Luke Tyburski doesn’t follow in life, he leads from the front in everything he does. A pioneering ultra-endurance athlete who strives to learn daily and teach others what life has taught him, Luke not only pushes his body to its limits but challenges his mind to find a way to get through these incredible adventures.
His physical challenges are only the tip of a down to earth and relatable iceberg of a human being. What sets Luke apart from most, is that he uses these experiences to learn and develop his mindset to teach these principles and concepts to others across the globe via public speaking, one to one coaching, or on social media.
Hey Luke, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m an Australian living in London who loves to put myself in difficult scenarios to facilitate my thirst for knowledge and get closer to my true potential.
My passion is to teach others; by sharing my experiences in life, alongside what I’ve learned, I hope to open up people’s minds to what we are all capable of. I am also fascinated with what the human body is capable of when it works with the brain during ultra-endurance swimming, cycling, and running.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
Born and raised in Australia, I left my family home at 16 to pursue a professional football (soccer) career, moving in with a family over 3 hours away from my parents.
Continued my career alongside finishing a Bachelor of Exercise Science degree in the USA, and then playing in the lower professional leagues in the USA, Belgium, and the UK. Injuries and a battle with depression ended my career, and to escape from this unwanted change in life, I threw myself into ultra-endurance sports; starting with a 255 kilometre, 7 days, self-supported ultra-marathon through the Sahara Desert.
Becoming addicted to these types of events, and naive enough to think I could create a career out of taking on big challenges around the world, speaking, writing books, and coaching others to achieve their own physical goals, I went “”all in” to achieve this goal.
I ran down Mt Everest in the world’s highest ultra-marathon, through a tropical forest in China without food, water, money, and with a plane to catch to begin. I evolved as an athlete and completed a 412 kilometre non-stop cycle ride from London to Newquay in a day, just to learn how to surf the following day. I then completed my first ever triathlon, the Double Brutal Extreme Triathlon in north Wales, taking me 35 non-stops hours.
All of these challenges (and more) were still facilitating my escape from life, while I clawed my way through life and to develop my brand.
My 2000 kilometre in 12-day Ultimate Triathlon was both an end and a new beginning in my journey. After suffering physically and mentally like never before post challenge, I only then began to learn about myself, and how I can use the experiences I’ve had in life, to help others.
Today, I can proudly call myself an author, global speaker on the topics of mindset and endurance sports, and a health & wellness coach.
What is a day in the life of you like?
I have a morning/evening routine I try to complete most days, but apart from these, my day varies depending on what projects, clients, or training I need to complete.
My morning routine consists of 30-60 minutes, depending on what I have on that day and what time I went to bed the night before. This consists of gentle mobility, stretching, and deep breathing techniques. This is also where I meditate during the breathing exercises.
My evening routine is to write down the keys things I wish to achieve the following day (and recap what I achieved that day), and anything extra I could do if I complete my key tasks. Some more stretching to relax before bed, and then usually I’ll read in bed before I go to sleep.
Also, my wife and I don’t have a TV (a conscious decision), so we eat dinner together and actually speak to one another. No phones, just good old conversation.
We make this part of our weekly routine for as many nights of the week as we can, as our schedules don’t always have us at home during dinner time.
Can you tell us about the writing process of your book ‘Chasing Extreme?’
This was an adventure in itself. I started writing it after I spent 5 weeks living in Nepal, high up in the rural mountains where very few Westerners had been. I stayed with the families of some elite ultra-marathon runners. I thought this was a great story, alongside how I got into ultra-endurance sport immediately after retiring from football. I would write from 6am to 9 or 10am most mornings.
Then life happened! I didn’t write a word for over 18 months until a friend of mine offered to help me write a book about the self-created world first 2000km in 12-day Ultimate Triathlon from Morocco to Monaco I completed (which also had an award-winning documentary created about it). I then started to write about the Ultimate Triathlon but realised I had the toughest 18 months of my life missing from the manuscript. It was a conscious decision to write about this time with complete brutal honesty while revealing my untold battle with depression, binge eating, injuries, insomnia, broken down relationship, and several brushes with suicide.
I would write most days for as long as I could, some days 1 hour, others all day long; it was emotionally exhaustive! My friend would give suggestions to where I needed to remove, add, or rearrange parts of my story, alongside adding her own thoughts.
The way in which I wrote Chasing Extreme was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life!
Can you tell us more about your own brand DNA and ethos?
My brand’s essence is to inspire growth. I truly believe we are all capable of so much more than we all believe we are. As a society, we move away from discomfort and potential failure while viewing these as negatives. But this is the complete opposite of what everyone needs to be doing across all areas of their life to progress and evolve as individuals.
