real life

Initially, Turia Pitt wrote a love letter to her partner to 'take the piss'. Then she got vulnerable.

Turia Pitt first knew she had a crush on her now-partner Michael Hoskin when she was 12. She knew there were sparks when they were teenagers and Hoskin crashed in her bedroom after a party. And the time Pitt invited Hoskin to her 21st birthday and hoped they would get together romantically.

When they finally kissed, Pitt said it felt "like a Wizz Fizz up my back and stars were exploding in my eyes".

From then on, they were inseparable. 

Then in September 2011, Pitt was severely injured after she was burned in a fire while competing in a 100km ultramarathon through the Kimberley region in Western Australia. It left her with burns to more than 65 per cent of her body.

But throughout it all, Pitt said Hoskin was by her side.

"To endless appointments, surgeries and pain  rinse and repeat. Because of you, your love and your support, I knew that whenever I faulted I could always rely on you. I only have the life I have today because of you," she said. 


Recently, Pitt shared a love letter she had written to Hoskin via her podcast Hard Work.

Initially, she said she wanted to start her letter by "taking the piss" and sharing 20 things she 'hates' about her partner – like the fact he leaves toothpaste in the sink or has questionable dress sense in her opinion.

But then she realised that she wanted to be honest about how much she loves Hoskin, even though it makes her feel vulnerable.

"If there's one thing I'm trying to teach my sons is to say how you feel and to tell the people you love how much you love them. You are the nicest, humblest, kindest most self-effacing human I have ever met, and being with you has made me a better person."

In 2015 the pair got engaged, but Michael previously revealed that he actually bought the diamond ring when she was in intensive care. Because he knew that Pitt was the person for him.


"[We were] two young people who were thrown into a hell hole but somehow made it out with their love intact," Pitt said in her love letter. "I am the person I am today because of you."

Watch: Turia Pitt speaks to 60 Minutes. Post continues below.

Video via 60 Minutes.

Recalling the fire on Mamamia's No Filter podcast a few years ago, Pitt said, "One of the really striking memories that I have is all of us were on the valley floor and we could see the fire approaching, and at that stage, I was really distressed and panicked and I was crying.

"One of the other men from the fire actually took the time to turn to me and he said to me 'don't worry, everything's going to be okay' and I think that's extraordinary. He just took that small moment, when his life was in danger and his son's life was in danger, to reassure me and… it just shows that humanity, the best in humanity can just show up in the worst times."

With nowhere else to go, Pitt was forced to run through a wall of flames. Hours later, medical help arrived, and when they did, doctors did not expect her to survive.


Almost 10 years after the accident, Pitt found herself sifting through boxes of her medical records late at night.

She was searching for information a surgeon had requested about her nose, which she had been attempting to get fixed so she could breathe properly. That's when she found it – a USB amongst the papers. 

"I was like 'ha, this is interesting'," she recalled in a recent episode of her Turia Pitt is Hard Work podcast.

Not knowing what was on it, she put the USB in her computer and found a folder labelled "photos".

"So I click on that and there's a folder with dates on the photos. They were really confronting because I was swollen but parts of my skin that have now been grafted, they didn't look like [they do now]."

Pitt also saw photos of her face and red bloodied hands. And they were "gory" and "partially amputated".

"I slammed my computer shut and I [stepped] away."

With her family asleep, she went upstairs to see her then-10-month-old son Rahiti, who was crying. As she held him, she attempted to ground herself. But after putting him back in his cot, she still felt too anxious to fall asleep. 

Instead, she made her bed on the couch and watched TV until 5am when she decided to go to the gym. Two weeks later, she decided to call her psychologist. 


Turia said the photos "mentally" put her back to that time of her life in hospital and surviving the fire.

"I had gotten used to this new body, and this is who I am now, but it was upsetting because I saw old Turia and new Turia at the same time so that was what was upsetting. Looking at the photos I was like f*** I don't actually know how someone survives that."


After Pitt was rescued by medical personnel, the recovery journey began.

She was placed in a medically induced coma, lost seven fingers, spent six months in hospital and underwent more than 200 operations.

Reflecting on that on No Filter, Pitt said: "Physically, it's pretty obvious what I've gone through. But for me, emotionally, I think, 'Well, the fire was only five seconds of my life, and I don't want to let that five seconds tell me who I am and what I can do and what I can't do in this world'." 

She continued: "But every morning I wake up and I see my hands and remember what happened to me, but I just get out of bed and get on with my day."

And get on with her days she did. 

She's written three best-selling books, coached over 40,000 people via her own digital courses, competed in the Ironman World Championships, sailed a boat around French Polynesia, walked the Kokoda Trek, met some amazing people and developed her own business.

She's also helped to raise more than one million for Interplast, which provides reconstructive surgery to people in developing countries in need.

And amidst all of that, she and Michael Hoskin have welcomed two boys – Hakavai in 2017 and Rahiti in 2020.

In the early days of motherhood, Pitt said she and Hoskin had already begun preparing for the life lessons they wanted to teach their kids. 


"We want to protect our kids and for everything to be good and great for them, I get that, but the truth is you can't stop everything bad from happening to your kid," she told The Advertiser. "I want to teach resilience; that no matter what happens, they have the ability to cope because challenges are part of life."

In an Instagram post, Pitt went on to say that parenting has its ups and downs, but it's something she's incredibly grateful for. 

"Parenting is hard. I've got a baby that sleeps, a supportive partner, parents and in-laws on speed dial, heaps of mates who’ve had babies and I’m still finding it really challenging and exhausting. You know that feeling of falling in love? Having a baby is like having this feeling on tap. It's like the honeymoon phase that never ends."


In a conversation with Mamamia last year, Pitt said that trying to juggle being a mum, motivational speaker and author was quite challenging. And then she realised it was okay not to have it all together. Because few – if any of us – do.

"That's pressure from society, but also ourselves that we want to 'get back into it' and get fit again and be able to make time for our partner and cook really great meals for our family. 

"After I had my first son, I probably was quite hard on myself and that urge to not let my son interrupt the flow of my life, which I realise is such a ridiculous thing to want. Because how the hell can your life go back to how it was before you've had a kid?" she explained.

"It forced me to slow down and take stock and to savour my life and enjoy and relish the time with my baby. So I am thankful for that."

This article was originally published on May 24, 2022, and has been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Instagram @turiapitt.

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