In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

We like to say meanings are in people, not in words. 

That statement never seemed more true than in reference to today’s guest, Lacey Jai Henderson. After losing her leg to Synovial Sarcoma at 9, Lacey has worked to rewrite the script for people living with disability everywhere. 

Following a Division I athletic scholarship for cheerleading, Lacey started competing in Paralympic Track and Field. Through a long journey of therapy, finding resilience and a lot of time on the track, she became an American Record Holder and a Rio Paralympian. In addition to working as a disability advocate, Lacey is getting her Master’s in Sport and Performance Psychology and pursuing her CMPC certification while still training full time for Paralympic track and field.

We cover: 

  • Maneuvering life changing and/or impossibly hard conversations 
  • How to use/approach ever-changing terminology with adaptive/disabled individuals
  • Discovering underlying drives and communicating your preferred coaching style
  • Why a dark sense of humor can become an important survival technique 

Connect with Lacey:

And a big shout out to the sponsor of today’s episode LMNT. LMNT is our go-to hydration product. With no sugar and no additives, LMNT is how I manage to maintain my voice when speaking for 16 hours and traveling every other weekend of the year. Right now, they are offering you a free 8-flavor sample pack (just pay $5 shipping) if you go to!

Support for today’s episode also comes from Dynamic Fitness & Strength. Dynamic offers the highest quality strength and conditioning equipment designed just for you, your space and your budget. Whether you’re looking to outfit your college, high school or professional gym or even just your garage, check out our friends at Dynamic and tell them Team AoC sent you!

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Brett Bartholomew  0:15  

Hey everyone Quick heads up. Today’s episode has a lot of adult themes. We cover everything from dealing with cancer, amputation, even themes related to sexuality. So if you have kids in the car, or you’re around an environment where you maybe don’t want those subjects blasted to a non discerning audience or a younger audience, just pay attention to that, you know, and we talked about this with every episode, please remember, all of us at art of coaching, are interested in bringing you guys conversations that are unedited, straightforward, and that cover really a lot of the sticky areas of life, we don’t believe that anybody really gets better by insulating themselves in terms of the conversations that they have one way or another, whether we like it or not, people are going to talk about a wide range of topics that said, we always want to be responsible. So please also know this for future episodes as well. If you’re a new listener, these things are unedited. We don’t want to censor speech, we want people to tell their stories and talk about things that are often swept under the rug. All right, you’ve been forewarned. 


I also want to tell you how grateful I am for our sponsor today LMNT. I know you guys are used to flipping through ads. But the reality is, is we can’t do this podcast and bring you these guests. Without these ads. This stuff costs money, it costs time, and folks like LMNT are beyond gracious to be able to support the conversations we bring to you. So listen, I’ll be very straightforward to this. I have stocked up on boxes and boxes of LMNT. It has been critical in my life. And especially during this time of year, which is one of our busiest between running our live workshops, coaching, the podcasts or online courses, our coalition mastermind, all of these things require me to do a lot of traveling and a lot of talking. And thus I am almost always dehydrated, they’ve also been critical because it actually tastes good and doesn’t have a bunch of crap in it. So whether you’re the type who drinks plenty of water already, but you need a little flavor change up. Or if you are on a low carb ketogenic diet or you use intermittent fasting, electrolytes are key. And they’re key for everything from relieving headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue. For me, I add them not only for the reasons I mentioned prior, but also because I’ve worked out pretty regularly and I’m a little insane with that stuff. And I’m also the type who sweats even when it’s 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees Celsius for those listening internationally. Because somehow I am always the warmest human being alive. Side note and a little bit about me in college. I actually used to love when it was winter, because I would be in these house parties and I would be sweating through my shirt. So I would pretend this is super embarrassing. I pretend that I would get a call on my cell phone really just so I could go outside and cool off because I always just felt like I looked ridiculous. But in addition to those life responsibilities, my work responsibilities me being the warmest person alive. I’m almost always dehydrated. 


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Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew. I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me and now let’s dive into today’s episode.


I’m about to ask you to do something impossible and uncomfortable, if not also off putting, imagine if you can, being diagnosed with an extraordinarily rare form of cancer. I know I know. So rare in fat that this particular cancer known as synovial sarcoma accounts for just five to 10% of all soft tissue tumors. Now to be clear, that means for every 1 million people, only one to two are diagnosed with it. And for those who are unfortunate enough to be afflicted, 1/3 of them will be diagnosed under the age of 30. And it’s more often diagnosed in males than females. Today’s guest however, Lacey Jai Henderson, was diagnosed with this at just nine years old. But that’s not all. She also had to make a decision as to whether or not they would fight the cancer in a more traditional manner, or if she would opt to have her leg amputated. Now, mind you, this decision was put entirely on her shoulders at an age when most children in the United States are entering the fourth grade. Despite this, Laci not only survived, but she thrived. She is a Paralympian, she was a cheerleader in high school in college, she has squatted over 300 pounds, it’s 136 kilograms. And she became an American record holder and track and field competing most recently in the Rio Games. 


She now is a disability advocate hand I love this, she leads in having conversations that help others normalize, being and feeling different than many of their peers, and speaks openly about embracing these differences, and how they are actually what unite us a message that really has never been more critical in a increasingly and highly polarized world. Frankly, we cover a lot here, and you’re gonna get immersed very early in this episode with her buoyant personality. And in case you didn’t listen earlier, be ready because we cover everything including how she dealt with this trauma in her life, to her preferred coaching and communication style, how she believes others can best speak with relate to and find common ground with amputees in the workplace and beyond. And also how she has embraced issues related to her body and sexuality despite the circumstances. In other words, guys, we cover incredibly important topics, adult themes and things that should be discussed, as they sit firmly in the gray area of what many of us often consider uncomfortable conversations. We consider these things uncomfortable, despite the amount of growth that comes from engaging in these kinds of discussions. So please tune in, truly listen and take notes from a remarkable person. And what I thought was a tremendously fun conversation. Here’s my discussion with Lacey.


Everybody you are in for it. Today. I am sitting with Lacey Jai Henderson Lacey Welcome to the show.


Lacey Jai Henderson  8:22  

I’m so excited to be here but thank you I’m excited


Brett Bartholomew  8:25  

as well sometimes Lacey I wonder if I should like almost like the B side of a tape and old Maxell cassette, if I should release the conversations had prior to the conversations out right and the stuff that we don’t record for you guys listening the context here and why say you are in for a ride today is it is very rare that you get somebody on this show that is just willing to go anywhere and everywhere. Open Book, especially in today’s day and age where no matter where you guys sit on any of your views of anything. I think we can all admit it is very refreshing when somebody’s Overton Window is just open 


and Lacey. Let’s not keep them waiting. Let’s dive right into it. You have an absolutely incredible story, something that you’ve overcome, that places you firmly within the gray area so many people struggle to navigate. Tell the audience a little bit about who you are, what you’ve overcome. And let’s dive in.


Lacey Jai Henderson  9:19  

Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s go from straight from small to medium talk. I love it. That’s my favorite flavor. yeah, so the whole base of my whole life is so funny. I mean, it’s tragic, but it’s funny now, I guess because it was 23 years ago, I was diagnosed with a really rare soft tissue tumor called synovial sarcoma. I was nine right before I turned 10 I had my leg amputated during all that I was doing experimental chemotherapy trials, nothing was working because like we really did not want to amputate the leg I come from an athletic family so we just the idea of being disabled or being an amputee we were like let’s try to not do that as much as we can until nothing was working and so like my the chance of my survive Have a one from like 20 to 70% of we amputated. So, you know, my dad makes me sick jokes. He’s like, as soon as they took gave him that number, he was like, well, let’s get the x right now


Brett Bartholomew  9:24  

Just so naturally, like when you go through, I think a lot of people can identify to like, when you go through something so profoundly heavy and hard. You find weird coping skills. So like, for sure mine in my family was like, a sense of humor and like, just kind of in like a dark way. But you know, but it got us through. And from there, because I come from an athletic family, both my parents were teachers. And so my brother and I were super close, were close in age. They were like, you know, you still have to find something after school to do because they were working and they were like, it’s probably going to not be chess club. So I just was constantly playing sports, even with a prosthetic leg. And back then this was, I got my amputation in 1999. So you know, I’m a woman of a certain age at this point.


Lacey Jai Henderson  10:09  

oh, man, you’re not really dating yourself there. I mean, I’m sure people are clutching pearls thinking about how old you are right there.


