By Kyra Gillespie
“You can add up all the days you’ve been alive but you can’t add up how many days you have left.”
Those are the words of awarded martial arts sensei, author and cancer survivor Nadine Champion, who captivated audience members at the final Casey Cardinia Business Breakfast for 2017.
Focusing on the concept of 10 Seconds of Courage, which is also the title of her new book, Nadine applied the principles of elite fighting to overcoming the challenges that people face in their daily lives.
“Everyone needs their own Mr Miyagi in life – someone to give advice and push you to be the best version of yourself.”
Nadine’s Mr Miyagi is undefeated world champion fighter Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez, who she describes as the perfect cross between “Rocky and Yoda”.
Through Sensei Benny’s guidance and mentorship, Nadine learned the importance of internal training to better handle adverse situations and overcome challenges.
“You are who you tell yourself you are, and your mind can be your worst enemy.
“We are taught to think negatively, so changing how we think is the first step to changing how we live our lives.
“On your worst days you find out what you’re made of.”
The idea of 10 Seconds of Courage welcomes feelings of discomfort and fear.
“All it takes is 10 seconds of courage to change your life, no matter the situation.
“If you don’t take that first step you’ll never get to the last step.”
From title fights in the ring to overcoming cancer, Nadine is no stranger to battles.
“Being ill taught me that life’s too short to miss opportunities.
“If you get punched in face – whether it be by an opponent in the ring or by your life – it doesn’t hurt any less if you close your eyes.”
To illustrate her point about the power of mental training, Nadine selected unsuspecting audience member Tim Brudenell to come up on stage and break a plank of wood with his bare hands. A feat he achieved to everyone’s amazement.
“I was so nervous, my heart was pounding,” Mr Brudenell said.
“I didn’t have a single doubt that I could do it because of how Nadine spoke to me.
“She is an amazing speaker and such an inspirational person.”
Nadine’s Ten Seconds of Courage TEDx Sydney talk, which she delivered just one year after her battle with cancer, is regarded as “one of the most memorable of all time”.