Interview with Camilla Pedersen
Posted on: Saturday 17th May 2014
How did it feel to win Challenge Fuerteventura, your first race back after your accident?
I’m so happy, it was a tough field, tougher than when I won the European Championships at Challenge Barcelona in 2013 J
But tough girls makes it more fun, then you know there you are. And I wasn’t sure, training has been going very good, but there is a big different between training and racing J
Exactly 3 months ago I was out on my bike for the first time,
How were you feeling in the lead-up to the race?
I was nervous, but really looked forward to do my first race again. And just happy to be able to swim, bike and run. First time to run a half marathon since I´ve only been running 1 hour in training since the accident because of the injuries.
My first half ironman was at Challenge Barcelona in 2012, and won! Also won in Challenge Barcelona 2013, at Challenge Aarhus in 2012 and 2013 so my comeback race should be a Challenge race!
When did you decide to race and what did that process involve?
My coach said I was ready so we decided to do the first race 2 weeks before the race. The process didn’t involve anything special, same training and just looking at it as a training day…a fun training day
What was you goal when you lined up on the start line?
The mental part is back, so winning is always the goal.
The goal was to go out, do the thing I´ve missed, love and is burning for. So to go out, have fun, enjoy and be happy I was able to do all those things again.
And couldn’t help smiling and be happy every second, even though it hurt in the legs 😉
It’s another perspective to life, you only live once! So do that you love to do, what makes you happy and smiling. I love to push the limits, they are never where you think they are. You get to know your body, head, mental part and a lot of thing in this sport, that’s what I love! I learn something new every time!
Talk us through your day out on the course….
Had fun all the way! But had some bad parts but didn’t took my glory!
Someone had stolen my Rudy sunglasses in T1, put them in my helmet in the morning, but when I got out of the water they where gone. So no sunglasses on the bike or run! My chain felt off and got stock, couldn’t get on again. So fixed it but taking my foot out of the bike shoe, still on the bike, my toes under the crank, catch the chain, full it loose (gave me a bloody big toes), managed to get the chain on the tooth of the crank and back in the bike shoe with the foot…but costed me some minutes J
Then I forgot my sock in the running shoes so after 5 km, they where hurting so had to stop a couple of times on the run, try to fix the shoe, but no luck, so pain but still smiling!
Celebrated the win with a three hour bike ride in all the hills… love my ”wheelchair”. Today it’s a lot worse with the feet, the body not tired or any pain, but can’t walk or swim
It’s hard to believe the remarkable recovery you´ve made, are you able to share with us what that process was like, and what was driving you to recover so quickly?
It wasn’t an easy process and recovery! I will never recover 100%, I will have repercussions for the rest of my life.
This was my hardest fight ever, and I tried a lot of hard fights, but you cant compare anything to this one.
When I woke up, I was laying in bed, sitting in a wheelchair, and the doctors told me I was gonna sit in a wheelchair the rest of my life and brain damage…with those words, my fight started…took me a week to stand on my legs for the first time, but tried everyday, again and again!
Had a hard time to speak and find words, had difficulty with writing.
I was working hard every day, hour, minute and second. Didn’t show my family or friends how hard or much I was working to get back to Camilla. Their Camilla! They had see a lot while I was in coma and very critical, so they had already suffered more than enough.
So never give up, cause ”Winners never quit, quitters never win”. And winning is more than becoming number one, it’s to reach the goal you dream off.
How was it getting back on a bike again for the first time after the accident?
Exactly 3 months ago I was out on my bike for the first time, and I loved every second of it! J
Missed being on my bike, missed running and just doing all the things I love. I couldn’t run before in January, cause my hip got broken and had osteoporosis cause I lost a lot of bone tissue after coma and medicine.
And lost 9kg of muscles!
Is there anyone, or anything, that you credit for helping you to get to this point?
My family was there for me 24 hours a day in coma, after coma and still are! They made everything possible, and are one of the reasons I´m on my feet today and not in a wheelchair or graveyard. I have been fighting harder to get back to the Camilla they love and would miss if she was gone!
Then I have some amazing friends that means the same to me as my family, they where there too 24 hours a day.
My sponsors were there even though I wouldn’t come back. And I can’t thank Janni, my best friend for all she has done, she took care of all media that contacted my family, so they could spend all their energy and time with me. She did EVERYTHING, and still does!
I´m not sure you realise quite how inspirational you are! Do you have any advice for those coming back from injury, however minor or major?
Use your head, be smart, listen to the body and head and never give up, believe in yourself even though it’s not easy, there will be times through hell, but keep fighting and heaven/the victory is on the other side.
Posted in Athlete's Journey, Athlete's Journey » Inspiration