Well, I mean, we’ll still be in the athletic realm. Now. People are like, you’re in your 30s. And I’m like, oh,


Brett Bartholomew  11:09  

I need to be fair, you’re being coy. You’re a Paralympian. Right. Like, I know that you’re, and it’s charming, right? Like, you’re not just an athlete. And we’re all Yeah, I mean, of course, everybody’s more than an athlete in that context. But you’re a Paralympian. And it’s an uncommon thing, one for people to achieve what you’ve achieved, given the circumstances or even not given the circumstances. And then two I mean, I would imagine that there’s not a tremendous amount of people that keep at it very long and are persistent. I mean, am I relatively correct on that? 


Lacey Jai Henderson  11:40  

Yeah, I’d say that but also the interesting of the interesting thing about like, Paralympics, in general is our age demographic tends to trend a little bit older because a lot of people acquire their disabilities later in life. People be reckless, you know, legs becoming off acting come off any which way so, I mean, I guess for me, I ended up falling to the world of competitive cheerleading. I cheered in high school. And then I got a scholarship at University of Denver I chaired at DU. This is the time so again, dating myself early 2000s like MySpace not quite popping yet the way that we’re seeing social media now so there was no like, I didn’t do adaptive sports. It would have been nice now looking back to have started a little earlier because I didn’t start track and field until after I graduated from undergrad I fell into the world of Paralympic Track and Field kind of in a roundabout way I did track before I lost my like my dad went to Olympic trials for pole wall he’s like a two time national Decathlete champion he’s now my free coach which is great for my bank account. 


Brett Bartholomew  12:38  

sorry your what coach. 


Lacey Jai Henderson  12:39  

He’s my free coach my free 


Brett Bartholomew  12:41  

like free okay got it Yeah.


Lacey Jai Henderson  12:42  

I pay him with my presence. He is. Yeah, so we I just like never did try. We didn’t know about running legs. We didn’t know about Paralympics like there just wasn’t really the marketing for it. It just wasn’t like visible. And then I kind of found in a roundabout way I started volunteering it what I call app camp. It was a youth camp for kids with limb loss or limb difference and that was the first time I saw just like a little kid bouncing around on running legs like we had always seen them but it seems so inaccessible. I didn’t know how to get them I didn’t know like the process how that would look. But then my personality type as soon as I saw like, the average person having a running leg I was like that’s it for me like I should I won’t give me one of those and at the same time it was all my whole athletic career. This my professional athletic career basically comes from this like my questionably healthy health level of like just competitiveness and I get that from my dad. 


And my whole track were basically started my dad bet me we were having a like a family barbecue basically we have like this like Labor Day party. I call it sausage fest with my parents don’t know what that means. 


Brett Bartholomew  13:53  

Probably. Probably better than they don’t. 


Lacey Jai Henderson  13:55  

Yeah, but it’s an Italian like peppers and sausage roasting party, like at the end of summer and so I’d always call it sausage fest because I’m immature. But he I taught him how to play beer pong my senior year of college and we’re like talking mad shit to each other. Like that’s really my true talent. Honestly. That’s how the conversation turned into like he was like Lacey it was like who’s the better athlete near you my dad he’s 76 this year so he’s like, you know, he’s old. I’m old we’re all old now but he was like a you know, he went to trials and I was like, Well I had a division one scholarship and I’m an above the knee amputee and like, at some point he’s like, Listen, you couldn’t pull out two feet and I was the disrespect I could not handle the disrespect so I didn’t have my running like yet but I had like a cold the mile hoopty side like an old leg that I used to like tumble in.


Brett Bartholomew  14:43  

Yeah, real quick just to give the audience and me some context here. what would be the difference between like your hoopty leg and the leg that you actually got cause so I’ve worked with a lot of military that are adaptive athletes, right but I’ve never worked with a Paralympian it Add. I know there are so many emergent technologies and nuances to the prosthetics that exists. So can you educate us on that a little bit not to interrupt your story.


Lacey Jai Henderson  15:09  

So my hoopty, so hoopty the old beater leg. This is like the car you get when you’re 16 years old. This is like the beatdown very basic. So my legs growing up were all basically mechanical knees, they were like glorified door hinges and like I would blow him out because I would do gymnastic skills on him for cheer. I just did a lot of floor tumbling. And that was the one that I learned to pull volved in and I jumped six feet on my first day, but I became hooked because I just can’t not always put my foot on the gas. yeah, you know, it’s just it’s in me and but now I mean, just like you said, I’ve contracted for prosthetic manufacturers, one of the largest or the largest in the world. And I’ve done some of the DoD contracts. So the leg like my day leg, the everyday leg that I wear is a microprocessor knee. And it has like six different sensors and knows like directionally where it’s going. And those angles that it’s at. It knows like force application against the ground. It’s a smart like, you have to charge it,


Brett Bartholomew  16:09  

really. So timeout one does it give you data on like a readout? Like, can you see 


Lacey Jai Henderson  16:14  

Yeah, yeah, I can get like my swat the like the user, like the end user app is like you can get like, your steps like your battery life, like if it needs to go in for servicing, stuff like that. And then like the clinician side can see


Brett Bartholomew  16:29  

what like force production? What about when you’re running? When you’re on? I know, I think back in 2020, you had posted on Instagram, you doing quarter squats at 305? Right? Like, does it give you insight into that kind of stuff as well, like, is it 


Lacey Jai Henderson  16:42  

it would? Yeah, I mean, the software’s like not the knee is more technologically advanced. then the software that the like that that the basic person would see, I think an engineer like the engineers could see better, but like you would get like you can get percentage reads of your weight load on the knee. Like it’ll tell you your percentage weight, and I don’t weigh 305 pounds. So I don’t know, I would read but that is I shouldn’t do that it would be interesting would be interesting. And then the running blades are like they’re not the most the technology comes in the shapes, like the shape design of the blades. So these are the blades that we see people running in Katt Williams, we call them the bent bag, paperclips, that’s kind of how I liked because they’d be looking like bent back paperclips. And those are just like threaded carbon fiber layers just like laminated on top of each other. And like the angle of the blade is really where you get good return and it feels like running on a pogo stick the knee that I run on because I’m above the knee, it’s another hydraulic knee, but the fluid like stops, it’s 60 degrees of flexion. So the needle kick out faster than like a basic, normal hydraulic knee or even like the microprocessor knee.


Brett Bartholomew  17:49  

Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I got to ask one thing, and like just to slow this down for a moment, because, you know, I think of we have such a wide range of listeners. And I know last year, we had gotten reached out by somebody that had just had an automobile accident. And you know, they had to get one of their limbs amputated. And so I just think about people that, you know, might be in that situation. And listen to this in the future, I want to ask them to now just to give the audience kind of context, guys, when I learned about this, and I don’t know if the stats have changed. This was the latest kind of that I’d pulled up. I think it was from a 2018 article synovial sarcoma accounts for five to 10% of soft tissue tumors. That means for every 1 million people, every 1,000,001 to two, not 2 million, obviously one to two people are diagnosed with that, per year in the US and 1/3 of patients that have that are diagnosed under the age of 30, which you said was nine you were nine, right?


Lacey Jai Henderson  18:49  

 I was Yeah. 


Brett Bartholomew  18:50  

And it’s somewhat more common in males. So just like, I have to ask, once you had gotten it’s one thing to get that diagnosis, right, that hit and I know you said you deal with things with dark humor, and I appreciate that, but just rewinding even before that, and then there’s the actual like, holy shit, I’m gonna lose my leg. No, I know you’re nine right and I can’t even remember what I think about it nine other than what kind of pizza that I wanted from this crappy arcade down the street. But like,  what do you remember other than through the humor and all that? What do you remember about this process? I mean, how do you process that? How did it impact your family? Have you guys even though you look at it now and I’m sure you have like is it healthy? Have an attitude you can I mean, I have to imagine there was this period of tremendous panic went or


Lacey Jai Henderson  19:40  

Yeah, no, I mean, it’s so funny. So first of all, when you experience trauma at a very young age, you remember a lot So that part’s on like because that’s my partner my boyfriend’s like God, why don’t you remember so much for being a little kid and I’m like, I can’t remember college but I can remember you know, my you know, I don’t know anywhere from like nine to 12 


Ah, it was it. I mean, it was on a personal front, like being the sick person. This is like another disgusting thing to say, but whatever, if you’re gonna have cancer and like, acquired disability, nine years old is a great age to do it. Like it’s just, you have like, at nine, you can conceptualize like serious things like, you know, you talk, like we talked a lot about dying because that death was more of a conversation really than the amputation for a really long time. But you don’t have like the emotional baggage that you acquire just through life quite yet at that point. So it was like we talked about dying, and you still have kind of that, that childhood innocence, where you hear things happening to people, you hear about tragedy, and even if it’s happening to you, your brain just doesn’t like you’re like, not me, like, and that was it. I was like, I’m sick now. But I guess I’m gonna get better, because that’s what sick people are. And soI think it was actually easier to be the person in treatment than it wasn’t my family. My parents are now divorced, and did not handle it. That was my brother still struggling with a lot of stuff. And so everything was like a bomb went off in our house, you know, it was just like it destroyed everything. And for a while, I think like, I think about it a lot, actually. And like, I’ve spent a lot of money in therapy. So I think like that had the dark humor side helped me for the survival aspect. But I started living in a way where I never let myself process it until actually when I was in Phoenix, but I actually crossed paths with you, I finally started seeing a great sports psychology consultant that ended up having to like, help me through some PTSD stuff. Because I just never processed it. And so I think because of that, like I was going through life, constantly in survival mode, which is like, it’s very hard to live that way. It’s just very hard to live that way.


