Conversations with Turia Pitt, ByJess Caire
Follow Jess on social:
Turia Pitt is a household name. She is the woman who was caught in an horrific grass fire while running a marathon in 2011 and suffered burns to 65% of her body. But surviving against overwhelming odds is the least of her achievements. Turia has gone on to thrive in the ultimate story of triumph over adversity. A humanitarian and motivationalist, and now IRONMAN, Turia inspires people everywhere to unmask their full potential. And those who know me, know Turia has been a driving inspiration for me personally and professionally. It was an honour to sit down with Turia for Conversations with Jess.
Image credit: http://www.abc.net.au/news
2016 has been a killer year for you – how did it feel to achieve your goal of completing an Ironman?
With any big goal you sacrifice a lot for and you work really hard for there is a huge sense of satisfaction when you achieve that goal. That’s how it felt when I came down the finishing chute at Ironman. There is no amount of money that can buy that experience – it was a culmination of hard work and sacrifices I had made. For me, that’s the beauty of committing to a really big, challenging and scary goal, because when you commit, and you show up day in day out no matter how boring it is, and despite the grin, regardless of it is a massive project at work, a tough personal time, running a marathon, whatever that challenge is for you – when you get to the point of overcoming it or achieving it, it has all been worth it. That’s why I do what I do.
So what’s next? You seem to be conquering every goal you set for yourself … Are you going to slow down?!
I think it is really important with goal setting that you also have time in there for celebration, to reflect on your success and not to have too many things in the pipelines. After Ironman I don’t really have another goal for the moment. I am soaking it up, reflecting on my success and enjoy the next few months and then once I have done Ironman Kona I will start thinking about other goals.
You’re possibly the most driven person I’ve ever met, and you are full of energy – what does downtime look like for Turia?
I am a pretty boring person really! I got to bed pretty early! A perfect day for me would be going for surf in the morning, spending time with Michael, catching up with my mates, maybe going to a BBQ and getting into bed at 7 o’clock and reading and falling asleep at 8.30pm! That is my ideal day!
Who is your idol?
I don’t really have one specific person. I have a lot of people who I think are really cool, and really awesome. For some reason I really love Ita Buttrose, I guess because she forged a career in the media, and I guess she really was a woman before her time.
What keeps you going on the crappy days?
I think I am pretty good at recognising that it is impossible for us to always have good days, we can try to be happy all the time, and we can make choices to be happy all the time. But we are all going to have some days where you just feel like shit and that’s ok, and I think the sooner you accept it, it makes it easier to move on. For me, I just say to myself, “It’s a shitty day, and tomorrow is going to be better”.
You talk candidly about body image and confidence for ‘Embrace the Documentary’. Watching this, it was obvious that you have come to ‘embrace’ your body and your looks – which is something many females don’t. Is this something you have to work at daily?
Not really, for me my sense of self worth has always been closely related to my physical abilities. Obviously lying in a hospital bed, not being able to move and not being able to do anything for myself, I felt pretty useless and worthless.
As I have gone on, and been able to gain the ability to do things like run, swim, ride I have felt more and more like myself. I honestly think that positive body image actually has nothing to do with what we look like; I think it is more about our mental state of mind, and how we feel about ourselves.
All of my confidence, all of my self esteem and all of my resilience come from setting and achieving goals. Each and every time you achieve a really scary goal the more confidence, the more self esteem the more resilience comes – when you achieve a goal you get all of that.
It is more than just setting a goal that is the easy part; anyone can set a huge goal, but doing the work, grinding away, and showing up to another monotonous day that’s the tricky bit. That is something I talk a lot about in Turia’s School of Champions.
What words of wisdom would you give to women struggling with confidence, body image and life?
I think it would be to set a goal, focus on a goal; people often set goals they know they can achieve. For me that isn’t really a goal.
“You have to set a goal that stretches you and pushes you outside of your comfort zone. When you do that and set a goal like that and you achieve it, that gives you more confidence and you can move forward and create a better life for yourself.”
For motivation, and a story that puts shit into perspective head over to www.turiapitt.com.
Love, Jess x
On the surface Jess Caire is a mother, wife and successful business owner. Scratch a little deeper and you’ll find an adventurer, insomniac, dreamer and a passionate advocate for women. Jess is inspiring, refreshingly honest and down to earth, possessing a burning curiosity about the world. Living an unconventional life, Jess splits her time between South Australia, where she runs Marshall Conveyancing, and Brisbane, where her family relocated in 2016 to support a career opportunity for her husband. In her spare time, Jess offers consulting and mentoring services to women in business and is the founder of jesscaire.com. Jess’ website is specifically designed to connect, motivate and empower women from all walks of life to believe in themselves, their journey and to support each other’s successes (and challenges). Fresh, motivated and with a wicked sense of humour, Jess is making her own mark and encourages women to be better together.