Endurance sports strips you back to nothing but your inner thoughts, fears, and insecurities; it’s here where I learn about myself, life, and ways of how to overcome the obstacles and adapt to setbacks that come my way.
I use these lessons to create simple procedures and concepts that are translated and applicable to anyone and across all industries, helping everyone continually strive to be the best version of themselves daily.
My Life Philosophy is simple; learn daily, build relationships, & share the knowledge that life has taught me. This philosophy is at the core of everything I do, and a guiding light to choosing projects, or how I spend my time.
Can you tell us how you used ultra-endurance sports to escape depression and how that has played a key role in your escapism?
Ultra-endurance sports was like a drug to me, it was where I would go to get a “hit” of dopamine and feel good about myself.
This wasn’t sustainable, especially as I was suffering from insomnia, binge eating, and training 25-30 hours a week alongside trying to build my brand. Whenever I was swimming, cycling, or running I felt free, and like I was out of the self-imposed goal I continually placed myself.
Nothing in life mattered when I was out training for 5, 6, or even 10 hours at a time; I didn’t have to face up to what I was dealing with or going through personally. After my Ultimate Triathlon from Morocco to Monaco, I “overdosed” with my health suffering badly, and I was unable to do any exercise for 18 months.
During this time I was forced to do a lot of internal work through self-reflection, face my demons, and decide to either continue to run away from life, or start to actually live it!
Can you highlight 3 ways we can listen to our inner self more and bring out the best version in us?
- Focus and develop your strengths. We are all good at something, so spend your time evolving these to be the best you can be at them.
- Until you love yourself, you will always have a limited life. If you don’t take time to identify your fears, insecurities, and who you truly are, then how can you truly love yourself. Ask yourself difficult questions to get to know yourself better, and what makes you tick. When you know your weaknesses as a human being, acknowledge them, and be prepared to do consistent work to improve on them, then have a chance to reach your true potential as an individual!
- Cut yourself some slack. Constantly trying to be the best version of yourself can be hard, because some days you will fail, take multiple steps backwards, and feel defeated. In this time, do not beat yourself up, learn from what happened, be positive about how you can improve, and get ready to do your best to move forward the following day.
Who does the team involve behind you?
My wife, friends, and family as a support unit, that’s it! Many people see what I’ve achieved, created, and are doing and immediately assume I have a large team behind me. Reality is, it’s just me hustling as hard as I can each and every day. Depending on the project, I will outsource specific tasks I need to be completed to a high standard, but I’m a one man bad, for now.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Even happier than I am today with how I live my life. Also, making a bigger impact throughout the world by sharing what life has taught me, passing on the tools I have to help others progress in their own lives.
I’ll definitely have a couple more books out and massive big ultra-endurance challenges completed. Continually growing my global speaking business is something I’d like to spend some time on, and no doubt other opportunities will present themselves through continually doing what I do and being me.
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
I could not do what I do if I did not spend time developing my mindset over the past 20 years. We can train 3 things, our body, our craft, and our mind.
I spend most of my time training my mind, developing the mindset I have that continually helps me overcome the obstacles I face, and adapt to the setbacks that I get hit with.
No matter what industry, profession, or circumstances in life we are faced with, being mentally strong and having a growth mindset will help us all progress, evolve while showing love and compassion.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
When I started doing endurance sports and speaking about my adventures, I struggled with people constantly identifying me as “just” another athlete.
My adventures and ultra-endurance challenges weren’t what I spoke about, and shared with my audiences. My talks were actually how I was able to complete the big challenges I was faced with, the mental tools I used, and how my audience could use the mindset I developed in their own lives.
Unfortunately no matter how I pitched myself, wrote my biography, the majority of people continually compared me to other endurance athletes, and missed the whole point of what I was trying to do, teach, not motivate!
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
For years I desperately wanted a mentor, reached out to many people, but never heard anything back. So instead, I started watching people via social media who were doing things that I could relate to and that inspired me.
More recently, I’ve been working with a marketing and PR company director (who is also a friend), who has been helping me with developing what my brand stands for, and how I can move it forward. This happened organically and has helped give me clarity of my brand from the inside out.
What outlets or platforms do you use to market your book?
It’s available on Amazon, so I promote it globally on their platform. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are my other places where I promote.
I love speaking to people on podcasts, I’ve probably done nearly 100 interviews over the past 5 years, they are good fun, and it’s a great way to penetrate fringe markets I am trying to break into by being heard in these communities.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
When I meet people, introduced to someone, or find a person online who I relate to, and like what they stand for, I will do what I can to develop a relationship. If you ask people for their help, their thoughts, or if you can help them, most will agree on some level.