Brett Bartholomew  21:56  

It’s just draining. 


Lacey Jai Henderson  21:57  

Yes. I mean, yeah, it’s draining you like everything would I would just take everything personal, like my relationship struggled, and I just, I still had like this, level of confidence. Because I was athletic, I was able to be on like, able bodied teams, I was able to do sports. So I had like this level of confidence. But like, without any type of, I wasn’t open any type of nuance, like growing up like it was either or, like hot or cold on or off. And so that was where therapy came in a lot. But the cancer experience itself was, terrible. I like I there’s points where I got so sick. So basically, because synovial sarcoma is so rare. I’ve met somebody recently that was diagnosed, she ended up getting amputation, there’s usually if it’s in a limb, it’s typically she goes by the end of it. But it was like 20 years after I had been diagnosed. And it was the same chemotherapy protocol, like the actual advancement of medicine for this disease it has not changed and is also equally as unsuccessful today, as it was back then. And it was terrible. I mean, there’s times where I had to get my vitals checked every 15 minutes, like my, I had double pneumonia, I ended up having to stop chemo early because my colon collapsed. And I was starting to show like kidney and liver failure. And so the amputation kind of became like a Hail Mary move for us, because we really didn’t want to do it. I had less than 1%, tumor kill, and then we had a meeting, it was May 17. And that was basically where our doctors and my doctors were so amazing


I went to Denver Children’s Hospital, and they were like, listen, they talked to a bunch of doctors all over the country all over the world showed all my scans. And everybody’s like that legs, she’s gotta go, it’s gotta go. And they basically just for like, you know, we could try a couple other things, but it’s just, it’s not gonna work. And the best thing you can do is amputation. And then it was literally three days after that meeting that we had the amputation. And it was like, I had gotten so sick to that point, though, that it was like, the way that they framed it. The story was basically like, Here’s your ticket out of cancer land, like, Here’s your ticket out of the hospital. it’s like, you know, it’s kind of like squid games. Like,


Brett Bartholomew  24:11  

why do you mention that? Because, you know, it’s one thing. And I think you and I have connected online about this. One thing I tried getting across unconscious coaching is the importance of if you had a cheat sheet, and we don’t really like to speak at things in that term, but trying to relate and communicate more successfully than others, right? It’s really like this research relate and reframe. And so research has coincides with like, know, your audience know, the intricacies of them and what makes them tick. But like, what they did with you, is that relate piece and reframing of hey, and I know it sounds crass, probably to the casual listener, but I mean, you get it and you’re the one that went through it. So screw the casual listener. This is your get out of cancer free card, you know, that sounds like who would frame it that way, you know, but in reality, yeah, I mean, it’s I think that it’s, not an easy decision, but I’d have to have I just like anatomy and like, a life of trying to fight this extraordinarily rare form of, you know, this killer that is cancer. Or, you know, how do you give ground again ground kind of so to speak? I mean, how long did that take you guys to even think about? And I mean, how long do you process? What’s that family meeting? Like, you know? Yeah,


Lacey Jai Henderson  25:21  

I mean, I think, I don’t know, I think I still think like, I see my parents and like, if I can tell it’s impacted them, like, I’m not a parent I’m a dog parent. But even then, yeah, I can barely handle the tooth cleanings. Like, I think it was harder for my parents. And it was for me, because for me, it was very simple. And again, it’s like, I didn’t have that emotion. I didn’t, I wasn’t thinking about, am I gonna get made fun of in middle school, you know, at that point, it was just like, I’m so sick, I’m very tired of this, I want to see my friends. And I mean, I think if it were to happen at the age, I am now or even like 10, or five or 10 years after and then like, I don’t think that it would have been as easy of a choice. Because they let me make the decision which like, is isn’t is amazing for the story. But also looking back now I’m like, damn, really, like, shocked. But I think that was something that was like such a gift that my doctors gave me as they made it such a simple decision. And there’s been so many people, and I’m sure now I mean, knowing somebody who’s had cancer now has become so common, unfortunately. But there’s people that fight. And I had met people at that point that were like fighting to keep their legs, they were in the hospital for years and years and years. And then they end up fighting infections, they get out of cancer, they have all these infections, all these immune problems, and like they were basically my doctors were like, if you want to play sports, and you want to be healthy again, the best thing you can do is amputate right now they’re like, you know, you break a leg, you get a new one. Like, it was just it was such an they framed it in a way that was so simple. And I think like we were just so exhausted from fighting that like the emotion of the what ifs or whatever just, it was off the radar. And again, it’s like, you just become in survival mode that you’re like, I’ll know how this thing off like a dog if I have to.


Brett Bartholomew  27:07  

Yeah, well, and I have to ask, and then there’s kind of two questions. A follow up on that this one’s kind of more brief. But this is for my own curiosity. You mentioned a lot about your competitiveness, your personality. Now, we have a lot of different frameworks that we use at art of coaching, to have conversations about personality and drives. And none of these things are static, none of these things are monolithic. We make the point that it’s always going to vary. Okay. But the question I’m going to ask you is just kind of answer it in a general sense, we all kind of skew even though we’re all very many things, a lot of different things. We know where we skew. So there’s six drives we talked about in one of our episodes, and one of our workshops, and I want to read them off. And I would love to know which one resonates most with you, you down to play this game with me? 


Lacey Jai Henderson  27:54  

Oh, absolutely. Get a pen. Yes.


Brett Bartholomew  27:56  

Okay, tell me when you’re ready. I’m ready. All right. So I’ll give you the name of the drive. And then I’ll give you some context, okay. And if there’s something on that making clear, just let me know, one of the drives is an achievement drive. So with an achievement drive, kind of think of inertia as your enemy, any kind of idea of stagnation. And that could be like, anything that you feel keeps you from improving even just a small degree is repulsive. You know, you’re somebody that maybe needs, you got to read your 10 pages a night, you got to go for a walk, or you got to get a workout, you got to do something that allows you to kind of like, keep the engine burning and churning, okay, that’s the achievement drive. You love learning and growing. There’s a unity drive. These are people that tend to find solace in solidarity, right? They love being around people, the more the merrier. They can be alone, that’s fine, right. But they prefer to do things with others. And that’s, always their happy place. 


There’s a service Drive service drive. And as the name insinuates, these are people that really, if anything, they’re more likely to put themselves on the backburner again, and again, and again, because their primary focus in life is just helping others. And they’re not really too concerned with recognition and status. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t service drives that aren’t right. But generally just they’re always focused on other people, then, and I’m trying to be very vague about some of these because I don’t want to skew your answers. There’s the adversity drive. Adversity drives love a good challenge. They embrace change. Hardship is kind of the status quo. And they use that as a way to test themselves. Adversity drives don’t tend to be extraordinarily competitive with others, but they’re much more competitive with themselves and others is a part of that. But it’s got to be themselves first, in terms of their competitive kind of focus, two more 


significance drive, this strong sense of purpose, right? They really want to do something big. They’re terrified of the idea that they might have this wasted talent and they’d be put into the ground some day without being able to give something there. All right, they have they have kind of this visionary focus, they really think that they can make a difference and that other people can too. And then finally, is a security drive. These are people that love having a plan, they think many steps ahead. They want as much information as possible if even if they have a plan, and that doesn’t work. They have a backup plan and a backup plan, do a backup plan based on what I read, generally, which way do you think you tend to skew? Or none at all?


Lacey Jai Henderson  30:24  

We’re choosing am I choosing one? Or can I do like top three?


Brett Bartholomew  30:27  

You can do top three. Yeah, go top three.


Lacey Jai Henderson  30:30  

Okay, I would say because I’m like, I’m all of these things. But yeah, I unfortunately, like this is so annoying. Adversity number one, significant number two, achievement number three,


Brett Bartholomew  30:42  

why is that annoying?


