PORT MACQUARIE, NSW (April 24, 2013) â€“ The sudden death of a good friend forced Sebastian Terry to take stock of his life.
As it does with many young men when they are faced with the reality of death, his mortality no longer seemed like a relative concept.
Holidaying in the US at the time, he was about to leave for Las Vegas when he received a phone call that would change his life.
One of his best friends was dead, at 24.
He reacted by grabbing a pen and paper, then began to write, what made its way onto that page was a list, a bucket list, of 100 things Terry wanted to do before he died.
The first cab off the rank was to marry a stranger in Vegas, so a day later he was in Vegas, and three days later he watched a stranger walk down the aisle and say I do.
The list grew and grew which brings us to number 86 for the Sydneysider.
Number 86 on the list started as a marathon, but quickly morphed into a far greater challenge for the 32-year-old from Dee Why in NSW, the Ironman.
â€œInitially Number 86 was to complete a marathon. For me it would be a test of mind, body and soul. Then one day someone said, â€œYou know an even bigger challenge would be attempting an Ironman!”.
â€œNot knowing what an Ironman was, I quickly became fascinated with what was by far the toughest event that I’d ever heard of. Seeing that I am into challenges of the highest order, I immediately added a 3.8km swim and 180km bike ride to my initial marathon dream.â€
His journey down that list has led him all the way to Port Macquarie and Ironman Australia.
â€œMy initial goal with 100 Things was to simply find purpose and happiness in my life. On a plane you sometimes hear that in the event of emergency oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling and you should put yours on first before helping others,â€ he said.
â€œI suppose this relates to my journey; the first part has been about putting my mask on and finding a way to breathe (and become happy) but now having found a place where I’m really content, the journey has changed into something that positively influences others and it’s this act that is now my biggest driver, As I see it, this is helping others with their oxygen masks.â€
Terry doesn’t accept sponsorship or donations from anyone, but has somehow been able to tick such diverse things off his list as cycling through Cuba to riding a Scooter across Australia.
â€œWhen I began the trip I saved up $9000 to travel with but this of course ran out rather quickly. At that stage I began working in a bar in Switzerland that fuelled a few more items but I’ve found that money is not the key element with this journey. Instead it’s fuelled by an open attitude and a momentum that allows it to continue with complete dedication. As such money tends to manifest in various ways as it needs to,â€ he said.
â€œWhen people contact me telling that they have a relative that can put me in touch with the right person or a friend that can offer me a bed for a night I simply say yes. I have no other commitments and prioritise my list in my life.
â€œI now get invited to give motivational talks to schools, businesses and community groups around the world and with the addition of a book deal which also allows me to gain some income; I’m able to continue the journey with the same dedication.â€
Terry also donates 10% of any money earned from talks to Camp Quality, the charity helping kids and families affected by cancer.
More at 100things.com.au
IRONMAN Australia, Port Macquarie will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2013.
For further event details: www.ironmanaustralia.com.
The 226km race will take place in Port Macquarie and the surrounding regions of Camden Haven. The course will include a 3.8km swim in the Hastings River, 180km bike from the city centre extending along the stunning coast line followed by a 42.2km run to the Ironman Australia finish line, located at Town Green.