EP003: Electrocuted with 22,000 volts with Theo Venter – The No Xcuses Show

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Monday, October 30th, 2017 – This week’s featured guest is Theo Venter. Theo is a fellow speaker, who focuses his talks on workplace safety by sharing his incredible story of survival. His inspiration stems from a tragic work accident which nearly claimed his life. The only person known to have survived a 22,000 volt electrocution, Theo is exceptional in more than one way.

Watch his full interview below and find out how Theo recovered emotionally from this life-threatening experience and eventually became an inspiration not just in the workplace but also for his courage to overcome challenges.

EP003: Electrocuted with 22,000 volts with Theo Venter – The No Xcuses Show

Posted by Brant Garvey

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00:02     Good day Grit Nation. Brant Garvey here and welcome to episode three of DailyGrit Live. DailyGrit Live was created so that I can interview the world’s grittiest, inspiring and motivated people. Let me welcome today’s featured guest, Theo Venter. Theo are you ready to get gritty?

00:30     Let’s do it!

00:33     Theo is known as the only person so far that’s been able to survive from being electrocuted by 22,000 volts. I don’t know if it’s anything that people would probably try to beat you at though. It’s not like a Guinness Book of Record that people are trying to break.

00:48     I think people are standing in line.

00:55     Theo is now a motivational speaker and a professional speaker that is trying to educate people from firsthand experience how important safety is.

01:06     Now if there’s anything I’ve missed, you want to just fill in the gaps in terms of what it is that you do.

01:11     Well in the first place, when you say… There’s a few little bits and pieces to be the only one to survive if you get exposed to electricity, from say entry to exit wound and it doesn’t go through your heart, and that has happened. But when it goes to the heart and you got a 1200 amps, it’s insane… got a lot of amps that goes through the heart it should stop and should be dead.

01:38     So yours went through the heart?

01:39     Mine went through the heart unfortunately.

01:43     Yes I like said, it’s absolutely phenomenal. Incredibly lucky to be here. But he is and now he’s trying to make sure that people who don’t make those silly little mistakes that can cost you.

01:53     Let’s get started with the question time. I want to ask you first off what led you to do what you’re doing today?

02:04     Obviously you had the accident but what actually led you to want to help other people educate other people.

02:12     It is a bit of a story. I have never been sensitive to things that happens around me and things that’s been set up around me. So when I was young I was about 6 or 7 years old, I used to be a rugby player from South Africa of course, so when you walk down the street with a tennis racket or with anything other than a rugby ball you will be classed as (questionable?)… Yeah

02:34     That was the only sport you were allowed to play.

02:38     Well if you do the rugby then you’re the man

02:42     My mum had me go and do poems in front of people…

02:50     Yeah that’s a bit of a contrast to rugby

02:53     Oh if any of my mates saw that… So I kept rugby on one side and she kept me reading for years. When I was about six, seven, eight, nine, ten until I was 14 years old I was doing these poems in front of people and I was doing A+’s and A+’s and won all of them. You would not go and brag about this with anyone, right.

03:14     Taking that into consideration, I went from there, and my dad used to be a linesman and he worked at the same area so he took me to his job working as a linesman and sparky (?) for a full 17 years which lead me to come to this.

03:29     So everything that’s been falling into place from like the age that I was really young , pushed me to the edge which I didn’t know yet and I didn’t even believe that would happen until I had the accident. And then someone just called me out of the blue. Some random guy called me, his name was Gary Child (?). This guy called me up and said Look why don’t you come and tell my mates about it.

03:55     How long was this post the…

03:57     About five years…

03:59     That’s a decent chunk of time…

04:03     And he fell into place and into my life. He actually came in…big 6 foot 6, tall dude, baldy guy and a bit intimidating and he came in and said, “You’re gonna do it!” And after two weeks of calling him. So that’s how I got to this, pushing me to the right direction.

04:16     So you were basically shoved into doing it.

04:21     That’s what got me into this, against my will and I got lucky.

04:27     And one thing I’d just like to point out about that. Theo did everything right for 17 years.  What I’m saying mostly everything right for 17 years and it was one day of trying to take a shortcut that cost him.

04:42     Next question. Share something we probably don’t know about what it is that you do, so you obviously speak to people about safety and making sure it’s a safe work environment that we probably should know. Whether it’s figures or stats about how costly these things can be. Something that the average person wouldn’t know about safety in the workforce.

05:10     In the first place, if you say share something, I should tell I am definitely not supporting the Wallabies(?)… but I am Springbok supporter… let’s just get it out there.

