While competing in a gruelling 100km ultramarathon, Turia Pitt was trapped by a bushfire in Australia’s outback. Her world was suddenly turned upside down. It changed her life, but not her love of the great outdoors and the Mitsubishi Outlander that takes her there. As one of Australia’s most inspirational women, she’s now a driving force across the world. We sat down with Turia to discover more about her remarkable journey in life.
What drives you most?
There are three things that I believe really matter and these things drive me forward every day.
Firstly, we need to feel like we’re making progress - like we’re working towards something that‘s important to us. Secondly, we need to have strong relationships with people who make us feel good. And thirdly, we also want to feel happy and confident about ourselves.
If you’re moving towards the things you want, if you’re surrounded by people who lift you up, and if you’re working on feeling confident, happy and strong - well, that’s when your life is gonna have purpose and meaning.
Many people find you incredibly inspiring, but who’s your major inspiration?
There are a lot of different people who I find extremely inspiring! And I find different people inspiring for different reasons. I don’t rely on one person to inspire me everyday. Some of my favourites are:
My grandma - inspires me to be financially self sufficient
My mum - teaches me that when you work hard you get results
My fiance Michael - inspires me to be generous and kind hearted
Jane Goodall - had an idea before her time
Genjis Khan - despite hardships and a brutal childhood, he was still a formidable leader
Kurt Fearnley - shows me that you can overcome tremendous adversity
During my recovery, I devoured inspirational material about people who’d overcome adversity and who’d rebuilt their lives, that showed me that it was possible to rebuild mine. People like Sam Bailey, Janine Shepherd and Kurt Fearnley.
During your rehabilitation you overcame some huge hurdles, some that many of us take for granted. In regaining your independence, was one of those challenges driving a car?
Everyone I know complains about their drivers licence photo but hey I was wearing my compression mask on mine! I have subsequently got a new pic that does actually show my face. The only major difficulty I had was turning the key so I bought a key turner to help manipulate the key more easily.
Your extraordinary story of survival speaks for itself. What other experiences have changed your life since then?
Becoming a mum has been a really profound and amazing ride! There’s nothing that really prepares you for the experience of being a parent in all it’s crazy incarnations.
I’ve also had the privilege of meeting some of THE most inspiring and amazing people - and in a sneaky surprise later this year (spoiler: my new book), I speak to some of them about their experiences - it’s going to be a cracker!!
Everyone loves a road trip. What are your favourite places to visit?
I love exploring new places! Where I live there’s some incredibly unique and beautiful places, and I finally visited the iconic peak of Kooyoyo in the Budawangs. It was extraordinary on so many levels, not only is it an amazingly beautiful part of the world, but I put myself in a situation where I was having to face a real fear of mine – heights. It was, in the end, a metaphorical and literal climb because I pushed myself and had a real light bulb moment when you’re really scared of something, there’s a part of you that knows it might actually be good for you.
Above all, my experience has taught me that the power of our mind is extraordinary.
What are the three most important tips to help someone drive their ambition?
1. Mindset. 2. Mindset. 3. Mindset! Above all, my experience has taught me that the power of our mind is extraordinary. It doesn't matter where you come from, how much money you have, or what your ambitions are, your mindset is the key to living an incredible life. Your business might not be doing as well as you’d like. You might want a life partner or you might want to leave your life partner! You might be struggling to pay your bills or you might not be as healthy as you’d like. But how you deal with this stuff - your ability to overcome challenges, focus on ambition and build self-belief and confidence - all comes down to your mindset.
When you get your mindset right, you can truly be and do anything you want. And it's not something you're born with; a strong mindset is something you need to create and shape every day. That's why I'm always sharing mindset-shaping tips and strategies in my weekly letters and in my books and programs.
You’ve shown the world nothing can hold you back. Where to next?
Life is obviously getting pretty hectic at home! And on top of a beautiful new bub, there’s lots of exciting things in the works on the business front as well. I’ve got my new book coming out toward the end of the year and of course I’ll be coaching my new groups through School of Champions. So, an incredibly exciting time ahead!
You have experienced a few significant life changes, including your son Hakavai being born late 2017. How has the birth of your son changed your life since?
He’s the priority now. Before he came along, I could make time to do a crazy six hour bike ride in training for an Ironman event, but now I’d rather hang with him on the beach! He makes me even more stoked that I’m still alive and I’m still here.
You are a mother, business woman, author, motivational speaker, media personality and you manage to prioritise new personal challenges, time with family/friends and your health and fitness, how do you fit it all in?
I think for all of us it’s a bit of a juggling act! It’s important to spend that quality time with your kids and your family and for me it’s important to make time for things I enjoy - a new challenge, my business or even just going for a run or a surf. If you make time to do things for yourself that in turn makes you a better partner, mother, boss and friend.