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 over thirty-eight 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.
Just released in 2018, her book, Pain, Power & Promise: 19 Ways to Turn Setbacks into Comebacks is receiving rave reviews. Nannette’s sequel, Pain, Power & Promise: 10 Answers to Suffering and the Supposed Goodness of God, is in the works. She’s also created a custom line of Inspirational Note Cards in a collaborative effort with local artisans to inspire hope and healing. Don’t forget to sign up for her monthly Blog, “Turning Setbacks into Comebacks.”
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!
At that time, we were nearing what Erickson’s psychosocial theory terms middle adulthood (40-65). To be precise 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 in his 21st and final year with the U.S. Army.
Well, you can do the math, in another 5 short years we will exit the middle passage 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 me and my interests above his own; speaking with other women I’m told that is rare! What did you ever do to deserve him? You ask. 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’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 Book Buzz at the top of the page! 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; it was just in time.
Though I still view myself as a Resiliency Coach and Licensed Professional Counselor, I only continue to offer those gifts on an as-needed basis. Speaking and writing are my loves; correction, speaking is my love, (writing is hard work). However, it is through both mediums that I am able to offer hope, healing, and inspiration.
My first book is designed to encourage, build, and strengthen your personal resiliencies; with a few laughs along the way. My second book, Pain, Power & Promise: 10 Answers to Suffering and the Supposed Goodness of God will delve deeper into the subtitle’s spiritual and philosophical conundrum.
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.”
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