Lacey Jai Henderson  30:44  

I feel like it maybe I think it’s like some we love our stories. We love ourselves, we’re typically our favorite topic. But at the same time, I think I get very tired of like the adversity narrative. Because again, maybe it’s the way like the experience that I have, like adversity man, it’s exhausting. But I do be taken on a lot of stuff. Like, just, and I like it. And it’s like, I can’t get to the extreme, like, you know, I’m getting my master’s now. And now I’ve, I’m like, I’ll just probably continue and get my PhD at this point, if you’re gonna do, the Paralympics of sport as well do the Paralympics of academia.


Brett Bartholomew  31:23  

Nothing exceeds, like success. And so with that, and this I know, this is a little bit of a harder question. You know, we let me give you some context. First, we always talk about what is what is good communication. I think all of us, especially those listening know what bad communication is like, right? It’s the stuff that costs you time effort. It’s the stuff that costs, just relationships, it’s the stuff that drives you nuts, because it seems like somebody’s tone deaf. You know, good communication is so context dependent, right? You and I could talk in a certain way. And we could have that locker room humor. And people could think that’s super inappropriate in one circumstance, or we could talk in a very buttoned up way, right? This could be a very formal podcast, question, answer, question answer. And it could hit the marks of good communication by some people’s metrics, but it might not be very interesting to listen to, which is why we 


within this based on your drives this adversity significance and achievement. What is good communication to you? Like, what does that tend to look like? And if you want a specific context, so it’s not so meta, let’s go in the context of you know, as a coach, and then talk to me about the context of what good communication is, with your partner, if you don’t mind, but what is how did you like to be coached? How did you like to be coached? And how do you think was there anything that you think somebody else could have misinterpreted, but it was definitely something that you appreciate it?


Lacey Jai Henderson  32:44  

definitely, I guess as far as coaching, like how I like to be coached. a lot of athletes too, I feel like they’re like this, like we like the criticism, like there’s always something to improve. And like, I’ve had coaches that are always like, when I first came to Phoenix, I shared with the coach that I was assigned to like, was always super, super positive. And after a while, I was like, like, I didn’t trust him. Like, I was like, Nah, come on. Like, I need some better to work with like, the ultra positivity in some aspects. Yes. But like me on the track right now. No, I need we need I’m not like it because I wasn’t winning. Like I wasn’t good. So it was like it was all sunshine and rainbows, I wouldn’t have to be right. And even now, like, you know, my work with my dad, and before I got on this call with you, I had like a pretty hard track workout. And the first part of it, he was like, that was pretty bad.


Brett Bartholomew  33:39  

A quick break in the action here to let you guys know about something that we’re excited about. It is the art of coaching speaker school. Now many of you know the feeling, you get this passionate tension. Whenever you sense that there’s this topic perspective or story that you want to share in the name of helping others. And you feel like you could always get better at being able to connect with people always get better at refining your story. Always get better at talking about what you do, how you want to help, or what makes you guys unique and all of you definitely have things that people need to hear. We all have perspective that can help others no matter what our imposter phenomenon will tell us. So if you’re somebody that knows you always have room to grow, you want to be a more confident and clear speaker. And more importantly, you want to find your style, you don’t want to be turned into some robot, make sure to go to Now, we’re running two of these events. This year, we do a limited capacity. So it is first come first serve. And we are going to get you guys to be able to get feedback and through a combination of practice, take homes, peer feedback, review sessions, and ultimately, whether you’re trying to figure out what to speak on how to speak to it, or just firm up how you come across in general. This is everything that we’re gonna obsess over. It’s always a very welcoming audience. Sometimes we do get questions. Hey, is it you? As extroverted people that go to your stuff, you know, I struggle with communication, guys, it’s the exact opposite. Our audience is filled with people on every end of the spectrum. We have had folks that deal with autism, we’ve had introverts self proclaimed introverts, we’ve had people that are maybe a little bit too extroverted and need to understand how to kind of rein it in and simplify what they do. The bottom line is we have an inclusive and welcoming audience. There’s never any judgement, we talk about ways to get better. And in life, it’s really hard to find a circle of people who will give you the feedback you need. We will do this, we love doing it. Please give us the opportunity to serve you go to right now, or if you have questions, just go to and you can book a call myself or somebody on our team to get more details. All right, got to Lacey Jai


Lacey Jai Henderson  35:52  

and even now, like, you know, my work with my dad, and before I got on this call with you, I had like a pretty hard track workout. And the first part of it, he was like, that was pretty bad. And I’m like, yeah, it felt the whole time it felt


Brett Bartholomew  36:04  

so like being like direct.


Lacey Jai Henderson  36:06  

Yeah, I do.  I like, and maybe and I know that this is too much for people because I’ve had this conversation. I like direct like, as soon as you know the information like upfront because you know, people for me at least, like I like to have at least enough time and like space to be able to like mull it over and do with the information as I will. And it’s only taken like life experiences and time to realize like not everybody communicates that way.


Brett Bartholomew  36:31  

So when with that, you know, when you say direct what could be direct to me or somebody in Chile could be completely different in terms of directness to you. Can you give an example of like, I know, it’s ad hoc, right, like, but yeah, Is it as simple as you know, Lacey Get your shit together? That was a subpar effort, or is it something like hey, Lacey? Not gonna lie that was trash comparatively to what I know you’re capable of try this instead? Is it? Those kinds of things? It’s less directed than that. Where is that on that scale?


Lacey Jai Henderson  37:02  

I mean, it’s like, I mean, my, I have this like on video, too. I was doing an interview, but it was on the track. My dad is like, walking past me is like, you know, bullshit all day, are we gonna get to work like, like this. So it’s like, definitely like, after that, that run, he was like, That was bad. You know, and it wasn’t like, The gentleness like I don’t, in my personal relationships. Like, I might need a little bit more softness. But even when I first started working with my sport and performance psychology, Mark Strickland, he’s in finance. He’s amazing. He was, like, upfront, like my first meeting with him. I and I feel like you and I are similar. It’s like, I can read the room. I can read people. So I usually get along really well with pretty much anybody I interact with very charming. And he like he and I lived in similar neighborhoods. And I came in and like, Oh, cute neighborhood, like we’re neighbors, blah, blah, blah. And like he made sure upfront, he’s like, listen, we’re not gonna be friends. He’s like, if I see you at a coffee shop, I’m not gonna go out of my way to say hi to you. And that was, at first I was a little offended because I’m like, everybody likes me. But at the same time, like I realized I was like, You know what, I like somebody upfront who’s like, this is the boundary this is what we’re working with like, no need for funny business like I’m funny business all day. But I do really, really well with people that are just straightforward. Like, not here to coddle you, we’re here to get shit done. Like,


Brett Bartholomew  38:17  

I think I think, you know, what’s so interesting to me as we delve more and more into the coaching research, especially like, as I pursue my doctorate, it was always odd to me where, you know, all these years, I’ve spent coaching, and the majority of athletes that I’ve worked with are very much like you, they like the directness, they like locker room humor, they know that there’s tough love. Yet, all the research continues to just espouse this whole transformational approach, right? Like, lift them up, let them know you love them. And, and like you said, there can be a place for that. But I remember even wearing Amazon has a device called the halo. And no, I don’t get paid for it or anything. But it’ll, code how you seem to come across right through the technology. And I remember at the end of the day, it would give you a printout. And they would say, because a lot of this coincided with this stuff that we do at our workshops, it would tell me that my most negative tone was, you know, between eight and 10 in the morning, and I had to think about that. And it was the time when I was coaching a few of these NFL guys that I’d worked with, and I remember one of them was always late. So I’d be almost like you said to be like Jack, you’re gonna tie your shoes for a half hour we get even though one of them had been in the NFL, like nine years if he did one thing wrong, right? Yeah, I bust their balls and be like, Dude, you look like a baby giraffe. Do you know how to move like, but then, you know, I’d go over and kind of pat him on the back and be like, Alright, now here’s the real coaching. 


But those guys wouldn’t have had it any other way. You know, they wouldn’t have had it any other way. And I know that it’s especially interesting too. Like, I know plenty of coaches that feel like this is still something communication. One isn’t talked about a lot in coaching. I think it’s talked a lot about in business leadership, but that’s even worse in terms of this kind of warm, fuzzy thing. But another thing I know and we have some clients that they don’t know how to communicate to female athletes, you know, especially in today’s Is climate and so just the way you like to be interacted with, does that change? Male Female coach? Is there something that you think male coaches could be better at doing to build buy in? Like, is there any time? You know, because that’s, it’s a tough subject today. I think people are just scared to cross boundaries. They don’t know what’s what, I think most people don’t know how to communicate in general, let alone an adaptive athlete, a female and somebody that’s very competent and wants to direct. What advice would you give somebody if they had to like, Okay, you’re coaching Lacey today? Good luck.


