“What I think is brilliant about the outdoors is that it will prove you wrong about what you thought your limits were....
And when your body can do something you never realised it could, it’s a really incredible reinforcement for your mind that maybe you were limiting yourself in every other area of life too.”
Who better to ask about fear and self-doubt than one of the best stuntwomen in the world, Ky Furneaux?
Ky grew up in a small country town in regional Australia. Inspired by her grandmother and her own sense of wanderlust, Ky’s adventurous spirit was evident early on (which included riding her horse bareback once out of sight of her parents).
A serious car accident at 19 left Ky with a fractured spine and a warning from doctors she might never be able to play sports or continue her adventurous lifestyle again.
Fortunately, the location of Ky’s injury and her dogged spirit meant within 3 years she was fully recovered and working as an outdoor team leader for an adventure company and spending her days rock climbing, abseiling, rappelling, kayaking, hiking and generally living life out of a tent.
A random and out-of-the-blue comment by a student she was guiding one day led Ky to move to Vancouver, Canada to chase her dream of becoming a stuntwoman.
Since then, Ky has gone onto become of the best stuntwomen in the world. Working in Hollywood on many movies and TV shows you would have seen, Ky was awarded the Taurus Stunt Award (basically the Oscars of the stunt industry) for Best Female Stunt Performer in 2012.
Having retired from working as a stunt performer, Ky has now returned to her roots and developed a career as a survivalist and hosted in and starred on several TV shows.
She’s also written a book - The Girl’s Own Survival Guide - and will be speaking at the Adventure Live Project series of events in Australia in August, 2018.
In this conversation we discuss:
* her adventure-seeking ways as a child and the grandmother who inspired her love of travel,
* the car accident at 19 and the lessons she gained from that experience,
* how she found the confidence and courage to move to Canada to pursue her dream of becoming a stunt performer with no specific skills, training or even a plan,
* how to deal with the ‘no’s’ you receive when you’re chasing your goals and dreams,
* the strategies and process she uses to manage her fears (listen for the questions she asks herself when assessing her fear),
* breaking her shoulder in a stunt in Hong Kong and the pressure and expectation (both internal and cultural) not to disclose her injury, and
* why the outdoors are so empowering for women.
Notes and resources:
To hear more from Ky, check out the Adventurous Life Project Spirit Series.