THE COME­BACK KID

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page -

uria Pitt has al­ways been driven by goals. There was the goal to sim­ply sur­vive af­ter the fire that caused burns across 65 per cent of her body. There was also the goal to com­pete in an Ironman race fol­low­ing her re­cov­ery. Even when she was preg­nant, she came up with the idea of tak­ing part in an Ul­tra­man event, a three-day en­durance race cov­er­ing more than 500km.

How­ever, 10 months af­ter the birth of her son Hakavai, she is not so much re­think­ing her phi­los­o­phy as she is mod­er­at­ing it to fit in with her new cir­cum­stances. “I no longer have any de­sire to do an Ironman,” Pitt tells Stel­lar mat­ter- of-factly. “Hav­ing a baby has changed me and when you be­come a mum you quickly re­alise your whole life fits in around your kids.”

Fol­low­ing her hor­rific in­ci­dent while run­ning an ul­tra­ma­rathon in 2011, Pitt be­came the poster girl for re­silience, and while moth­er­hood hasn’t damp­ened her am­bi­tion, it has cer­tainly re­pur­posed it. “I don’t want to be out run­ning for five hours straight,” she says sim­ply. “I know how pre­cious life is and I’d rather be with my son.”

Yet her in­ner ath­lete still yearns for a chal­lenge, which is ex­actly why

re­minded of the fire that en­gulfed her as she ran in Western Aus­tralia’s Kim­ber­ley seven years ago, now she has lit­tle time for such re­flec­tion – but she has learnt, some­times the hard way, of how much moth­er­hood can take a toll.

“Be­fore I had a baby, I had an in­fi­nite amount of en­ergy but car­ry­ing a child and breast­feed­ing has been quite de­plet­ing. I re­ally have to think about how I look af­ter my body, try to get enough sleep and pri­ori­tise my­self.”

She read­ily ad­mits par­ent­hood has im­pacted on her re­la­tion­ship with her fi­ancé Michael Hoskin, who has been by her side for the past nine years and vowed he would marry her if she sur­vived her trau­matic in­juries. “[Par­ent­hood] changes ev­ery day,” she says. “Some days are joy­ful, some are ex­tra­or­di­nary, some you’re re­ally ir­ri­tated and re­ally short with your part­ner and you’re tired. Mum is just around the cor­ner and Michael is a re­ally hands-on dad, but still I find it hard. Moth­er­hood is def­i­nitely not an easy job.”

She doesn’t know ex­actly when she and Michael will get mar­ried (“We’re play­ing it by ear”), but she would like more chil­dren. “I feel like if you have one child, you’re re­ally lucky – if you have two, you’re even luck­ier.”

Left with just three of her 10 fin­gers, Pitt some­times strug­gles with open­ing jars and has a spe­cial de­vice for do­ing up but­tons. But she takes the eas­i­est op­tion when car­ing for Hakavai, avoid­ing clothes with press-studs and em­brac­ing the or­di­nary – whether it’s a visit to the post of­fice or watch­ing him crawl on the sand. Hav­ing plenty of friends with young ba­bies has also eased the tran­si­tion. “All my mates at home had kids around the same time, so we’ve got a ready-made mums’ club,” she laughs.

Pitt still runs School of Cham­pi­ons, her on­line mind­set coach­ing pro­gram, and her new ebook, Good Selfie, is be­ing pub­lished in hard copy form next year. Yet work now jos­tles along­side over to look af­ter Hakavai while she and Michael set off for her hand op­er­a­tion. The re­cov­ery will be painful, but it’s noth­ing the trade­mark Pitt courage can’t han­dle. “It’s pretty cool that I can choose what surg­eries I have and when I’m go­ing to have them,” she says. “That’s re­ally em­pow­er­ing for me.”

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