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“My insects were on his flowers,” laughs “I totally changed gears then,” says Kay. “I went back to school and graduated from
Kay. “So we were often in the same place.” Gonzaga Law School in 1990.”
The couple married in 1974 and moved That experience was another kind of summit for Kay, who had to put her natural
to New York state. Jerry taught biology shyness aside and rise to the grilling, in-classroom questions of her law professors.
and Kay worked as a hospital nurse on “At first, I hated it,” says Kay. “I often asked myself, ‘what am I doing here?’ But I
a prison ward, treating inmates from stuck with it and learned so much. It was a great experience.”
Green Haven Prison as well as patients The pull of motherhood, however, proved stronger than the legal profession for
housed at outlying facilities for the crimi- Kay. Instead of a law practice, she chose to be at home with Andrew, volunteering at
nally insane. In 1976, Jerry was accepted his school. And then, like all little boys, Andrew grew up.
into Harvard Medical School and in “By high school, my son didn’t need me so much anymore,” says Kay. “He told me,
1981, into the Massachusetts Eye and Ear ‘get a life, Mom.’ And that’s when I started competitive ballroom dancing.”
Infirmary, another Harvard Institution. Yes, competitive ballroom dancing. Her membership at the Club helped Kay stay
A three-year residency in ophthalmology in top shape for dancing. The physical endurance she gained was measurable; the
and a fellowship in diseases and surgery enduring friendships she gained are sustaining.
of the retina and vitreous followed. It “Being part of the Club is so helpful to me,” says Kay. “The exercise is great and
was this specialty that brought the couple bonding with other women and sharing stories is so good, especially on the down
back to the Northwest in 1985, when days that come in life.”
Jerry joined the Spokane Eye Clinic. Down days happen even on top of the world. Both Kay’s inner strength and the
Kay’s parents were living in Coeur strength that comes from teamwork have been tried and tested in the field. And while
d’Alene and the move was a good fit for fear is often a factor, it isn’t the deciding one.
the whole family. Kay and Jerry’s son “All of the climbers can tell you, there are moments of sheer terror,” says Kay.
Andrew was born in 1985; six months “During the night of a terrible storm on Denali, three of us all piled on top of each
later, Kay’s father died of cancer just other in the tent, all terrified that the tent would disintegrate and we’d be blown away
before Thanksgiving. with it. It really helped being in that tent with two other people and not alone—and we
Reaching Your Personal Summit S
et a goal. Know specifically what you want
to achieve, why you want to achieve it and a
Whether it’s climbing Everest or getting in a daily walk around the block, it takes timeline for doing so. Put it in writing.
time, energy and commitment to reach your personal summit — and each of us, in
our own way, can do it. One of the keys to success is having someone to share your
struggles and successes with who encourages you to keep going.
et smaller goals to achieve your big goal.
Kay LeClaire and personal trainer, Michelle Levitch, have shared a lot of trails
Smaller, more readily achievable goals that
together. Here, they share some of their tips for reaching goals.
are tied to a larger one set you up for success
and encourage you to continue.
 . Signals . The Spokane Club magazine . January 010
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