05:22     Hopefully we don’t lose too many people because of that…

05:27     Well I shouldn’t say that. At the end of the day it was an amazing game but we’re not gonna go into that…

05:33     I think at some stage sharing these things with people and then pouring your heart out, and wearing your heart on your sleeve is the hardest, hardest thing. Honestly, the hardest thing to speak to strangers, with a bunch of random people.

05:55     Putting your heart on your sleeve and telling them you’ve made a mistake. Because if you made a mistake in your life you want to hide it. You want to take it away and shove into a corner like I did actually for five years. But to get out there and do it…  it is always hard and it is always painful and you know the emotions just flows over. Sometimes people they get inspired but they don’t know how hard you have to dig in deep to not overflow with emotions.

06:28     And to be able to share something that is obviously a mistake (that you have done) and you don’t want to admit to you because it was obviously a very important mistake.

06:37     Other than this, what would you say your biggest setback through your journey?

06:46     Because I know that you had some pretty challenging times through recovery. What would be the one major setback that you’ve had in your life that stands out above all others?

07:08     I made the mistake. I tried to do a shortcut and it was my fault. But at the end of the day everyone around me was hurt including my kids, my children and my family. And for a proud man and a father to go back home every single day and see how his family is really suffering because of the mistake that I made. And to look at their eyes in the morning I when I do get out of bed and they come to the kitchen table and there’s only sometimes two or three Weet-Bix. I had to pour milk… no I haven’t had milk, I had to pour water on the Weet-Bix to have the sugar that it had left to see them through school every day…

08:01     And this is because you were unable to work?

08:04     I couldn’t work. I couldn’t provide. I couldn’t do anything. That was the setback. That was the biggest fight for me not to spoil my kids

08:15     And I think that’s another really important thing to note is that you know these mistakes can affect a lot more people than just yourselves. It’s actually how much damage it does to the people everyone around you.

08:27     Now we’re going to shift to the other side of that, what was the biggest breakthrough or the biggest win that stands out for you?

08:35     Going through that stage where I went into this dark deep depression, severe depression…

08:43     Diagnosed or undiagnosed?

08:55     I went through severe depression where I was sitting in a dark room for three, four months and just looking at my hands. Never gone up, never did anything. I had to be supported by everyone else. They had to help me eat from spoons, with no hand support at all. Nothing to help me.

09:10     One day I had to get up and decided if I’m gonna kill myself today or do something about it. I decided that I’m gonna do everyone else and my family by killing myself and get out of here so that they can go on with their lives without me because I was a burden.

09:28     Then I got up and I walked to my front door with keys in my hand, my bandaged hands, and I had to walk through the door and it took the bravest five seconds that I have ever been. I dug so deep in to my core standards that I decided that I’m gonna go through this door and take on life.

09:48     That five seconds, counting down… 4, 3, 2, 1 and I walked through the door and just determined to get out and do something for myself.

10:00     That step I took that day essentially why I’m sitting next to an awesome guy and having a bit of a chat!

10:08     And we get to obviously hang out today which is awesome! Great! Amazing! Thank you for sharing that because obviously some of these things are pretty challenging to share.

10:17     What is the one thing that you’re most passionate about today? What is it that really gets you going?

10:31     I think at the end of the day that keeps me going and gets me going is being healthy and fit and mentally healthy again.

10:39     Taking everything into consideration, I gym very hard every day. I make sure that mental health is strong so that I can go out there and perform my best and my peak every single time. Because if you feel bad and your body doesn’t feel well and you’re not strong, fit and healthy mind and body… those things are central to being.

11:02     And what would be a sample of daily fitness routine for you?

11:08     Well me and my daughter get up in the morning (what time are we talking?) We’re talking around 5, 5:30, and then she will come up and say, “Come Daddy! Come Daddy, let’s go!” Then we go to the gym, at least an hour of gym session together. Then she will go for a jog and I’ll be doing a bit of a bike ride now and then. Then get into my work and then afternoons there’s always something with my sons. My two boys are really fit and healthy…

11:35     So they give a go in the afternoon. And I think it’s really important to start the day off by at least some form of exercise. It’s a great way to get you started.

11:44     What do you think was one thing that was holding you back from doing what it is you are doing today. Obviously you shared a little bit about having to really get shoved into a professional speaking world. And you did mention that a lot of it was fear that was probably holding you back. Was that the major thing that was holding you back?

12:07     I never knew I was going to do this but what I actually started holding me back once I’ve done the first one was I was terrified of it. I would not even speak to my supervisor and I would not stand in front of three or four people talking to them because I didn’t have the confidence in doing it. So I was terrified when I did my first one. And the fear losing or failing… that fear of failing just overcomes everything

12:30     Sometimes fear… you are scared to do it…you’re not sure if you can do it if you don’t try. That fear was just enormous. I didn’t think I was ever going to do it. I faced my fear that one day and it felt amazing when I was done!

