‘You push your boundaries, then you walk away going ‘wow’. Your limits are pushed further each time and you can stretch those boundaries further and further each time. But you’ve got to have the courage to do it. You’ve gotta put yourself out of your comfort zone. And it’s horrible and it’s scary. But you’ve just gotta build on it each time. You’ve just gotta try it and push it.’
Hearing Pip Candrick share her love of trail running, it’s hard to believe she only took up the sport in her late 40s after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
Pip was diagnosed in 2011. Two surgeries and life-threatening complications left Pip exhausted and overweight.
So to regain her health, Pip joined Vision Gym in 2012 where she was challenged to set a goal. She picked running a Half Marathon which, she says, ‘…was just ridiculous. I don’t know why it came out of my mouth’.
Pip quickly fell in the love with the sport, and discovered an incredible side effect of her long runs.
During a long run one day in preparation for her first Half Marathon, she suddenly had memories (she didn’t realise she’d lost) come flooding back. She credits her long runs with ‘restoring her brain’.
Since then, Pip’s gone onto finish multiple races including the 100km race at Ultra Trail Australia (she’s now an ambassador for the event too) as well as the Husky Long Course triathlon (a Half Ironman/70.3 distance race).
Of course, her recovery and life haven’t been without challenges.
Pip experiences seizures and hasn’t (until only recently) been able to head out the door for a run by herself.
It’s a freedom she desperately misses. And I can’t help but think it’s something the rest of us - myself included - take for granted.
Pip’s story reminds me of the importance of not taking life for granted, of trusting your gut instinct and the power of sports as a vehicle for healing (physically, mentally and emotionally).
In this conversation, we discuss:
* why you should trust your gut instinct, stand up for yourself and seek a second opinion if in doubt,
* life-threatening complications that followed her surgery,
* how (and why!) she set a goal to run a Half Marathon,
* how memories (she didn’t realise she’d lost) came flooding back on one of her first long runs and why she credits long runs with ‘restoring her brain’
* her frustration with the limitations on her lifestyle,
* why she says the Blue Mountains is where she ‘heals the most’
* how she was able to meditate through seizures during Ultra Trail Australia,
* how she learnt to ride a bike and ride in cleats ahead of her first triathlon (which also happened to be a Half Ironman/70.3 distance race),
* how she was able to do her swim training in spite of the risk of seizures, and
* the importance of pushing your boundaries.
Notes and resources:
To find out more about Pip or to say hello, you can find her on her Facebook page, called Pip's Journey.