2001 U.S. Open
Singles and Doubles Champion
Nannette Oatley Johnson is a Wife, Mother, Nana, Author, Speaker, Resiliency Coach and the 2001 U.S. Open Wheelchair Tennis Singles and Doubles Champion. Each of these roles signifies a commendable achievement for any individual; together, they form an extraordinary list of credentials for one person to attain. But when the woman who fits the bill is a sit-down person in a stand-up world, the magnitude of her accomplishments is astonishing.
For nearly forty years, Nannette’s life has been a living testimony to the power of resilience. She was a former gymnast, dance choreographer, and amateur actress until a broken neck altered her life in 1982. Following her injury, she married and gave birth to three children within three years. In 1989, when her children were five, three-and-a-half and two, she began a single-parent career that encompassed nine years. During that time she completed a B.A. in counseling psychology and then an M.A. in counseling and human services.
Nannette first picked up a tennis racquet in 1993, eleven years after her injury. Since then she has accrued twelve championship tennis titles—six singles and six doubles—eight of them international wins, including the 2001 U.S. Open Singles and Doubles Championship title. She has been featured in local, regional and national media.
In 2002, Ms. Oatley Johnson became the first recipient of the “Director’s Recognition Award” presented by Women in Networking, an affiliate of the National Association of Female Executives, for “inspiring women to be all they can be.” In 2016, Nannette was inducted into the Prescott Area Tennis Association’s Park of Fame. She is a member of the U.S.T.A., P.A.T.A., Christians for Biblical Equality and the Prescott Chamber of Commerce.
Her book, Pain, Power & Promise: 19 Ways to Turn Setbacks into Comebacks is receiving rave reviews. Her sequel, Pain, Power & Promise: 10 Answers to Suffering and the Supposed Goodness of God, is in the works. Nannette is also the author of a Monthly Blog and Your Daily Dose of Resilience Quotes. (be sure to sign up and receive her free ebook).
Aside from her writing, Nannette is a Resiliency Coach and available online for individuals, couples and families. She also facilitates her 8-week Resiliency Groups for personal growth and empowerment. Do you need an Inspirational Speaker for your next event? Book here. And be sure to check out her custom line of Inspirational Note Cards, created in a collaborative effort, with local artisans to inspire hope and healing.
Today, Nannette divides her time with her beloved husband, Lew; her weekly Nana/Papa Day (where the grandgifts reign supreme); her writing and inspirational speaking engagements; her Resiliency Coaching and training her Goldador, Winchester Woof!
Hello friend, thanks for stopping by. I’m Nannette, wife of Lew; or as my phone contact in my fav’s reads, “Bodacious.” I spied him lying on a lounge by an outdoor pool over 24 years ago. Little did I know then that an Agnostic, Moabite (hint: Book of Ruth) would be more Jesus to me than any of the Christian men I had previously dated.
At that time, we were nearing what Erickson’s psychosocial theory terms middle adulthood (40-65). When it comes to age, I was actually 37 and Lew was 40. I was working on a Grad degree at U.C.C. S. and Lew was serving in his 21st and final year with the U.S. Army.
We will soon exit middle adulthood and enter the final stage, late adulthood. I know I’m sounding a bit morbid, for a resiliency coach and all, but I’m a bit staggered on just how fast I got here. Life is fleeting, says the Ecclesiastes preacher; and so it is. I am an incredibly blessed woman to share in an egalitarian marriage with a man who engenders both steel and velvet, two qualities I deeply admire. My husband has always put my interests above his own. Other women often ask me what I did to deserve him? Not a-gosh-darn thing. I can only give thanks to my First Love, who gave me Jesus with skin on in a guy named Lew.
I am also a Mother to three adult children. I earned that title through “a painfully different experience and uniquely mine story.” It is not just the trauma of a broken neck I suffered at age 22, but the fact that I married the following year and proceeded to have 3 children in the next 3 years as a sit-down woman. Then, as if that wasn’t hard enough, I decided to go it alone and become a single Mom when my kiddos were just 5, 3 ½, and 2 years old.