12:54     So I can say the same thing as Theo. My first ever speaking gig, which was to a primary school… I was talking to really young kids, I was absolutely terrified! I don’t think I made eye contact with any of them. (I know the feeling) I was reading every word from a piece of paper.

13:11     Making that leap guys is when you get to have a real breakthrough. And then learn things that you absolutely love that you never thought that you would ever do.

13:18     What was the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?

13:25     Wow! I’ve received lot of advice. I guess, the best piece of advice, my dad always said to me, and my dad had passed away in November last year (I’m sorry to hear that)… but this is one thing that I’ll never forget. He said to me, “A clever man will learn from his mistakes but a wise man will learn from everyone else’s mistakes.”

13:50     Oh wow…. that’s brilliant!

13:51     That stuck to me for forever

13:58     I definitely think that I’ll try and take that on. I’ve definitely made well and truly my fair share of mistakes along the way.

14:07     What would you say is a personal habit that attribute to your success. Would it be that getting up early and going for a work out?

14:23     It leads up to it but I think my personal habit is always trying to think outside the box. Get outside. Do something different. I want to feel uncomfortable at least once a day. I want to go out and do something that I don’t feel like doing or scared of doing (love that!) Do something small, doesn’t matter what it is. Just something that holds you back, but at the end of the day you’re gonna push into it. You’re scared of it but you’re gonna go do it. Anything small…

14:53     I bought myself a dirt bike. And I’ve never had a dirt bike in my life and I’ve never even had a motorbike in my life.

15:00     Just saying be careful, alright. Speaking from a person who has just one leg and meeting lots of one-legged people, try to hold on to the rest of limbs.

15:08     That’s a big thing, but there’s a lot of things that’s out of your comfort zone, and I’m going to do it because this is out of my comfort zone.

15:17     Totally agree. I think that’s amazing. I’m always trying to find ways to push myself out of my comfort zone. And I believe the more that you do it, the more you get to grow. And sometimes you trip along the way but have another crack and you probably figure it out.

15:31     Do you have a favourite book and if so why?

15:38     I suck at reading.

15:41     Same here, which I shared with these guys before. When I say read I mean I listen to audiobooks. That’s my choice.

15:49     Maybe something that I should…

15:50     Maybe you should. My last guest that I had on which was Dana, she just released a book. It’s coming out on audiobook soon, so maybe you should get that one a go.

16:04     Sometimes you meet people, different people, different perspectives where you can draw some inspiration from them. Instead of reading that book, maybe I should take it up…

16:15     Audiobook mate! Definitely, the way to go!

16:20     One final question which is, what is a key takeaway you want to give the viewers and how they can connect with you. I know we were just talking previously social media is something that you’re starting to get a bit more active in. And we should definitely join his journey and see what he does on a day to day basis. But yet one key takeaway and then how to connect with you.

16:45     Okay, there’s a saying that really hits the mark with me, and I need to get this right…

16:55     Especially after your dad’s one.

16:56     Well I know (you set the bar high)

17:02     So it goes… nothing behind us or in front of us compares to what we have within us

17:26     Are you able to give me a little bit of extra detail on how you would explain what that is. So what does that mean to you?

17:36     Whatever we have experienced, all this sadness and unhappiness, and every experience and everything that has happened in our lives, or what lies in front of us… we’re gonna go through hard times… everyone one of us at one stage is going to go get through some hardships, some hard times…but those things all combined is nothing compared to what’s within us. So we can face these things and we can get through them. We can succeed not only achieve.

18:05     Awesome… and the best way to connect with you. So what are your handles?

18:10     I have a little website right… it is called Just Another Day and you can find it at Theo Venter Just Another Day. You can find it, it’s quite easy. Just don’t laugh at my website I made it myself.

18:32     I just wanted to personally thank Theo for coming down and sharing a little bit of his journey and what keeps him motivated and gritty. Thank you so much Grit Nation for tuning in and join us next week Monday 4:00 p.m. for our next featured guest.

13:49     Thank you so much and I’ll see you next time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

EP002: Worth Fighting For with We Heart Dana Vulin – The No Xcuses Show

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Monday, October 23rd, 2017 – One of the greatest understatements people use is to say that life is unfair. In truth, it can be excruciatingly difficult and challenging. Dana Vulin is someone who understands this better than most. This week’s Daily Grit Live guest was subjected to a horrible attack that left her with burns on 64% of her body at the age of 25 and diagnosed with cancer a couple of years later. The first word that comes to mind when describing Dana is a survivor.