Lacey Jai Henderson  40:28  

Yeah. Well, I think so much of its contextual. And I think like, just like you said, like, there’s studies that have come out and I was reading a lot I would do, I’ve been doing like, just randomly, I’ve been assigned to do a lot of work on like, self talk and resilience, which is my shtick. Now even with my job, but  you know, the athletes typically that you work with, and where I’m at now and my, where I’m at now, like, in my professional career as well, like we can self regulate, like, it’s like dealing with criticism is not gonna, like make or break you. But I think in the beginning part of me, like starting track, like, definitely would not be able like that. It just like that would have broke me, especially if it was somebody who like, I felt like when I was working with the coaches in Phoenix, because I didn’t know them really well. I know like Dan, like, Dan path was our coach. And he’d like people left because he was like, so mean. But I was used to it. I make jokes all the time that I’m like, my dad’s female son, like I was just kind of raised in that environment. But I’ve also been really lucky, I went to an all girls high school, and I’ve had female coaches, and I like having female coaches, I think females are like, sometimes we can be a little bit more cerebral. And, there’s a way because I feel like men are actually, ironically, I feel like men sometimes are more emotional, but in a way that like, you have to be funny. It has to, like, come off a certain way. And like women can just be like, All right, like, that was not the time that we’re aiming for, like, try this, you know, maybe this is your technique. So I think women like, we like more words, I feel like men like less words. And they like bigger impact less words. And I think like women like same amount of impact. More words, like that’s at least been my experience. 


Brett Bartholomew  42:01  

Sure. No, and I appreciate you saying that’s contextual, right? Because there’s always inevitably somebody that’s like, there’s no differences between and it’s like, I think people need to appreciate there are differences. And and if even if somebody doesn’t believe that there are differences between identify genders or sexes, they’re identified. There are differences in terms of cultures. And it’s not just like culture of where you’re at in the world. But it’s think about that, like you had to have one of the hardest discussions in your life at nine. Why would you not like direct communication? Right, I would have to imagine that that would have changed the way you personally interacted for the rest of your life, I would have to imagine and again, we know each other, but not like, well enough that like we’ve ever talked about this. But I would have to imagine that like, even if I was in a relationship with you, whether it’s a coaching relationship, or a romantic relationship, that you would value some level of direct forthright. Hey, let’s cut to the head of this. So we can move forward faster together than beating around the bush. I mean, am I correct with that?


Lacey Jai Henderson  42:57  

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Anytime there’s like any questionable moment, even with my partner with Josh, I’m just like, it’s something the matter. Like, can we just get Can we just fix this right now. And that’s like, but that was, again, like shout out to my mom. Like, when I first got diagnosed, I know that my mom like, my mom was definitely the leader of me being second than my dad. It was like a really, like, my dad took all my recovery stuff and just helped me excel. But when I first was diagnosed, my mom like had asked me she was like, how much information is like, it’s gonna be really scary, but how much information do you want to know? And even at that age, I was like, you know, again, it’s like, Kid math is so simple. I was like, Well, it’s my body, I guess I should know. Like, it’s, if it’s happening to me, I would like to know the information. And again, it’s like, who knows what’s right or wrong, especially with parents like no one comes out to into adulthood without a little bit of a little bit of damage, but you know, it’s what keeps us exciting and funny, but, but it was something that they made sure to do. Like I will always knew exactly what was happening and like, I don’t know if that was the right or wrong thing. But that was just it did it shaped me and it shaped the way that I communicated because again, it’s like I talked about coming out of cancer land like it’s for so long as I feel like I just was running on those survival fumes. 


So I was just used to constantly just like give my feedback even on my coaches, when I was in Phoenix, it was just like constantly like oversharing so much information and just like the older I’ve gotten, and the more I guess like the more self sustained that I am now especially in track and field like it’s you don’t have to just continually like overload information like you like now I know like what the important parts of information so we can be as efficient as possible, but that comes with time and I think it’s the same thing to talking about, like coaching your styles, like you can handle crass jokes like you know, annoying things or distracting comments and then being able to refocus again like that just takes time and I think like, the more you love the the more you’ve reached levels of mastery in your craft like you can things are a little bit they’re less emotional so you can make the facility up because you know, like the task at hand but like when you’re first starting a lot of it has to be like Come on ladies, you can Do it because you’re faking it, you’re like, I’ll figure it out. But go in with a positive attitude until you understand what it is you need to work on. And then it just changes and it’s constantly changing. And it should.


Brett Bartholomew  45:12  

Yeah, I think, you know, as a brief aside before I ask you, because we have a really good question from two of our audience members, one that’s in the corporate world, one that’s in coaching. Yeah, I think it’s really odd that we’re supposedly advancing as a society, yet our emotional intelligence and our ability to tell jokes, not get offended so easily. All of that is dramatically decreasing, right? Like, here we are, we’re the predominant social animal in the world. Like we literally like we’re the most skilled communicators in the world. Yeah, we cannot tell jokes, we cannot deal with uncomfortable scenarios. It’s, always really concerning. Alright, so two questions, I want to think about how to frame this. So give me a moment.


Lacey Jai Henderson  45:52  

Okay. Because I was thinking I’m like, as somebody I feel like, I’m my Instagram, like, I have a relatively progressive, like, point of view. But I agree, I think like any the canceled culture thing, where it’s like, wherever things are pulled out of context, all the time. It’s not our growth, and it stunts our ability to connect with each other, because so much stuff is contextual, so much stuff like is based on the person that you’re talking to, and not just whatever setup situation, and it’s it really inhibits a lot of


Brett Bartholomew  46:21  

Yeah, well, I mean, like, I mean, now you got me on it, right. Like, the only way that communication fails is when it stops, you know, and when and that’s exactly what that does. That makes people you know, I was talking to my cousin the other day, and I go, who would want to even run for president today and President being relative to whatever, you know, whoever, wherever you are in the world, whether it’s a prime minister in Peru or whatever, like who would want to do that when the world is just out to get you like, I’m a nobody. And I know that there’s been podcast episodes where I’ve even been like, oh, god that could get taken out of context. And it’s just like, none of that lends to progress. Right. But anyway,


Lacey Jai Henderson  46:59  

I was telling my friend I’m like, already have my apologies drafted for the few things I’m sure. Already 


Brett Bartholomew  47:04  

it’s funny. You said that, because that is definitely like, I almost started taking a huge interest in like, when public figures or people have to apologize, like you start looking at you’re like, oh my god, is this gonna have to be me someday? And like,


Lacey Jai Henderson  47:18  

be ready for this? Yeah. It’s like you said, like, the canceled culture, which is like, first of all, terrible name. I hate that name for them. But it does it just like when you cough like when you when you’ve just decided like, there’s no room. There’s no like understanding that happens instead of being like, alright, you said some kind of fucked up didn’t love it. What did you meet? What was it you were trying to say? Like, where are you coming from? Why did you say that? But instead of just like just put closing the door to somebody is not a way to move forward? 


Brett Bartholomew  47:45  

No. Well, and you look at it. I mean, the real term firm is critics and generally people that you know, kind of Boo from the cheap seats. They’re people that just don’t have experience or skin in the game doing anything, right? Like, these are the same people that hate every book is written, that’s written yet they’ve never written 500 pages in their life, or they did and that failed. So they want to put that anger on somebody else. And so, you know, that’s the thing that is always concerned me about nameless, faceless critics that want to tear others down. It’s, well, what have you done? Have you ever been in that situation, right? Like if somebody got called out for something, and somebody else is kind of screaming for their head, it’s completely different if they’ve been in that situation and navigated it. But I think we have in society now I know definitely in like the education community, both with leadership and coaching. Everything is so passive, right, everybody can observe. And yet they think that like having exposure to something is the same thing as having experience. And that’s not the case. You know, and then how people will weaponize divisive subjects, somebody won’t like somebody. So they’ll weaponize a divisive subject to bring more divisiveness to that and you’re like, Oh, I see what you’re doing there. Like you’re going real power play, when in reality, like that’s a more deceitful thing than that slip up that that person said,


Lacey Jai Henderson  48:57  

it’s just the theory, the mental gymnastics of like applying theory versus like actual application of things. You’re like, man, aren’t you tired? Wired?


Brett Bartholomew  49:08  

So let’s talk about the application of this and go back to the question two audience questions, right. One was from corporate one was from a physical therapist. So the individual in the corporate world works at a law firm. And they had said they had recently interviewed somebody that wanted to be a part of their firm, very well established good practice all this as a great background. But they found upon them walking in that they were adaptive, right? And am I using that term correctly in that context, still,


Lacey Jai Henderson  49:35  

oh, disabled I just say disabled. Once again, it removes the emotions of it. That’s a whole nother podcast, right?


