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„The shortest way is never the right way!“ (English interview version)

“The shortest way is never the right way!”

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After a hard crash in 2013, Camilla Pedersen laid in artificial coma. The docs abandoned hope that she’ll walk again someday. But Camilla disabused them. Eight month later she won Challenge Fuerteventura. A fascinating interview with an inspiring, battlesome woman with overwhelming lust for life.

Camilla, in 2013 you had a hard crash. Do you still feel some effects of it? Or are you totally recovered?
I still have some effects and I will have these effects for the rest of my life.
Some things doesn’t work. It is frustrated. But I try to be happy. I’m still alive.
But none of us is perfect. Everybody has some issues. You have to live your life, figure out how to solve your problems and get your goals.
It’s like a puzzle. You have to put the small parts together as good as you can.

Which things doesn’t work?
After hard sessions or an ironman my body shots down. We try to figure out why. Because I’m physically or mentally not tired.
My brain got some trouble in the accident. And maybe my cortex was damaged. So when my body reaches a limit, he shots down.

How do you deal with it?
I train my brain.
I try to activate new places.
After the accident I had a hard time reading and writing. There were some bleeding in my memory.
So I harder remember things people tell me. It’s better when I can read it for myself.

My brain gets tired faster, so I have to train my brain.
Because when the brain gets tired faster, my body gets tired faster, too. That’s a jungle.
I have to do nothing, once a day, for half an hour. Starring at the ceiling. I’m really bad in doing nothing, but it’s necessary. So I do it.
The shortest way is never the right way. You have to raise again. That’s what I’m doing right now.

Are you prepared for your high training volume?
I like to feel comfortable. The hardest thing for my brain is, when something is new.
I know training, so it doesn’t make me tired. Training is the thing I relax the most.
‚After the accident I learned and realized that you only live once. So you have to enjoy every minute of your life. You have to be blessed to do all the things. You have to look on the bright side.
And do the things you want to do.
For me it’s triathlon. I love it from deep inside my heart. That’s why I came back.

What made you that strong when doctors abandoned hope already?
I follow my heart. I ask myself: How do I feel?
I don’t want to hear what people tell me before I feel it for myself.
I don’t quit anything.
When I figure out that something isn’t possible I can accept this. But until this point I keep believing and fighting.
When you reach a goal you have to remember it. Remember the feeling you experienced. That makes you stronger.

Did you have doubts at any point of your recovery?
I was very insecure in the beginning. The situation and everything around me was new.
The first weeks after I woke up it was hard that everybody knew where I was and what I’ve been through. People thought I had changed. But nothing has changed for me. I am still the old Girl.

And then the swim in the first year was hard. I couldn’t see anything in the pool. I was so dizzy and had such a pressure in my head.
I had trouble, breathing to the left. So I only drew to the right. I couldn’t swim with my team at home and swimming alone is so fucking boring. But I made my own programs.

What are your goals for 2016?
My goal is Kona.
Luckily I already have the qualification, so I can do some races I really want to start in.
For example Ironman 70.3 Monterrey in Mexico and Ironman 70.3 Brazil. I’ve never been to Brazil so I’m really glad to go there. Then the ITU long distance world championship and the IM long distance European Championship in Frankfurt. Plus some races in Denmark. But I don’t have a detailed plan not yet.

How was Kona 2015 for you? Which lessons have you learned?
I was really happy standing at the starting line. I was happy because it was my dream standing there once in a life. Two years ago I was at the hospital and then I stand at the start. Great!
But I had a disc-prolapse in summer and couldn’t run until two month before the start. So that wasn’t a perfect race in October.

For this year I want to stand on the podium. With the shape I had in 2013 before the accident I had reached top 3 for sure.
Now I’m working to get back on this level like in 2013.
My coach says I’ll bring that. And normally he never says something that doesn’t work.
In general I want to make a good race. A good race for me. When I’m number 5 with a perfect race, I’m happy, too. Then the others are better.
I learned that I love all the adventures. As a triathlete you see the world from another side. You see the local side.
It gives you memories for the rest of your life.
As long as you have your family close and share your adventures with them, everything is perfect.
It’s similar with the sponsorship. For me it’s pretty important to stay with sponsors from the very first beginning. They were there for you, when nobody knew you. That’s a thing of honesty and loyality.

You said you were always doing a lot of sports. Swimming, hockey, e.g. What kind of sport do you love most next to triathlon?
I played some Ice hockey in the off-season. At home I’m a fitness instructor for spinning. And in December I also did some courses I normally don’t give. Crossfit and yoga for example.
I just like to use my body in another way I’m used to.
Do some challenges. That’s cool.

One last question I’ll ask every interview partner.
When you come home after a day full of training. Which kind of food is never missing in your fridge?
Ketchup. Definitely ketchup! And yogurt.

Thanks for your time, Camilla! Wish you the best for this year.
But with your attitude I’m sure, there’s nothing going wrong.
Keep going!

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