Watch the link below to hear how she went through the long and hard journey to recovery and acceptance and how her positive attitude got her through life’s toughest spots. I have no doubt that you will be amazed!

EP002: Worth Fighting For with We Heart Dana Vulin – The No Xcuses Show

Posted by Brant Garvey

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00:06     Good day everyone. Brant Garvey here with DailyGrit. Today I have a very special guest Dana Vulin.

00:17     Dana, as you may have seen or you may have noticed was someone that was tragically set on fire at the age of 25.

00:36     So she had burns to 65 percent of her body and had to go through a massive massive ordeal to get to where she is today and she is absolutely smashing life as far as I’m concerned. I am so very excited to have her with me today. Basically, I want you to give us a bit more of an intro from anything that I may have missed – like your new book that you’ve just released, so feel free to share with them.

01:02     I just released a book and it’s called Worth Fighting For, and it’s been crazy last couple of months. It’s been really exciting.

01:12     About more of the burn thing… 64% of my body and face. So I’m burnt… so many people ask me this question, “Are my privates burnt?”

01:28     Okay that seems to be their number one interest…

01:30     … So I’m burnt waist up, waist down everything is perfect… still there, all good also. So that’s the question that’s always asked.

01:47     I can see why they are… especially from blokes…

01:55     Then when I was 27 years old while I was still in my mask and garment, I was diagnosed of cervical cancer at the same time.

02:23     And was that chemo and radiation?

02:22     I wouldn’t survive that anyway. I had five surgeries for it. It was more… yeah, it was surgeries. I had a lot of complications and It ended up doing damage but I’m okay now.

02:42     I’m a burn survivor… I say survivor because as we discussed before, I don’t actually like the word victim, I think it’s a state of mind. I have no victim mentality at all. I feel like I killed it, so happy with that.

02:57     And anyone who has seen her you can obviously see a passion. I mean she comes across very very bubbly and happy. It’s phenomenal!

03:19     What made you choose this path and by this path I mean what you’ve decided to do since obviously recovering from both those scenarios. What made you take life by the balls, as they say? Get out there and be the face of this… get in front of a lot of people where a lot of people could choose to hide away, and become a speaker, author… what made you do that?

03:47     It was one of those things that was thrusted on me. I didn’t talk to the media for one and half years, till after the trial, after the sentence, not even the trial, the sentencing was three months after the trial. I didn’t talk to the media. I was still everywhere… I was in every paper, every newspaper, not in just in Australia, all around the world, I was getting plastered around. I didn’t speak to the media because I want to make the trial as full-proof as possible. I didn’t want to have grounds for bias, but at the same time I was getting scandalised. I was getting annihilated by the public…

04:25     In terms of them making up their own stories why it happened…

04:27     I didn’t have my voice, and I thought… you know what I’m just going to continue being in the media. I want to take the bulls by the horns and have my own voice, because regardless I was out there. I was plastered everywhere. It was just one of those control things, I thought it’s gonna happen anyway, I might as well take as much control of it as I can.

04:47     Was there a particular incident that set this off? Was there one person’s comment where you was just like, I had enough, I want to control this?

04:54     I guess there were lots of comments… when you’re being in public’s eye you’ll always get lots of trolls.

05:00     You were getting trolls before you were even in social media (oh, that’s so hard) that’s pretty harsh!

05:06     I know it’s a bad joke, but I always say I was thick skinned before I was burnt, now I literally have thick skin.

05:13     We all got to use that joke. I do the same with my leg, they’re great coz everyone else was like, ‘oh how do we react’ because this is awkward.

05:19     I like the worst jokes sometimes. When guys hit on me I’m like, ‘oh you must like your meat well done.’

05:29     I have to take the bull by the horn. I had tens and tens of thousands of messages come in monthly from people around the world of love. I had so much support and random strangers helping me, and I think it was just gratitude and appreciation. So I decided to start posting my recovery and talking about my journey. And I think the support that came in was so overwhelming. Actually I was helping people with my perspective and it escalated from there

06:10     I just feel really privileged to living the life I’m leading now. I have amazing friends, amazing family and I’m in a position where I’m at the forefront of new technologies and in the pinnacle of new technologies for burns recoveries, and just lots of other things. It’s me saying thank you to everybody. I’ve given so much in this recovery and I’m just, I feel really blessed. I guess that’s why I decided to do what I do.

06:35     It’s amazing! Next one is to share something to us about you that we don’t know and that we should.

06:57     So I’m pretty wild. I think most people know that.

07:01     Always been wild, or has it changed?