I’m often asked, “How in the hell did you do that?” followed closely by, “What was your labor and delivery like?” Well, I’m glad you asked because I wrote all about it in my book. Just click on my shameless self-promotion tabs in the navigation bar above! Seriously, you might be surprised to find out that those were some of my most precious and memorable years, right up to adolescence and then it all went to poop. Thank God Bodacious stepped into the picture when the kids were 13, 11, and 10.
After the kids grew up, and before the grandkids came (who of course are all phenomenal), I wrote and published my first edition of Pain, Power & Promise and re-released it in 2018 with True Potential Media and a new subtitle: 19 Ways To Turn Setbacks into Comebacks!
As you read above under the About Nannette section, today I author a monthly Blog and Your Daily Dose of Resilience quotes. I also offer online Resiliency Coaching, 8-week Resiliency Groups, my Book, custom Inspirational Notecards, and One Simple Nutritional Change to keep every part of your life resilient. If you need an inspirational speaker for you next event, I can do that too; please connect with me.
I hope to further my work on my second book in 2021, Pain, Power & Promise: 10 Answers to Suffering and the Supposed Goodness of God which will delve deeper into the subtitle’s spiritual and philosophical conundrum.
As for my tennis… I am no longer competing and traveling on the wheelchair tennis circuit. I still play weekly and compete locally in our Prescott Area Tennis Association (PATA) tournaments. My coach, Chris Howard, learned to play tennis from a wheelchair over 20 years ago and we still go at it today!
In 2016, I was inducted into the PATA Park of Fame at Yavapai College Tennis Courts for my advocacy work and volunteerism in the local tennis community. The brick paver I received has been placed into the walkway entering stadium court seven and under my name, it appropriately reads, “The only barrier is the net.”
I’d like to share one more aspect about me that I am passionate about.
Somewhere in my early to mid thirties I underwent a paradigm shift in my Christian ideology. As I came to a deeper understanding of my paramount role as woman, mother, provider and protector of my children, I began to research and explore the topic of Christians and biblical equality. I came across www.cbeinternational.org and found erudite theologians and scholars whose biblical interpretation (delete) contrasted sharply with traditional (or what most know as complementarian beliefs.
For example, egalitarians believe that man and woman were co-participants in the Fall: Adam was no less culpable than Eve. That the rulership (or hierarchical/complementarian model) of Adam over Eve resulted from the Fall and was therefore not a part of the original created order. Genesis 3:16 is a prediction of the effects of the Fall rather than a prescription of God’s ideal order. And we believe that the same Spirit indwells women and men, and sovereignly distributes gifts without preference as to gender. Both men and women are divinely gifted and empowered to minister and can exercise the prophetic, priestly, and royal functions within the community and Church. According to egalitarians, though the world is fractured by discrimination and segregation, there is no conveyance in the Bible whatsoever of female subordination or inferiority. The egalitarian interpretation stands against patterns of domination, inequality, sexism, discrimination, and segregation. It honors and values all human beings as equal and marriages as full and equal partnerships. It empowers and encourages women to function in positions of responsibility and authority within the community, the Church and the world.
Thank you for taking the time to meet me. Please connect with me.
What Others are Saying...
"Nannette Oatley is a woman of remarkable courage and unusual spirit. She embraces life in a wheelchair with fierce determination, glorious humor, and unwavering faith. Nannette¹s heart flows over with honesty, compassion, and good news. It is difficult to leave her presentations without being genuinely renewed and grateful for the gift of life."
- Dr. Peggy Natiello, Ph.D. Human Development, International Consultant in the Person-Centered Approach
"Nannette is one of the most dynamic speakers I know. Her life¹s journey is one of inspiration and courage. Her story is of determination and character. Her ability to tell her experiences instills faith in the triumph of the soul. There is no way you can leave her presentation without renewed confidence in facing all life has to bring. Nannette is, in a word, awesome."
-Hazel Bowman, Women In Networking, Director
"Nannette was a keynote speaker at our Annual Civitan Convention. Her topic, resilience, was both interesting and a 'hit' with our audience. She is an energetic and compelling public speaker, and I would urge your organization to contact her for your next gathering."
- Ward Topping, President Frontier Civitan Club
"Nannette Oatley's presentation at our recent convention was both inspirational and entertaining. I would happily recommend her to any audience, anywhere, anytime."
- CEO, Jay Martin, NSA