Brett Bartholomew  49:43  

So we’ll use your term. Alright, so disabled, the endoprosthetic right leg, and they said, You know, I found myself wanting to acknowledge it so that I didn’t like you because that can be offensive. We’ve had somebody on the podcast before, right? They’re disabled. They’re in a wheelchair and they’re like, Hey, you can acknowledge it, right? Like don’t treat me Like any, but then this individuals like, Yeah, but then at the other time, I don’t want them to feel like they’re stigmatized. And I don’t know what to do now similarly, and then get your take because they’re very similar. The physical therapist said that they had a new patient, right? It was the first patient consult, disabled prosthetic as well, as you know, they were like, I’ve had patients that they don’t mind. They make jokes, like they’re very open Overton window, right, much like you’ve described yourself. And I’ve had others where like, that has taken away their identity. They haven’t learned how to cope with that yet. 


And so here you have two individuals that want the best for the person they’re serving, right one in an interview, one in a patient console, and they don’t know how to handle that first interaction. Now, I’m not going to put you in a position Lacey, where your word is gospel, because it always matters context, Matter, we know.


Lacey Jai Henderson  50:48  

I mean, right. My apologies.


Brett Bartholomew  50:51  

anybody listening? This is an opinion, right. And it’s based off Lacey’s experiences. But what are just some general solid principles, do’s don’ts that you would suggest so that they could both navigate that without making that other person feel alienated?


Lacey Jai Henderson  51:05  

Yeah, I’m going to do the PT first. And I think you handled it a great way. Like, it’s really simple. I kind of like me myself as like a cisgendered. Straight woman, like I kind of navigate this with LGBTQ IA, whatever new letters, I’m going to so many letters, it’s a lot to keep track of, and like, it’s not like, realistic to think that everybody can keep track of that. So when I deal with, like, people in that type, like demographic are from that community, I’ll just, I didn’t like what’s your preference? Like, please tell me and also have grace with me, because I’m gonna forget, I won’t forget. When I was a camp counselor, like, there’s a lot more gender fluid, teenagers, I work with teenagers, mostly. And like, I know, like, we had a couple of days of EMS. And I was like, that’s great. I’m like, when I say, Ladies trying to get you guys in a circle, please don’t be offended. I’m just trying to make sure you’re safe. But


Brett Bartholomew  51:53  

if I say guys, it’s inclusive, like we’re just using the term, yep.


Lacey Jai Henderson  51:57  

I’m like, if it really hurts you, please tell me but like, please know that, like, I’m not doing it in a way that’s trying to make you feel any type. I just want to make sure you guys like, are coming out with the same amount of limbs that you came in with just a minute. But, so like, for the PT, yeah, I tell people, because I know people are like, what terms do I use and like, again, with disability language and any type of minority culture like, again, the language is always always fluid. So we’re doing disabled now. That’s the new thing. That’s really because so there’s been a big movement, and it’s like, hashtag stay the word. And again, it comes with, like, the stigma that the word disability disabled has had for so long. It’s always been like, less than weaker, whatever, and whatever. And so now we’re just like, I’m disabled. And it is what it is deal, like, sure to, like, deal with it. So it’s an and it’s not less than it’s just disabled.


Brett Bartholomew  52:45  

I have something that I totally want to go off on right now. That is maybe for after the interview, but it’s going in the next question. So keep going. Yes.


Lacey Jai Henderson  52:54  

Yeah. And so I’m like, it’s disabled. It’s not about because even like, My people in my own family, too, are like, you know, special ability, exceptional ability, and you’re just like, disabled? Like stop making it a big deal,


Brett Bartholomew  53:06  

right? Do I have to, so I have to button a little bit on this, because I have to ask, and I could get myself in trouble where I want to go with this. 


Lacey Jai Henderson  53:15  

write Your apology? 


Brett Bartholomew  53:16  

No, you know what I’m, just gonna say it, okay. Part of this, like this whole words, meanings are not in word, they’re just in people, right. And like, part of this has to come from a place of confidence, too, right? If you’re, categorized as disabled, the impact that word has on you has to have a little bit to do with your confidence. And here’s where I’m gonna get like, clutching pearls. And, guys, we added a disclaimer at the beginning of this episode. So if you have kids in the car, please hit pause, I’ll wait to the count of three. And then I’m going to continue on 123. So my wife and I were having a very candid discussion the other day, right. And we are talking about intimacy, and how that continues to grow in a relationship. Now, I am a confident, warm blooded man, right, and I tend to have a more dominant persona, yet I can put myself in submissive situations in our intimate life. And that doesn’t make me feel like a sub, or submissive, my athletes and I actually have this conversation once, you know, because people talk about their preference, you know, like all these things, and guess what people people talk about sex. So like, I could put myself in a compromised situation with my wife. And I’m not sitting there like, oh my god, I’m less than because I’m in this position, you know, like, that comes from a place of like, I have a center of self and that’s a role that we play, and it’s part of a larger, healthy, intimate relationship. Just like if she’s in that position. She doesn’t feel like devalued or whatever. Like we know that we love each other. 


And so I remember having this conversation with somebody who was disabled and we have this and that’s why I’m interested in your take too, because you don’t want just like a baseline of one And of course, everybody has a different. And I had asked them that same question. Now they preferred adapted, but it wasn’t because disabled stigma, they’re just like, Listen, man, at the end of the day, I have confidence in myself. And what I’ve overcome with this is far bigger than the word that you use to describe it. And he’s like, so I’m good. And he, and I have to tell you, I appreciated his fire, he said that he got actually pretty frustrated for people that like, got so obsessed with words, because he’s like, go out there and just like, deal with your shit, you know? And that’s not for everybody. Right? But for him, he just like he didn’t like the back and forth the word. So I’m glad that you’re kind of talking about it. Because I’m not saying that it’s not valid for certain people that are still working through that. That’s not what I’m saying. That is valid. Deal with it. However, you can, that’s your prerogative. I’m not disabled. I get it. You know what I mean, I appreciate that. 


But I also appreciate the other point of view of people just being like, what we do, or what we’re called in a moment of time, does not define us any more than that old quote of how you do anything, is how you do everything. I’ve said it before on this podcast, I don’t make love to my wife the way I take out the trash, you know? And so I mean, like, Let me think about but like, think about that, like I got told that all how you do anything is how you do every I heard other coaches say it to me, no, like, the way that I tie my shoes is not the way that I approach this. And like if you’re going to be an absolutist about something don’t you can’t pick and choose then on the backside, you know, but like for you what I’m hearing you say is that the term is pretty fluid you like you go disabled is what it is that doesn’t have a stigma to you. That doesn’t make you feel less than Am I hearing you correctly?


Lacey Jai Henderson  56:38  

Yeah. And I think like, I liked you brought that up. So like simplest answer for the PT just ask the person their preference, because and you brought up the same thing too, because everybody is on different levels of their disability adaptive journey. I know for a really long time I called a disability denial. I was like, I’m not disabled, I like comes off. And like, you know, like, but and like, for me, it was because I just did not want to be associated with those people. And like, you know, now comes in my unity thing. I’m like, I am those people. I’ve known people like, you know, and it’s okay. And but that was a journey that like it took me a really really long time. And like I think that’s also like what gave me that fire to like push myself to be the athlete that I was to, like continue doing the sport and even now like, I mean, now I like do a lot of disability advocacy, a lot of disability education. Now I’m on like the city of Denver’s commission for people disability, you know, I just it’s disabled up in here up in my house. But but that took me a  really long time to be even when I was infinitely I didn’t have crutches for the longest time because I was like, I wear my leg like I don’t need crutches. Like it was Dan path to that’s like what get some damn crutches like, what are you gonna do if a fire comes out? Like to get on crutches? And so yeah, that was my disability denial. And I think going to the second question,


Brett Bartholomew  57:55  

well,  just real quick on the first one. So just to clarify for our listeners, if I’m your physical therapist, and you’re coming in for something unrelated to the leg in which the disability is present, right, the prosthetic, right? Obviously there’s pleasantries. Hey, Lacey, what brings you in? We’re talking, we’re building rapport, that that hopefully is obvious to folks, but not only show obvious to folks, you know, then like, does that? Is it even worth acknowledging if that’s not what you came in for? You know, is it worth? Like, how do you you know, I mean, like, to me, having worked with folks that are in this position, I just treat them the way I’d normally if they want to bring it up, they bring it I don’t act weird about it. I felt like Hey, what happened? Yeah. 


