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How Turia Pitt Inspired Me To Unmask My Potential

A little over a week ago I woke up ultra early, put on a nice outfit, threw some makeup on and drove myself into the Brisbane Convention Centre for a Business Chicks breakfast.

Turia Pitt Business Chicks

I’ve been to a few of these and have listened to some absolutely amazing people talk including Li Cunxin (Mao’s Last Dancer), Tara Moss and Sir Richard Branson. Each person affected me differently and had me walking away inspired in different ways.

But no one has inspired me more on never giving up than Turia Pitt who was the speaker for this breakfast.

Turia Pitt

Photo Credit: TEDxMacquarie University on Flickr under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License. No changes were made to the image.

Turia absolutely loves the F word. I’m not a huge fan, but when she used it, there some sort of magic power behind it that kept making me say in my head in ‘fuck yeah’! As I write this I’m thinking ‘fuck yeah’! So I’ll just go with the flow, she has that kind of impact.

For those of you who don’t know of Turia Pitt and her journey, well, let’s just say the fact that she’s here on earth today means she’s a fucking strong woman!

In 2011 and at 24 years old, Turia was a Mining Engineer. Turia participated in an ultra-marathon in Western Australia’s Kimberley region when she and a group of other runners were caught in a grass fire. Turia received burns to 65% of her body.

Fast forward to today and Turia makes it quite clear that she doesn’t like talking about the fire because ‘it’s not interesting’. She also makes it quite clear that she isn’t interesting just because she was burnt either.

It’s been a long road for Turia. She’s passed away three times on the table, she’s pretty much had to learn how to do everything again including (in her own words) ‘learning how to wipe my own ass’.  Turia explained that this major feat felt like she’d won the Olympics!

Turia also told the story of there not being enough skin in Australia to attend to her wounds, the plastic didn’t work and it needed to come from the USA. The problem was, the skin got bloody stuck in customs while her life was hanging in the balance! Turia is adamant, though, ‘There’s no way I would have survived if I lived in a developing country,’ which is why she is so very determined to give back to the foundation Interplast as an Ambassador.

Turia explained that she’s had something like 200+ operations so far and that she will keep going. When asked why she decides to keep going back to face risks and reminders, she explained that each time she had surgery she saw improvements, so why wouldn’t she continue doing it?

One thing Turia said which really stuck with me was, ‘We all wear masks, with our work, our family….why are we so afraid for people to see who we really are’? As someone who really struggles with other people’s perception of me, this really struck a chord, particularly considering I had absolutely no challenges like the ones Turia had faced.

Turia exuded positivity but she admitted she is not positive, she just chooses to look at the best in every situation. If she wants to get somewhere, she knows what work she needs to put in.

And then there was a point in her talk that saddened me. People had actually questioned why her partner, Michael, was still with her, as though everything was based on her looks. I feel sorry for those people.

When Mr. G and I go through tough times, I often find myself comparing our ‘tough’ times to those that others experience, our ‘tough’ times are never close to what others experience and it gives me perspective.  Turia Pitt and how she has come out the other side as a strong, beautiful, determined woman has made me realise the same. My struggles, my doubts…they’re nothing. If she can do it, I can do it too.

Here are some of Turia’s wisdom that I tweeted from the event. Feel free to retweet.




Today I’m linking up with

All Mum Said
Eva Lewis


  1. March 30, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    I am so inspired by Turia, I would have loved to have seen her speak. She is one incredibly tough woman! What a way to start your day!