07:04     No, I wasn’t wild… and I have a really really filthy sense of humour…

07:12     I have seen a little snippet so far, so we would just have to remind everyone to kinda stay on the PG.

07:22     I definitely got a big public persona but I’ve also got extreme private side. The things that I don’t reveal is because I don’t want to reveal.

07:33     There’s a part of you that you’re happy to share and there’s a part you want to keep with friends and family.

07:35     There’s a right time and a right place.

07:39     Since you’ve gone through your recovery and stuff like, what was kind of your your biggest setback through the whole process?

07:50     Physical set back you mean?

07:52     It can be physical or mental. The biggest challenge you’ve kind of hit through your recovery I would sign.

08:02     The recovery of this magnitude… there has been so many catastrophic times that the damage is so unbelievable. There has been so many really low points.

08:18     Is there one that stood out where you’re like, I just had enough.

08:22     I had a graft on my neck, and both my sides were done, and then my skin fell off and died coz I had a bloody infection. I was rushed to the emergency again… I went to have it re-grafted, and they took some extra skin… when you have a graft and it doesn’t work, they re-graft it, they take extra skin coz normally it doesn’t take. They took extra skin to my graft, and they couldn’t use it. They couldn’t find it anywhere. So they checked the fridge upstairs… they couldn’t find it anywhere. Five days later my Mum was cleaning my hospital room and said, “Dana, what’s in this?” That’s how she said it. And I just looked at her and said, “Mum, that’s my skin.”

09:12     I could have won the lottery ten million, zillion times over, and there’s nothing more valuable to me in this world than skin. Skin is the body’s biggest organ, and I don’t have enough of it for my grafts, it was just wasting there and ruined… that and the trial, that was really hard.

09:30     That could have been heartbreaking, I can imagine.

09:34     Stuff like that happens every time in the burn recovery. It’s common, you get so used to being heartbroken.

09:41     And it’s just one instance of many…

09:43     Yeah, you become professional at picking yourself back up and dusting yourself off and get on with it. What are your choices? These are my options, I was gonna live anyway. For me personally, suicide was not an option. I want to be there for my family, so I decided to live. Why would I live and have a poor quality life versus fighting and having the best quality life that I can possibly try to have.

10:12     What was your biggest kind of breakthrough moment, so the part where you… your real win.

10:20     Because of the injury this big, the wins for me… this is gonna sound small to you guys, the first time I could wipe myself… It took me ages…

10:35     That’s because you were restricted flexibility of the skin basically…

10:38     So I was stuck like this, and like that (demonstrating) for God like two years! Took me one and half years to touch my face. It wasn’t even… I was like that (demonstrating)… Now, I have obviously full range and stuff. I think after wiping myself I had a little dance like this…

10:56     I think I’ve seen one of your dance on Instagram from the early days as well

11:03     Yeah, I have no shame… so no, it’s the small things, like being able to wipe myself… I think it was dignifying.

11:10     It’s a piece of independence back as well (Yeah). Okay, great!

11:15     What is the thing that you’re most passionate about today?

11:22     My family and friends… I mean that sounds like such a cliche…

11:31     I have an extravagant life, an extravagant lifestyle. But I actually have like simple rules – like keep things simple. Simplicity is enough for me.

11:44     I’ve died. I’ve obviously died a few times now, so I see things differently, in a different way than most people I know. Things that kept me grounded and happy are my friends and family… My friends and family are just unbelievable. My life is extravagant but I would like to keep a simple life. Going back to what I was saying before about being private, there’s a definitely a private Dana and a public Dana, it’s the same world, but that’s what’s important to me. My biggest passion is my family.

12:16     And that circle of family and friends, is it a small one? Like you have a massive family or is it just a small select few people that you have in that world?

12:26     I got a big family. I am a fortunate person in the friends department. But you get what you give…

12:37     What was the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received? And that could be pre, post… anything that really stood out for you.

12:49     For me one of my favourite quotes is start before you’re ready because I’m a massive believer. When everyone’s waiting for the right moment, where I’m all about just faking it until I make it. Do it and figure out how to do it along the way. So it’s a famous quote, start before you are ready… it’s one of the things that I live by now.

13:07     Yeah I guess there’s a couple. It’s always better to try and fail, than to have failed to try.

13:15     Yes. Yeah I know you say it’s always better to. I think you have failed to try.

13:23     For me, I always knew that I was gonna be scarred. I own myself. If I can turn back time and didn’t have scars, I wouldn’t like it. I’m a one of a kind now. There’s no other Dana, just one. I’m one piece of chocolate…

13:36     Definitely agree with that, I think there’s no one else like you.

