SAS serves up life-changing lessons
Surf Coast local Mark Philippoussis is relishing being home after what was a “life-changing and incredible” experience on the reality TV show SAS Australia.
The tennis champ and owner of sustainable fashion label As We Create was one of only three contestants to complete the gruelling 14-day course.
Mark – who rose to number eight in the world in his chosen sport – says he went into the challenge believing he would make it through to the end.
“The one thing I knew was my biggest asset going into it was my mind and I believed that, especially in a course like this, 90 per cent of getting through it is the mind – simple as that,” the 44-year-old says.
“I knew that I was going to tell myself, no matter how sore I was when going to bed or waking up, I would say ‘okay, you’ve got to go again, you are going to get through this’.
“I wanted to give it my all and the biggest thing I did not want to have was regret.
“I did not want to come home and be sitting on the couch with the family watching, knowing that I gave my number in. That would have killed me.”
Mark says his greatest challenge came at the end of day two when his knees – which have undergone multiple surgeries – swelled up like balloons.
“I was freaking out and all these negative thoughts started coming into my head and I just had to push them out and tell myself ‘you’ve got this, one task at a time’.
“Day five the swelling was pretty much gone, my body starting adapting and I got mentally stronger.”
Mark says while he would have liked to gain selection at the end, he respected the decision and still took away positives from the experience.
He says he learned a swag of things but there were two key take-aways for him personally.
Firstly, that he is capable of much more than he thought and, secondly, failure can be a positive.
“The word failure, I hated the word failure, I was very uncomfortable with the word failure,” he says.
“But I learned to say ‘okay, you failed that, but how are you going to come back stronger and take yourself to the next level?’.
“To become comfortable and excited by the word failure is incredible.”
Mark says he had amazing support from his wife Silvana and children, Nicholas and Maia, who would have been proud no matter how far he went on the show.
“That’s the beautiful thing. Coming home, when I walk through the doors, I win every day.”
With the SAS challenge done and dusted, Mark is focusing on family life and growing his business – with new lines dropping this week in the As We Create collection, and plans to add a linen range in the near future.
He has his sights set on continuing his commentary work, including at next year’s Australian Open, and he is also keen to take on a greater presence in that space.
“I’d love to do other stuff in TV whatever that may be, I’m open and excited to grow, to keep learning and to take on new challenges.”
Keep up-to-date with Mark and his As We Create label on Instagram @mphilippoussis and @aswecreate.