But I do want to say these things, because we have people in different parts of their journey listening to this right and what might seem like we had somebody the other day, that DM to me saying, how does he get a job in strength and conditioning, and he’s like, I’ve been DMing others trained coaches, there are a lot of people that would call that person stupid. Like, he just doesn’t like I had to tell him, Hey, DMing people and asking for jobs, probably isn’t the best way to like, separate yourself. And here’s why. Right? And he wrote a really thoughtful response. It was just like, listen, I hadn’t thought about that. And then maybe he’s asking for internships, but he’s like, I hadn’t thought about that. I was just trying to find a direct line of communication. And I go, I get it, but it’s the medium not the message. You’re not wrong to try to find a direct line. But you’re doing that in the wrong way. The direct line here would be like a face to face or a direct email. But you know, then he was like, well, emails Nobody answered. So. Point is I’m not trying to make fun I’m trying to make sure that we just give a thorough answer and things to consider for everybody. At what point if at all, do you acknowledge it if it’s not the core reason?


Lacey Jai Henderson  59:37  

If it’s not the reason why you’re in there, don’t acknowledge it like my business I mean, that’s I have a lot of and again, it’s like, it comes down to where people are on their journeys for and for me, like my amputation was the best part of having cancer. It was part of cancer, but other people acquire their limb difference or disability. And really dramatic ways and like in ways that like they don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to be reminded of it like people died in the accident. Like there’s a lot of different things that can happen. And so like, again, it’s like if you’re a PT and like you’re working on someone’s shoulder blade, and they happen to be a leg amputee, like, use Google don’t that’s I like told somebody the other day I was like, try Google Don’t try me like this, like I’m so sick of this and a lot of it. We just as a species, we’re just like, we’re kind of nosy like, and especially in this culture. It’s really hard because I know like, a lot of people really want to meet heroes. And the amount of times people ask me if I’m military, and then I say no, and you just see the disappointment. I’m like, I’m sorry.


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:34  

But I’m a Paralympian. I’m also worth something.


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:00:37  

Yeah, they’re like, Well, you know, and then they’re like, what happened? Like, I’ve learned now like, the quick answer is no, I’ll just be like, no, and then move on with my life. If people do want to know, I’ll be like, I had childhood cancer, and then you can tell they’re disappointed again. They’re like, that’s sad. And I’m like, well, and what scenario would this have been?


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:51  

You go, but I’m not. Alright. So  let’s talk about the legal situation, the hiring, right, you walk into a room? And


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:00:58  

yeah, I mean, I think it’s, so complex, honestly. And I don’t think I have a clean answer for this. Because the crazy thing about especially being an amputee, like, if you are a disabled person that uses a wheelchair, if you have like, significant cerebral palsy, if you’re fully blind, and like, you know, walk with a cane, those are like disability factors that people can see, like, you know, you don’t have to be like, like, I kind of reminds me like, when I was dating, especially when I was dating in college, like I would, there’s one time I went on a date, I thought this guy knew about my leg, he didn’t know, it became very, very weird very quickly.  I can tell you that story for later time. But it’s hard because like, as an amputee, so much of your life, like, has to adapt, I guess, for lack of a better word, since we’re, since we’re on brand, yeah, adapt around that, like, I mean, it just does. Like it doesn’t run your life, but it becomes a very large part of your life. And like, it doesn’t change fundamentally who you are, but it does change the way that you operate in the world. And so at the same time, like it’s not going to change the way that you do your job if you’re a lawyer, like it’s not gonna change the way that you were educated. 


but yeah, I mean, I guess I wish that my partner was here, he’s actually Josh’s an amputee as well.  I never thought I did another one. But here I am. And I know like, and he’s a new amputee, he lost his leg, and I’m just gonna blast his story. He was he was in a motorcycle accident. And I know like for him, it’s still navigating really weird how to bring it up. I think he just didn’t until like, he did like a


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:34  

good point. And like, listen, to be fair. The one of the best things you said, and you said many great things that people have, like, take the took the time to slow down. And listen, I love where you said, I don’t have a clean answer to this. Because Lacey we kind of stack the the deck, right? That’s what we’re trying to show through these interactions. There are never clean answers. There’s no one size fits all, you know. But the second thing you said there, too, is. And while I can’t speak to the amputees side of things, other than having worked with amputees, I can speak to my former stepfather who had polio, and he had polio in his right hand. And I remember when my mother had introduced me, to him, she was like, hey, you know, or prior, she was like, he has polio. He, like he doesn’t think anything of it, shake his damn hand, you know. And so there are a lot of people that always be like, oh, like, I don’t, what do I do? I just came in there. And I’m like, What’s up? You know, Dave, you know, shook his hand and everything. And now Dave, would Dave and you would get along great. He made jokes. And he’s like, you know, I heard you’re in strength training it and like, yeah, you know, whatever. I just kind of let them go with it. Right? This is a long time ago before. Yeah, before we started doing work with more corporations and everything. And he goes, You know, I used to shrink train quite a bit. He’s like, I got a little crazy with it. And that’s what happened to my hand. And like, Dave, just like, it became a recurring joke. Like, everything was like, we’d go somewhere, and we were hiking a volcano. And he’s like, you know, one time I fell on a volcano, that’s what happened to my hand, you know, but I think like, for me on the hiring side of things, and when we have hired folks that are disabled, it’s like, like you said, I don’t make anything of it. You’re a person. Let’s get into it. And if that story wants to come out over time, then it comes out over time. It’s completely different if I was like drafting a quarterback who had a prosthetic arm, and we had to figure that out, and guess what even that’s figured out for you because he got


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:04:20  

my hand in the NFL. Yeah, 


Brett Bartholomew  1:04:21  

that’s my. And so I just think that like, people overthink this. And part of the issues with communication that we have is we live in our own heads. It’s about sometimes just admitting and I think you did a wonderful job of this. It’s, getting out of your own head, progressing as you normally would, and let just let the situation evolve. We don’t have to have control over it all the time. Yeah, you don’t and like go ahead.


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:04:46  

No, and I’m like, that’s the only thing I guess like for if you’re because there have been situations where I’ve been like, I got a prosthetic leg and there’s been other times where I’m just like, deal with it. Like some guy recently was having a meltdown because I was wearing tights I cut off the leg on my right side. Just because you can take your leg off easier. And this guy, he didn’t know I had a prosthetic. He’s like, Oh, but then he quickly got over it also, I think because like, I just can control that now like, I can just control be like, yeah, it’s normal, like it’s fine. Like you don’t need to know my whole life story. And I guess so for the corporate guy trying to get a job like, for me, I kind of think I’m like what’s going to make my life easier if these people just know that the thing that sucks about that is you can’t control their reaction, but you can at least be like they you deal with that information as you will? Or if it’s not important for them to know. And like if it comes up and you’re like, oh, yeah, by the way, I have one, leg, go back to typing, like, you know, there’s just, there’s ways that you can kind of take power over the situation, even though you can’t control the way that somebody is going to still react to it. But again, like you said, it comes down to your confidence level and like your willingness and I don’t know, I kind of like to like, again, in 2022 Also, like being like a small woman, sometimes I kind of like to do like the power games with especially with men,  I’m in charge now. You know, and that’s like, that’s maybe just me,


Brett Bartholomew  1:06:01  

but I think listen to one of our former guests, Andrew Houser, is an amputee as well. And he worked for the Dodgers for a long time in the Braves. And I think it’s just I hope anybody that’s going through this listens and understands that like, just like anything, this stuff doesn’t define you, if anything, it’s an opportunity to have more in depth discussions. Hopefully, it takes some other people that are insecure in their professional journey. And they understand that, like, when you’re trying to build buy in with people, everybody’s got their constraints, right, some of us might not be overly skilled at communication on the onset, and most of us aren’t. But you know, you also don’t have to worry about some of the other things that other people might be insecure about physically, and vice versa, like everybody’s got their own form of impairment, you know, in some way. And and that’s what makes you kind of who you are, is being able to overcome that. I think, you know, I have no story even close to yours. And I remember the stigma I was concerned about a little bit when I released my hospitalization story in the book. And I would argue that if I hadn’t released that, I don’t know that we would be here today talking about these things because you find the relatability. There’s relatability and vulnerability, and you just got to know when and how to use it and navigate it. Within that we have 10 minutes left, and I want to ask you one of the things that I admire you most for if you don’t mind,


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:07:12  

Oh, I love this part. Yes.