13:49     For me, I have tried so many things to get to where I am in my recovery, and so many have failed. I guinea pigged myself, volunteered myself, I empowered myself and learned about new technologies and things that aren’t relevant to burns, but the theory behind it sounded like it would work and I tried it. I feel like I know there I’ll always gonna have scars but to what extent was up to me.

14:09     Even though I tried the stupidest things that are so riduculous…

14:13     Are we talking about natural therapies and all sorts?

14:14     (?) or chemical science, everything at both ends… I’ll never gonna look back and think I wish I had or I wish I tried this… I always know that I’ve done and given my best to this recovery. And that’s give you true happiness. When you got content you can be happy. Once you got regret you can’t go back and turn that time.

14:37     And you were saying that the best recovery in terms of burn repairs or healing, is that in the world?

14:46     Yes, I’m probably one of the biggest transformations on the planet.

14:50     Which is incredible and a lot of that would be due to the fact that you were willing to try everything.

14:54     My surgeon said to me once, she said I can tell you right now the difference between you and the other patients. You are one track minded. You are so determined. There’s nothing else like you. (?) She used to call me a sadist because you have to put yourself through so much pain and I am always opting for extra pain. She’s like, “You’re a sadist.”

15:17     Is it something that gets easier or is it just always…

15:20     No, the pain gets easier with breathing techniques and stuff, which really really helped.

15:38     What’s a personal habit that contributed to basically what you’ve managed to achieve. Do you reckon that it’s your willingness to try things even though it’s a long shot or your ability to endure a lot of amount of pain?

15:57     I think when I’ve decided on something that’s it. So when I make a choice I would stick with it even if it’s the wrong choice, that’s how I am. Making a choice and sticking with it.

16:09     I also saw in your social media that fitness is something that you are passionate about, in what regards? What do you do?

16:15     You got to respect your body. My body has done so much for me and I got to do what works for me. We work for each other, it’s a mutual thing. I do heaps of cardio. I do weights, sculpting, everything. I lot of people have body confidence issues. I may be scarred but I am confident with my body’s appearance. I worked hard to have this body, so my point is, no matter what you have make the most of it. I’m scarred but I’m fit.

16:43     And it doesn’t limit you from doing anything in the physical exercises?

16:46     I don’t do too much out in the bright sun because I don’t want to overheat, but I’m mostly a nighttime person anyway.

16:55     I get it all the time. Anyone that’s making excuses for not exercising doesn’t really have any leg to stand on. They can do it no matter what circumstances are. Me and you are prime examples that you can find a way to make it work, whether it is in the nighttime.

17:27     Do you have a favourite book? I don’t know if this is yours, but we would mention both. Do you have a favourite book, and why?

17:39     Yeah, Where’s Wally. Pretty easy to read.

17:45     Which brings me to my point, you need to release an audiobook version of your book.

17:49     Yes!

17:52     Because I don’t read books. I read or listen to audiobooks. So if you give me an audio copy I will devour your book.

17:58     I’m an audiobook kind of person. I curse dead time.

18:00     Exactly, or transport… podcast and audiobooks

18:08     I’m onto it…

18:09     Great, so something is coming?

18:10     I released a copy in braille, for blind people, and there’s a copy for people who have dyslexia, and there’s a copy for people with vision impairment… and there’s different categories… there’s a disability category.

18:40     Very passionate about anything that gets done for people with disability.

18:44     My books they empower people. It’s raw and funny and crazy, but it’s… if you have a disability you know you should be able to have the option to read

18:58     Like I said, I can’t wait for the audiobook version then I’ll be able to listen to it

19:00     And his eyes work perfectly

19:05     I’ll be able to listen to it when I have dead time, when I’m travelling

19:08     I got one key takeaway that you’d give us and then the best way for this audience to connect with you, so whether that’s social media or by buying your book.

19:22     Key takeaway… just know your worth. I think when you have something you are insecure about work on it, or just embrace it. Its 2017, it’s so cool to be different. I have really (?) on my scars. I embraced it. If you feel like you’re not sexy… I don’t feel like my scars are sexy, I just say it’s hot. I like the fact that I’m unique. I like the fact that no one looks like me, and I’ve really embraced it. If you find yourself attractive and you won’t care what other people think…

19:54     I’m exactly the same. I would exactly hate to have two legs. It’s weird but I love that I’m different.

20:02     Try embracing what you don’t like about yourself, I think you’ll really be surprised. If I could turn back time and change it, I wouldn’t.

20:09     You can find me either by fan page WeHeartDanaVulin. (Which I’ve shared) Social media – Instagram is Dana Vulin, or you can come to my webpage. You can email me through that – www.danavulin.com.au, very easy.

