by Renée Tillotson
Marta literally hit ground zero when she broke a hold, careened off a cliff she was climbing, then slammed into the boulders 15 feet below, breaking 4 vertebrae in her spine. As she endured a 12 hour journey to the hospital she had a lot of time for pondering. She arose from that fall asking herself, “If I’m given another chance at life, how do I want to live it?”
People who have come to Still & Moving Center for a long time recognize Marta as someone at my side from the beginning, helping me to design its remodel, create its logo, paint its interior and exterior wall decor, and take most of its early photographs. She even managed our operations for a year while heading up our aerial department.
Marta climbs rocks. Seriously. She’s a world class climber who likes leading the life of an adventuring nomad. Staying on Oahu for 7 years, married to a fellow climber and only occasionally going off-island on climbing trips, anchored Marta for a longer than usual time. Eventually, she responded to the call of those wild rocks – ours in Hawaii being pretty tame in comparison – and moved on. She and I have worked together over the phone and computer everywhere from Tahoe to Turkey to Tasmania. For reals!
Once she broke her back, things changed for Marta. She could no longer take things for granted that she had assumed about her life, her beliefs, her future.
She set to work straightening out the various dysfunctional relationships she had accumulated so far in her life, especially focusing on all the changes she needed to make to become the person she really wants to be.
The very week she and her husband finished remodeling the first home they had ever owned and were about to settle into it, Marta decided she needed a divorce. That started the ball rolling. To their credit, she and Dave have since worked through all sorts of old stories and habits to develop a close, valuable friendship.
Marta was creating the life she wanted to live. Realizing that she had more garbage/treasure from her past that she needed to sort through, Marta began working by phone with a local counselor here in Kailua, Nancy Rubin, on the recommendation of a close friends. As one of Marta’s friends says, “I could have saved myself years of therapy if I had worked first with Nancy!” Marta also benefited enormously from working with Nancy.
Moving from one climbing location to the next, Marta surrounded herself with a galaxy of interesting characters. In various friendships and romantic relationships, she noticed old patterns recurring and began finding ways to interrupt those patterns to put her relationships onto healthier footing.
Digging through her self-work, she gained insights that she then shared with friends who were struggling through life choices and relationships. Eventually her counselor said, “Marta, I’m so glad you are now finally ready to step into your life’s calling of working with people to help them on their journey of living more fulfilled lives.”
As much as that sounded amazing to Marta, she didn’t quite know how to get started. She took her time finding the way into her calling. She made an appointment with my business coach Tony Bonnici – a long-time mutual friend of ours and had him mentor her into the practice of coaching.
She began by gifting 100 coaching sessions, and enrolled herself in high level training with an international group of coaches. Once Marta opened her door and phone for public business, her client base expanded rapidly.
Marta can be very clear-sighted, honest and direct. She also cares a lot. And she has the guts to re-make herself. I’d never wish a broken back on anybody. I’m glad, though, that she’s used her accident as a catalyst to seek the best way to benefit others and contribute to the world she lives in. She will serve a lot of people going through tricky, rough terrain that they’d have trouble navigating alone.