SOCIALS: Brave Turia Pitt launches The Richmond Club
'WE are all capable of extraordinary things if we are brave enough to take that first step.'
That was the take home message imparted by engineer turned motivational speaker, Turia Pitt to Northern Rivers business leaders in Ballina on Friday night.
Greeted with a standing ovation, the lionhearted 30-year-old had the audience hanging onto her every word as she detailed her agonising recovery after suffering serve burns to 65% of her body when she became trapped in a bushfire during a 100km ultramarathon in 2011.
From an athletic, then-24-year-old to barely being able to stand on her own, it was that moment Ms Pitt realised she needed to establish goals to motivate her through her gruelling six months in hospital and on-going recovery.
These goals ranged from merely making it up a few stairs to competing in the Ironman World Championships.
Last year, she completed the latter but she told the crowd of about 200 people the photos of her victorious finish only formed part of the bigger picture.
"Success always looks amazing and it always looks like it happens overnight," Ms Pitt said.
"But the reality is you have to work for it, you have to commit to the grind and you have to keep taking the steps.
"Even today with my recovery, I've had to own that process."
Her love of sport was shared with the audience when she got everyone up on their feet to do squats at times throughout her speech.
Beyond the sporting world, Ms Pitt has assumed a strong humanitarian role in working with childrens and medical charities.
"Anyone can have a life changing experience which totally shifts their life upside down but to reinvent yourself, that's where the magic is," she said.
Six years on, after enduring more than 200 operations, the Tahiti native and her partner Michael would face their biggest challenge yet with the pair to become parents in December.
After her presentation, dozens flocked to chat with the mother-to-be, who was available to sign copies of her books, Unmasked and Everything to Live for.
Ms Pitt's key note speech at the Ballina RSL Club marked the first event hosted by The Richmond Club, a business initiative by The Northern Star.
Charity was central to the evening with more than 200 Richmond Club members and their guests gathered to raise money for disability support services, RedINC.
At the end of the night, a cheque for $5000 was presented to the organisation by Northern Star general manager, Rod Harris on behalf of The Richmond Club and its sponsors The New Camera House and Collins Hume.
RedINC said on Facebook it was grateful for the community "digging deep" with the money to "greatly assist" with upcoming programs.
The Richmond Club brings together its members for its events to raise money for a select charity, featuring famous guest speakers.