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:14  

I love I love that you walk this line of I’m like you and this might not endear me to some of my listeners. I appreciate optimism. I think sometimes I’m turned off by unbridled optimism the same way I’d be turned off by you know, unbridled nihilism, right? Like I don’t like, again, I don’t like these false dichotomies that we create. I like people who are what they are, I think true social intelligence is being able to like, walk on the dark side a little bit while being able to laugh and have some fun. I also think it’s embracing subjects that are inherently difficult to talk about and that some people don’t like own up. And if I could do anything today, if all of a sudden I couldn’t, you know, do any aspect of coaching? Well, I guess that’s not true. I couldn’t. We’ll put it this way. If I had a third job. For me, it would be it’s going to confuse people. I would be like a sex therapist. I think we have in this society. Yeah. I mean, I wanted to be a criminal profiler. Right. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an assassin. But, you know, I would be a criminal profiler. I think psychology and obviously human interaction is interesting. I’m doing the job I want to do now. But if I Ali Kirshner, our co host, she one time asked me if you couldn’t do this, this this that she took like seven things off the board, 


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:08:22  

things you love are dead, right? 


Brett Bartholomew  1:08:24  

They’re all dead. And so I’m like, Yeah, sex therapist. And the reason why is because just like we coach people to have more in depth conversations, I look at society. And I see a society that by and large is not active, right. And I’m obviously interested in physical performance, doesn’t know how to communicate. I’m obviously interested in human interaction, and has really weird attitudes towards sexuality. And I’m a big believer that those all go hand in hand and I wasn’t the only one, right? Like the Greek sound mind somebody. You look at the Romans, you look at the Greeks, we used to not look at the female body or the male, but if it was naked, right, it wasn’t this big thing. And then in the Puritan days, you couldn’t show your ankles. And, and it’s, again, it’s another thing that’s devolved into extremes. And so something that I’ve always admired about you is despite your limitations in this context, you have always had a healthy attitude towards it in your posts, you celebrate your body, you celebrate yourself, you celebrate your competence, you celebrate your femininity, I don’t even know if that’s a bad way, you’re gonna get canceled before I do


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:09:19  

it in a safe space, at least you can or we both have graphed our apologies. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:22  

Yeah, we’ll both get cancelled together, whatever. talk to me about your views on that like because that had to take a tremendous amount of confidence just in general let alone everything Alec taught. Yeah, just open ended.


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:09:36  

Yeah, I mean, I like the way you framed it. My Instagram was not quite my only fans account yet. You know, if you know that’s the website I needed. If the bills come in, you know, starting to look grim. I’m not above on the fence. But I was really fortunate to be in an all woman environment in high school. I think that that was a huge part of it because I was just like we were just around women and like we all were so different, but we just grew up like a really pivotal time where you need support, especially as a woman, but we hadn’t. And I mean, being a cheerleader was very helpful. When I saw Bring it on. That was the reason why I started cheerleading. I saw that movie and like, my life changed, but almost as equally as a different I have cancer. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:10:21  

That might be a first I don’t think I’ve ever heard somebody say the movie, bring it on change.


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:10:24  

It changed. It changed my life. because of those women in that movie, they had cute uniforms. They were fun, they respond to you, they look so cool. Like, they have this cool thing. And I want it like me at 12 I was like, that’s it. That is goals. That is what I want to be. So, and I think like, again, I think just being surrounded by support was always like a part that became like a fundamental like, it was like a part of my foundation. And just again, like unbridled young confidence that I don’t know, I would have if I had to deal with all everything now. But a lot of it also just comes from again, like hard work, like just being an athlete. Like, you know, I work hard for this body. But at the same time, I’ve had like a lot. I’ve honestly had like a lot of body positivity campaigns and ideas kind of like pushed on me, even when I didn’t feel that great, but a lot of like my body perspective, like things that I don’t love about my body or like normal, kind of like women things like I’m like, the fat in my thigh. Like even though it’s won by issues, it’s under thigh. And like that’s been like these are like normal things that just societally like we have framed as like, this isn’t a beautiful body. This is a beautiful body. And now like we’re kind of coming into a place where it’s, celebrated a little bit more, but it still feels really contrived in social media, honestly. But um, I agree with you. Like I think especially as far as sexuality goes,  there is like a side note there. I have my Instagram DMS on the request folder, there is a fetish for amputees. And that is very weird. But again, I’ve


Brett Bartholomew  1:12:09  

I never would tell you if it exists, there’s a fetish for it. Now, also, my human sexuality professor in college at Kansas State. And they say that it’s more what was the phrase that it’s, more common for people to have some kind of fetish than not when a fetish becomes unhealthy. I remember this was like, one of the best classes I ever took in my life is if that’s the only way that you can express right sexual satisfaction. But like they said that it’s almost more uncommon for people. I mean, which I mean, let’s be honest, and again, more of an adult show here. Make sense? I mean, if you’re with somebody 20 to 30 years, and you’re just kind of doing the same to position, same thing. I don’t know that you can have that healthy, you know.


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:12:53  

It’s not fun anymore. but I think like, sexuality is like the, one of the most primal parts of our bodies and like our society, like has removed us being connected to our bodies for so many reasons, like for activity for physical fitness. And like, I think so I think sexuality is like the real base of like, where, we really are in our bodies and how we can express ourselves. And so like, I mean, I agree, I think that like, and it’s taken me a really long time, especially again, as a woman, like women being sexual, but not like, hold it up on Instagram. Like, it’s really, it’s like, a hard again, it’s like, we always think of extremes, but usually, like, the happy medium is somewhere in the middle somewhere inside that spectrum. And yeah, I mean, it’s just, it’s taken a lot of time and experience. And again, kind of like building trust and having communication with a partner where you can be like, alright, like, let’s judge this up, let’s try something new. 


But that, yeah, I think like, it’s taken a really long journey. And it’s been a lot of trial and error. But, um, but it’s something that I feel like I didn’t have as a young woman, especially as a young disabled woman that I want for the next like, for the next generation, like Gen Z, these kids, they’re freaks, they’re smart, they have insane talent physically. And I think that like we’re coming to a society, like our place in society now. Like, we are ready to have these conversations and we’re ready to see sexuality be kind of a normal, more normal thing, because I think like it actually is not like, we set up our kids for failure without giving them like proper, I don’t know, sexual health and sexual like conversations that I think like can that that we all I think as young kids, like we face things, you’re like, maybe that was dangerous, or like maybe I shouldn’t have been doing that. But we weren’t having these conversations. And these are the the important healthy conversations to have where people can kind of build their own identity around their sexuality, which helps them build their identity around their bodies, and it’s just like, there’s nothing but good stuff and come out of that.


Brett Bartholomew  1:14:54  

The reality is to your point, people are going to have these conversations regardless and that was the reason we started this podcast is, there was often so much in coaching culture and leadership culture as we’ve crossed over into that more broadly, that we just thought get swept under the rug. You know, everybody kind of got the same celebrities on the podcast, the same celebrity said the same things and all this, but nobody was having conversations that the average everyday person or you know, we won’t use the term average, because you’re certainly not average struggled with. And if you don’t want to have these conversations, you don’t want to take this podcast episode and listen to it because it made you uncomfortable. I mean, just understand that you are sorry, other people in your life, or your kids or your kids friends or their friends, friends, people are going to talk about it. And if they’re not going to talk about it, they’re gonna see it on TV. 


And so I appreciate you just being willing to go these places, you know, and I know that you do a lot of work, you’re very outspoken in terms of providing support for so many different communities and people in a wide variety of ways. There’s a lot we didn’t get to, but I want to make sure that we provide all the links all the access for anybody that is looking for guidance that can benefit from your guidance. Where can people find you tell them about what you do, how they can support you? And we need to get to number two on the books for sure.


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:16:11  

Oh, yeah, I know. I’m like, Well, you know, we’re all dynamic people. Um, best place, I guess most most successful place for me is Instagram. @laceyisyourfriend. That was my old aim screen name is just stuck. And my website’s Twitter @laceyisyourfriend. I mean, I think if you Google me, again, don’t try may try Google, you’ll be able to find me.


Brett Bartholomew  1:16:33  

Perfect. But we’ll make sure these are all locked and loaded. And I want to give you the last word, anything else that you want to kind of sign off with?


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:16:40  

No, I mean, it’s been such an honor to be here. I’ve been really excited to have a conversation with you. Because I know we kind of get into the meat of it. And I think these conversations that you have, and just the idea of expressing ourselves communicating better, there’s always a way we can do it better. And it’s just like, I’m happy to be a part of it. So thank you, Brett.


Brett Bartholomew  1:16:57  

Awesome. Well, I appreciate you. I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon. I’m gonna like peer pressure you to come to one of our workshops just so we can hang out. Lacey. Would you say 


Lacey Jai Henderson  1:17:07  

as a peer pressure it works for me 


Brett Bartholomew  1:17:11  

always. Lacey J. Henderson, Brett Bartholomew, art of coaching, signing off. Thanks, everybody.

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