20:27     Thank you so much Dana for joining me today. It’s been an absolute pleasure to learn more about you.

20:32     Thank you for having me.

20:33     And thank you guys for tuning in. You’ve been able to enjoy another episode of DailyGrit and we’ll see you next Monday.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

EP001: Australian Ninja with Olivia Vivian – The No Xcuses Show

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column centered_text=”true” column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Monday, October 16th, 2017 – Daily Grit Live is my newest project, one that I hope all of you will enjoy. For our first live interview last 16th of October, I had the pleasure of interviewing Olivia Vivian, who you may know from her gymnastics achievements, including the 2008 Summer Olympics or the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and may have seen recently in the Australian Ninja Warrior.

Watch the full video below:

EP001: Australian Ninja with Olivia Vivian – The No Xcuses Show

Posted by Brant Garvey

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00:05 – Liv is an Olympic and Commonwealth games gymnast. She went to the 2008 Olympics and then also the 2014 Commonwealth games where they won silver. She’s also done a bit of circus with Cirque du Soleil and is currently doing the Australian Ninja Warrior.

00:58I love sticking to something that I’m really passionate about. I think another area of my life that takes up a large chunk of it would be my café.

01:28 What am I going to do and where’s my life going?

05:07 – Can you share with us what your current area of expertise is?

I hadn’t found something physical in a long time, sporting-wise, that really grabs me and just held my attention. And I actually had no idea what Ninja Warrior was. I went into the first season pretty like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

It was an eye opener. I had such an amazing time and I do remember my college sporting days feeling so passionate like that about gymnastics and I hadn’t felt that fire in a little while.

08:31 – What would be your biggest setback to date?

I try and think like injuries were a setback but I think, when I look back now, it was definitely losing my dad.

09:59 I got to take his legacy and put it in my own life and just be grateful for what I do have. I’ve got my mom and she’s phenomenal. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. And so I look back in reflection and I appreciate everything I learnt through dad and the time I had. It keeps me grateful for what I do have.

11:04 – What was your biggest breakthrough moment, your biggest success?

I think a big lesson for me that turned out to be really successful and positive for me was right leading up to the Olympic Games.

13:08I’m not on this team one year before the Olympic Games, we discovered that I wasn’t doing 100% in training. So I wasn’t committing myself out of the fear of failing.

 

17:09 – What is one of the things that you’re most passionate about at the moment?

Ninja Warrior was so different to anything I’ve ever done. And people are like, “How do you train for it? What do you do?”

20:12Well I think that’s just what I’m passionate about now is honestly just trying new things and connecting with really cool people. You’re constantly learning. You’re constantly growing, and I love that. I’m not someone to just sit there and just cruise anymore.

20:48 – What was holding you back from doing what you wanted to do?

After Beijing I could’ve quit gymnastics. It wasn’t something I was passionate about at all. I just wanted to reach the Olympics and it was sort of I was just going through the motions to get that goal.

24:34“We’re going to be champions. We’re going to be Pac-10 champions.” In fact she forced us to say, “We’re going to be national champions.”

26:53 – What would be the best piece of advice you’d ever received?

Obviously Matt slapping me in the face and going, “You’re 100% in or get out.” I appreciated that. Really, I just really appreciate what that did for me and my career and even the way I view things now.

“Look, the best advice I can give you is take the things you loved most about your dad, whether it was an attitude that he had or things that he did, take that and apply it to your own every day.”

28:21We’re here and tomorrow is never promised. We really take that for granted sometimes and forget that.

28:50 – What is a personal habit that you do that contributes to your success?

I laugh. I laugh, I definitely don’t take things ultra-seriously. So I’m always trying to just have fun with what I’m doing and where I’m going.

30:56 – What is your favourite tool that keeps you motivated today?

I like to envision big goals or what could be. I think it’s really cool for the imagination at least and just get your motivation up, feeling good and stuff like that. A tool? Caffeine.

33:14 – Vivian’s Philosophy

And I was in to Disney channel. I love Disney movies. But so we’ve been told and we’ve been made to believe that we can achieve anything.

Right? And you can have these goals and if you want them so much you can have anything that you want.

I feel like the message in between that’s being missed out is you need to work hard. You need to work hard for it.

34:28It’s remembering that those goals are amazing and that they do feel so good when you get there, but you’ve got to work through it. You’ve got to grind and there’s not easy days. And it’s just getting through those hard days and sticking to it and finding the best management system for you as well.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Why NoXcuses?

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Why NoXcuses?

