The man who walked after 15 years

Can you imagine being in a wheelchair for 15 years and hearing someone challenging you by saying that by the end of the weekend you will walk?

I saw just that the weekend gone.

I was attending a personal development coaching programme, which was was pure high performance coaching. 

Results were guaranteed if you kept your end of the bargain which was to fully participate. 

Among the attendees there was a gentleman in his late 50’s let’s call him Jimmy.

Jimmy hadn’t walked for 15 years and had been in his wheelchair ever since, his life was very limited and constricted by what he could and couldn’t do and he was fully dependant of others. 

Jimmy had (and still has) ME, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which had been part of his identity for as long as he could remember. 

The weekend was packed with assignments, new knowledge and quite frankly it was full on!!!

Each day lasted about 14 hours, and that is not including the assignments, travelling time and further coaching. 

In 3 days all the participants got to know each other very intimately. That environment was all we need for over 40 hours, and even outside the coaching sessions we were still in touch to keep the fire in our bellies alive.

The coach was 100% on our case, he didn’t care about your age, he didn’t care about your ethnic background, he didn’t care whether you were single or not, all he cared about was getting results (and that we got!).

The coach didn’t treat Jimmy any differently, he treated Jimmy like the rest of us and in his mind Jimmy was able to walk, anyway. 

He kept saying to Jimmy: Jimmy do you want to walk? Answer me Jimmy, don you want to walk?

At first Jimmy wasn’t sure what to say or what was going on for that matter.

After umpteen times Jimmy said: yes I want to walk again, but… I haven’t for 15 years,

… but I need to exercise…

… but I will need help…

Jimmy, do you want to walk?

The coach wasn’t taking a no for an answers nor any excuses!

Eventually, Jimmy said I want to walk. 

To which the coach said, so be it, it will happen on Friday evening. 

All the participants, including me, where thinking he is mad… my former self from management was thinking… this is a recipe for disaster…

Where is the health and safety here…

I am sure others had their own thoughts and opinions about what was being said.

The kick-ass  coaching continued, it was hard core and exhausting.

It felt as it is was in a time bubble and there was this vortex of energy that kept awake regardless  of what and how I was feeling.

Imagine what Jimmy must have felt like?

The tasks weren’t easy, they were just there to produce results.

We were challenged, we were pushed, we were broken and torn and pulled apart, and then some more…

I ever feel like complaining or quitting, though that thought crossed my mind…

Omg, this is too much… this is not what I came here for… (that’s another story on its own right!) I just kept going.

I kept going for two reasons, I wanted a breakthrough in my chosen area and let’s be honest I wanted to see “IF” Jimmy would walk by the end of Sunday.

There were many participants and I didn’t get a chance to interact with Jimmy, we were in groups and we weren’t in the same group, though, he was in my mind at all times. 

Friday ended, I was relieved. Phew… 2 more days!

Saturday came and I was all over the place, I was tired, I was stressed, I wanted to quit, I was doubting myself…

I had a phone call with my partner and he was worried as I sounded so confused (when I am almost 100% of the time “with it”), I found that coaching intense.

Though, I kept thinking how must Jimmy be feeling right now…

I will be honest, I had a few chances to ask him, I just chickened out!

Saturday ended, yay I survived it, just one more day and…

Let’s see if Jimmy walks!

Sunday was one of the longest days of my life… I was there and I wasn’t there, I was in a time capsule, not really knowing whether I was dreaming or still awake or what on earth was going on…

What about Jimmy?


The moment came when we had to share with the rest of the participants what we had got from the programme. 

Many people stood up and shared with us what they got from their participation and what was now possible for them. 

I was so incredibly proud of every single person in that room, they made it to the end.

What about Jimmy?


The coach looked at Jimmy and said:

Well Jimmy it is Sunday night, are you walking?

Jimmy looked at him and shouted: yes I am. 

Jimmy proceeded to unbuckle his wheelchair strap and with some struggle he wiggled his bottom to the edge of the chair…

Jimmy struggled to move of the edge, though, he was determined, it was happening, you could tell it was going to happen…

Jimmy struggled and struggled I have no idea how long he fought to get up and nothing!

Then, I said to myself he isn’t going to not walk, not on my watch…

I jumped a couple of rows and ran towards him and grabbed his left shoulder and then someone stood up and another and another and another.

In total there were about 10 people aiding Jimmy, and together we facilitated Jimmy’s first couple of steps after 15 years…

Jimmy walked!

Just as predicted by the coach…

I was in awe, I could not believe what I just had witnessed, I was a man regaining his liveliness, I saw another human being getting his sense of being back. 

He walked and we as a whole helped him achieve that. 

It was just extraordinary…

What did I get from that?

I felt totally connected to every person in that room and a real sense of community. 

I learned that we all have a place in society to help someone else, we choose whether we fulfil it or not.

I discovered that you can achieve anything if you want it bad enough and declare it to everyone around you.

I deepened my love and respect for humanity, we are one…

There is not you, he, she or me or even it, just us, there are no real barriers or divisions, we just put them there. 

I am so glad I met Jimmy he totally and truly transformed my life he made many things possible for me and the rest of the attendees and our families too. 

Miracles do happen and they are there for grabs. 

Till next time, with all my love,


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