I do this to get to know them and what they are doing on a deeper level to then forge a relationship. Alongside this, if I meet or am asked by someone who is where I was once in their brand development, I’ll do what I can to help them out.
I’ve found this is a great way to create a network of people who are further along, at a similar stage, but also upcoming and where I once was in developing my brand; having these 3 types of people in your network is priceless.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about the coaching industry and how are you using your platform and voice to educate people more?
That coaches are not qualified and anyone can be a coach. I actually don’t disagree to an extent with these. If people want to help others, and themselves develop throughout life, then I have no problem with people calling themselves a coach. I truly believe if you want to be a good coach, you need to have either studied a lot from an external tertiary standpoint.
Or, experienced some truly hard times in life, coupled with plenty of self-reflection to understand yourself, what happened, how you overcame these, and are willing to be open, honest, and share the knowledge life has taught you.
I know extremely talented coaches who have got to where they have through both of these avenues, and a combination of the two. Coaching isn’t about how many certificates you have, but an ability to help facilitate another person, business, or organisations progression in life towards their goals. (In my opinion.)
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
Nothing. Millennials have more opportunities than most generations have had. They grew up with the internet, opportunities to develop their passion into an online business, and are of a generation that works experience/internships in emerging industries/companies etc can be just as good as traditional tertiary education.
Millennials who are willing to work hard, don’t think they’re entitled to anything, and follow their passions are the ones who are rising to the top of their industry of choice.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Just because it has never been done before doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Stop spending time trying to develop your weaknesses to become level with your strengths. I now spend the time to develop my strengths to levels that overshadow the competitors in my space, and outsource areas of my business that I’m simply not great at!
I.E I used to spend days creating satisfactory presentations for my talks, instead of working on my delivery and stage presence. I now pay someone to create my presentations and spend more time improving my natural ability to stand on stage and deliver a thought-provoking, educational, inspiring experience for my audience.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I learnt a lot from my ‘overdose’ after the Ultimate Triathlon, because during 2014 and 2015 I had absolutely no balance in any aspect of my life, I both literally and figuratively ran myself into the ground.
Taking the time to understand this way of living wasn’t sustainable, I learnt that having time to shut down and ‘reset’ during each day when you begin to get overwhelmed will help you in the long run. 10 deep breaths, 20 minutes of exercise, mediation, or simply a coffee with friend or colleague will help.
On a bigger scale, what works for me is combining my training with my social life. My training partners are my friends, so although we are working hard physically, spending time with these people in my inner circle fills me with a sense of community, this rejuvenates me.
A seminal point in your career so far?
Finding the inner strength to tell my complete honest story in Chasing Extreme.
For years I had only been telling 75% of my story and felt ashamed about revealing the true depths of my depression, binge eating habits, suicidal experiences, and self-harm. The moment I realised if I could look within and share my entire story then I knew I could have a larger impact on the world, this excited and energised me to write Chasing Extreme.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Having strangers stop me at an event, or send me a message online to tell me I somehow made a difference in their life. This is what fuels me to keep doing what I’m doing, and continually learn daily and teach others what life has taught me.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
Standing out in a crowded space with a minimal budget to do so.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Rich Roll for going all in with podcasting before podcasts were cool, and continually evolving as a host along with his content over the years. James Lawrence for breaking ultra-endurance limits with his physical challenges and mindset. Lewis Howes for sharing his story, and being vulnerable in an authentic way through his books, podcast, and online courses.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘The Leading Brain’ by Friederike Fabritus and Hans W. Hageman.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- ‘Finding Mastery’ by Michael Gervais.
- ‘The Rich Roll Podcast.’
- ‘Impact Theory’ by Tom Bilyeu.
*I’ve been a guest on two of these shows.
How do you define success?
To have the ability to look at myself at the end of a task, day, year, and life knowing I did my absolute best and helped others in the process.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To live by societies laws, but not its rules! To live my own true life how I want, regardless of what pressures society or others try to put on me.
Finally, what can we expect from you next throughout 2019?
I’ll be running the length of Ireland self-supported during the summer. Roughly 700 kilometres separate Mizen Head in the south to Malin Head in the north, I will have a backpack, pick up food and water along the way, and sleep wherever I can during this 9-day adventure.
I’m also doing a 100-kilometre ultra marathon, before another 100-kilometre ‘secret’ challenge that is later in the year, watch this space. I have already started writing my second book, with a plan to publish at the end of 2019.
Chasing Extreme link
The Ultimate Triathlon Documentary Link