Ky Furneaux is an adventurer, stuntwoman and survival expert! At the age of 19 Ky was involved in a car accident that found her bed ridden and being told by experts that she would be unable to play sports or continue to do all those outdoor activities she loved so very much. With pure hard work, determination and rehabilitation Ky reclaimed her abilities and set about pursuing a career as an outdoor team leader with an adventure company.
From here, Ky flowed into a different line of work, stunt doubling. Training hard in martial arts and various other stunt-related activities Ky began to feature in numerous Hollywood blockbusters as a stunt double (X-Men 3, The Avengers, Thor, just to name a few). Her amazing capabilities were recognised in 2012 when she was awarded the Taurus Stunt Award (bestowed only to the world’s best stunt professionals).
Ky’s awesome abilities do not stop here!!! Ky then went onto developing her survival skills. Involved in various survival programs Ky showed the world just how she deals with the elements and the unexpected. She then shared this knowledge in her book “Girls Own Survival Guide”, a great and empowering read!
To read more about Ky, check out her extraordinary website www.kyfurneaux.com where you can purchase her book “Girls Own Survival Guide” or follow her on Facebook (@kyfurneauxinaction), Instagram (@kyfurneaux) and/or Twitter (@kyfurneaux).
When you were a young girl, what female inspired you and why?
When I was a young girl I was inspired by my grandmother Dorothy Laxton. She was from South Africa originally and, in 1961, moved her family to Australia, landing in Melbourne with two teenage girls and driving all the way to Adelaide to set up a base before her husband arrived. In those days that was considered quite a feat. As I grew up I would watch her head off on amazing travels, never letting her age or fear get in the way of having a grand adventure. She travelled solo to India and around all of Africa up until her 80’s. When I started traveling if I got nervous, I would always remind myself that if my Gran could do it, then so could I. She inspired me to get out and see the world and leave my fears behind.
What key attributes and characteristics do you have/use that allow you to be the Pretty Powerful woman you are today?
The main attribute I use is being positive. It seems a bit cliche but it is a skill that can be used to make sure that I get the most out of whatever situation comes my way. Sometimes life and plans don’t work out the way I would hope and after acknowledging that perhaps the situation isn’t ideal, I try to spend as little time as possible being upset about that and instead look at the “where to now”?
Having big goals and dreams isn’t easy and usually there are way more “no’s” than “yeses” coming your way. It’s persistence and self belief and self motivation that will get you through the no’s and help you get where you want to go. I have also never been afraid to dream big. To me there is no failure in trying something, I believe instead that I will have failed if I don’t try at all. Self doubt is a hard one to fight alone, so try to surround yourself with people who believe in you when you are having trouble with that. Even if you have just one person (maybe your mum or dad) who will tell you that you can do it, that can make a huge difference on those days you feel like giving up.
What an amazing career you have had so far in adventure, stunt doubling and survival! What advice could you give to girls out there on overcoming their fears to achieve their goals?
The first bit of advice is to acknowledge the fear and know that everyone feels fear. Sometimes when we look at people doing amazing things we think that perhaps they can do those things because they don’t feel fear. I assure you that most people do, they just have mastered the art of feeling it and moving forward anyway.
I have a tattoo that says “I am not afraid, I was born to do this”. It’s what I say to myself any time I am about to do something that I am nervous of. People think that the tattoo was for the crazy stunts I was doing but in reality I was very nervous about the first few times I got up to do public speaking. I still get a little nervous about it but I know that’s part of my process so I just breathe and wait for it to pass.
As a stunt performer, I got pretty familiar with fear and the thing that I will say is that fear is rarely helpful. It does make me look at the situation more closely as it is a warning that something may be wrong but then if nothing is wrong, it can become inhibiting so I just put the feeling to the side and concentrate on thinking positive thoughts about whatever it is I am about to do. “I can do this” or “This is going to be amazing” quite often help. I also know that with fear, if I do something I am scared of enough, the fear of it goes away and it becomes something I am comfortable with. And again remember, if your fear is a fear of failure, you can never fail if you at least give something a go.
What does the word “grateful” mean to you?
Grateful means acknowledging all the amazing things that are going right no matter how big or small they are. When aiming for a big goal or dream, you will need to break it down into a series of small steps to make it achievable. Sometimes we can forget to celebrate the small successes along the way and lament the fact that we haven’t reached the big goal.
Being grateful is remembering to celebrate when things are going in the right direction, even if they aren’t moving as fast as you may have hoped. It is also about living in the moment for me. It’s about looking for the good in every situation. At present I am fighting to come back from a fairly debilitating injury but regardless of how that effects my physicality, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be back in Torquay and spending some good time with my family for the first time in 16 years. I wouldn’t have that if I didn’t have the injury so it is my silver lining to something that is not ideal for me.
It is also remembering to thank the people who are helping you in even the smallest of ways. We live in a society that quite often takes a lot for granted but just acknowledging when someone does something that helps you, even if it is just by making you a coffee in the morning, makes the world a bit of a better place. Like being positive, being grateful is also a skill that may take practice to become a habit but once it is a habit, it allows you to see just what you really have in life.