In 2014, young mum Kristen Russell had her husband and teenage sweetheart Greg Lukes pass away in her arms of cancer, two years after a shock diagnosis. The Navy specialist was just 35 and left behind his devastated wife and children Breanna, now 12, and Jacob, 10.
“I spent the next five years finding myself again, burying my trauma in whatever I could,” says Kristen, who also had to deal with an inquiry into her husband's death, which found in 2016 his job killed him.
“All of the coping mechanisms I’d had in place weren’t working for me. anymore. I went downhill so fast and it got to a point where I knew I couldn’t keep going the way I was.
“It’s funny because I was quite in denial up until probably the week before Greg passed away. We would take it in turns for being strong for each other, then it got to the point where he got sicker and could no longer look after me.
“I had to be the strong one. I was the hero—that is my tribal cycle. I was too busy looking after both our families, I basically left myself to last and that was why after four years, five years, it finally turned to shit for me.
And that’s when I found TCI.”
Kristen, 37, has lived in the same small town on the NSW south coast most of her life. She first heard about coaching when she and second husband Peter Russell, who were wed in 2016, were on a road trip to Sydney. Peter, 47, who owns a real estate agency, was about to do a coaching course and told Kristen about it en route.
The gym instructor was at a low point after an injury meant she couldn’t work out. “It threw me into the worst tail spin ever. I had used exercise and diet as a way to control life and it was the perfect place for me to hide,” she says.
“So when Peter told me what he was doing, I was like, ‘I would love that.’ All of the things he was talking about really resonated. It was my motivator to move forward.”
Three days after googling TCI in May 2019, she joined straight into Pro Coach.
“I told my husband, I said, ‘If I have to pay that much money to find myself again, that’s what I am going to do. I am worth more than the course fees’. He said, ‘okay, do it.’
“I came for business but I came for myself as well. It was about my future but also my healing.
“Five years ago I wanted to end my life. Now I love my life so much.”
18 months on, Kristen shares her TCI experience and business secrets for success: