I became reacquainted with Turia Pitt’s story in 2016 when I first began my mindfulness journey. I was looking for Australian role models, motivational speakers, icons, leaders or whatever you want to call it when you’re searching for someone to look up to or guide you.
I particularly wanted to connect more with female Australian role models. And so, I came across Turia and her story.
You may have heard of Turia and the battles she has faced since the devastating and life changing bushfire that caused burns to over 65% of her body while running a 100km ultramarathon in the Kimberley, in the Australian desert.
After enduring over 200 medical procedures including skin grafts, this traumatic event has failed to slow Turia down eventually running, swimming and hiking again. Over the years she has received ongoing support and love from her partner. They are now engaged and have a baby boy.
The reason I admire Turia is that she continues to live her life to the fullest potential despite her physical limitations and appearance. She wasn’t going to let anything stop her. And she’ll be sure to tell you that. Sure, she continues her recovery today, but she has the most inspiring and mind-blowing motivation and attitude.
Turia was an engineer for a large mining company before her accident. She is smart and did academically well during her tertiary studies. Since the fire, Turia has hiked the Great Wall of China, competed in the Ironman World Championships, walked the Kokoda Track and is now training for Coast to Coast in New Zealand.
In 2017, I was lucky enough to receive one of her free motivational online programs. I was sent daily emails with letters, tasks, reminders and strategies towards a goal I’d’ set for myself.
I just loved her down to earth messages. She was real. She was honest. No bullshit. I could hear her voice in my mind. She wasn’t any different on paper (or in my inbox) to how she is in real life.
In 2018, having just moved to Western Australia with no social or professional connections, I’d come across a mindset and motivation workshop in Perth. Turia was the keynote speaker. I couldn’t miss this opportunity to see her in person.
Turia walked on stage with such confidence. Then, interestingly she made us do squats, at the beginning of her talk and then again midway through!!! Most of the room were excited and positive but I was surprised to see several people around the room refuse to take part in the impromptu exercises. Can you believe it?
Turia had been through such a traumatic period in her life and was told she’d never walk again. I was going to do whatever she said.
During Turia’s speech she faced her story head on and spoke about her rehabilitation and the challenges and impacts it had taken emotionally, mentally and obviously, physically.
She had no problems talking about the effects it had on her relationship with Michael and didn’t shy away from the ups and downs of relationships and life plans.
It’s what Turia is doing with her life today that astounds me the most. She wants to motivate others to be the best they can, set achievable goals and make changes and improvements to their own lives.
At the end of the day her message was clear, why do we let our physical appearance or physical limitation stop us from living life to the fullest?
I say cheers to Turia and thanks for the pep talk!!! Now bring on 2019…