WHEN Bathurst endurance athlete Luke Tyburski hobbled into Monaco yesterday morning on crutches he may have cast a broken figure, but in truth he was elated.
It was because Tyburski had just completed his ultimate triathlon challenge – covering 2,000 kilometres between Morocco and Monaco in 12 days.
It began with swimming the Gibraltar Straight – albeit in the opposite direction to what he had originally intended – and finished with a final day ride of 100 kilometres followed by a 1km hobble.
“It’s when you push yourself to your absolute limits, that’s when you just see a glimpse of your own potential. You should try it sometime, it’s as scary as hell, but wow, it will open up broad horizons,” Tyburski said in a web video post.
“The ultimate triathlon experience for me has been phenomenal, frustrating at times, non-existent at others – I don’t remember things – but it’s been days of hard graft giving everything I’ve got.
“It has been an amazing journey, I have learned a lot about myself, I’ve learned a lot about endurance and enduring pain.
“It is going to take time to digest. There have been a lot of things that I’ve believed going into the ultimate triathlon that I’ve questioned to do with mental strength and anyone’s physical capabilities ... and also perseverance, being able to adapt, knowing what you want and knowing how to get it.”
Tyburski certainly did have to adapt along the way and not just in terms of altering the direction of his swim.
As he cycled the entire length of the eastern coastline of Spain to the French border, covering 1,300 kilometres in just over four days, his crew forced him into taking an unplanned rest day.
The level of fatigue he experienced after spending 16 hours a day on his bike and getting limited sleep meant his body needed a break.
After completing the cycle leg, Tyburski had planned to cover the remaining distance, the equivalent of 14 marathons, on foot.
However, but injury forced him to cover some of that distance on the bike.
Still, after gruelling 12-18 hours days, Tyburski achieved his goal.
“Four years ago I looked a computer screen and said ‘World give me something.’ I looked at a world map and the route of the ultimate triathlon just jumped out at me,” he said.
“It’s not been easy, it’s not been simple, it’s not been straight forward and there has been casualties, mainly my left quad and left hamstring. I didn’t expect to be sitting on the final day of the ultimate triathlon with crutches, my leg tapped up and bandaged.
“Just like in life, you have got to adapt. I have been saying this a lot, but it is one of the things I have learned from the past few weeks. Life’s not perfect and what you set out to do everyday, it doesn’t always end up happening the way you want it to, the way that you’ve dreamt off, but that’s okay.
“It’s in those life imperfections where you see true beauty, where the magic happens I guess.”
While finishing was a testament to Tyburski’s physical and mental toughness, he was quick to point out that the support he received along the way was important.
From food, to clothing to social media messages, he was thankful for it all.
“I couldn’t have done it without everyone and I am just humbled with all the support and messages I have go through social media,” he said.
“My crew have been amazing, been fantastic."