[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”Small Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”accent-color” animate=”yes” custom_height=”50″ custom_line_width=”80″][vc_column_text]Obviously because I can’t spell.

Let’s start with a simple idea… What could you achieve if you stop making excuses? And I’m not talking about all the excuses we make daily, just that one excuse. Imagine what can you accomplish if you stop making that one debilitating excuse?

Being born with one leg, people made assumptions of what I could and couldn’t do. They were deciding for me of what was and wasn’t possible, even before I even had the chance to try it.

I didn’t know it at the time, but these assumptions were rubbing off on me and I started to believe those excuses as truths.

In 2013 I had a mental shift. I no longer wanted to accept these excuses as truths. I wanted to discover for myself if something was truly impossible, by trying everything I could to prove it wrong. This was when I adopted no excuses as my personal motto.

If I thought of doing something and my initial reaction was no I can’t do that with one leg, I immediately reposition that reaction from a hard no, to a possibility by setting it as a new challenge. Something that I had to conquer. Whether it was the CrossFit games, my first triathlon, getting sponsored as a disabled athlete, my first Ironman triathlon or the Paralympic Games, my mentality was — challenge accepted!

What is one excuse that you need to stop making?  I’m too old? I don’t have time? I don’t have the money?

No excuses and never quit not ever…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

It’s What You Do Next That Matters.

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It’s What You Do Next That Matters.

[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”Small Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”accent-color” animate=”yes” custom_height=”50″ custom_line_width=”80″][vc_column_text]When most people think of a commercial, they think of selling a product. However, the process of filming the HBF commercial felt more like making a movie. The amount of work, time and energy that was dedicated to creating this story was stunning. Shooting for 22 hours to create one minute of content, and seeing the sheer amount of people working to capture the perfect moment is the most amazing organized chaos I’ve ever seen. In front of the camera it was just me. But behind the scenes, there were so many people giving it their all to make sure everything was in place.

What struck me most was the willingness to take it to another level. The things that made this shoot challenging was also what made it so extraordinary. The vision was to create a more natural campaign. It allowed me to tell my story, and share what happened in Rio. I loved this opportunity; however it was also a challenge to appear completely natural. My past work with advertising has been very hyped up. Speaking as though I was simply having a conversation with a friend might have sounded easy; but it was something new for me. I found it difficult, but it gave me the chance to step out of my comfort zone.

Working with an amazing crew, doing take after take, trying to capture just the perfect moment really motivated me to give it my all. Not only are we telling a powerful story, the entirety of the HBF commercial felt like cinematography. To be involved with this production was an absolute honour. I look forward to doing more in the future.

For me, the takeaway is to never hesitate to try something new. I loved doing something different than what I am used to. Never stop testing what you’re capable of. It might take a while to find your footing, but the benefit of what you will achieve is beyond compare. Telling the story of my dream turned into a nightmare is just another reminder to always keep going. In Rio, the race had finished, but my story wasn’t over. Getting back on the horse after you’ve fallen off is the most important thing you can do.

The experience in Rio may be one of the biggest setbacks I had to overcome, but the real race has just begun. Tokyo is only 3 years away and I’ve never been happier to return to my training. In life, the past doesn’t have to define you. It’s what you do next that matters.[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line”][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/a5NK0LNrUHM”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Back on Track – National Championships Robina

“It’s hard getting back on track.”

Since injuring myself on the most important race day of my life in Rio. I had to take some time off training for a few reasons, the main being having tendinopathy in my left adductor magnus but also to recharge both mentally and physically.

I was recently given the all clear to start introducing small amounts of low intensity training, however I was lacking motivation and found it very difficult to get back training over Christmas and New Years.

So I brainstormed of a way to get me back on track, one of my pet hates is not achieving what I say I am going to do. So I decided to voice my planned goal which was to do “a 100 days with no days off training”. This gave me the grunt I was lacking to get back into consistent training.

Until day 15 came and I received some bad news… The doctor told me I had patellar tendinopathy and ordered me to have a week off training after jabbing my knee with cortisone.

My goal of “a 100 days no days off” was interrupted, but that just meant that I had to start back at day 1 a week later.

On Friday, I got the all clear to race today at the Tri Series in Robina, Gold Coast. My coaches knew that my performance was not going to be anything fantastic after the setbacks since Rio, but finishing national champion is a good step in the right direction and day one of 100 with no days off is back on track.

If you’re finding it hard to get back on track with YOUR goal stop making excuses. Feel free to give my method ago by sharing with others your proposed goal. If you would like me to hold you accountable then let me know what it is you’re trying to achieve and I will check in with you to make sure you’re staying on track.

#NoXcuses #100DaysNoDaysOff