for help,
* how she used self-talk, role models and visualisation to rebuild her confidence on the trails,
* why she calls her eating disorder ‘Rocky’,
* negative self-talk spiral and the strategies she uses to pull herself out of it, and
* what she has gained as a result of her accident and experience.
We can all learn something from Jill’s strength, bravery and insights about how she has adjusted to life with her “differently abled’ body.
Notes and resources:
Jill's Chronicles of Change series can be found here.