Hi all, I'm Tofe (but people usually just call me crazy). Proof.

I've spent the past years doing the wildest endurance events I can think of to push my limits and raise money for cancer research.

It started with my battle to overcome depression. I realized that I was able to escape from the dark pit of depression when I was pushing myself. I started doing crazy events like:

- Ultramarathon down Mt Everest to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis

- A 24hr, 162km run in memory of Craig Percival

- 100km walk holding 25L of water across my shoulders

- A 12hr swim dedicated to SLSC Nippers

- An 80km Stand Up Paddleboard for Youth Adversity

All in all, I did over 40 endurance events in one year (here's a list) and still do them to this day. I realized was that these events helped me develop practical resilience — a combination of gratitude, adversity, and mindset that made me happier and more fulfilled.

Five thousand miles later, I'm in the best place of my life. I've raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity, and had the privilege of sharing my story at SXSW and other major stages.

My goal now is to help others develop practical resilience. My book, Everyone Has A Plan Until Sh!t Hits the Fan, is the bible on the topic, and I also just released a course called Six Pack Mind for those who prefer to learn that way.

If you have questions about practical resilience, endurance athletics, or what the hell is going on in this crazy head of mine... AMA!

Comments: 82 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

Bebop26817015 karma

How long into your event do you feel you have entered "the zone" and what is that like?

tofeevans9 karma

Great question! It's definitely a spiritual odyssey with these events. It's often when I just focus on what's going on around me instead of everything else that seems to pop into my mind. It's as if the mind and body has aligned and working in unison. This can easily go for hours at a time.

Withmyrespect12 karma

Hi. I have family with cancer. Thank you very much for your contributions to research and awareness.

This puts a lot of stress on your knees. How are they and how do you protect them?

tofeevans3 karma

My pleasure!

It sure does and my first year of endurance running had plenty of knee injury. I haven't been injured since because I got a strength coach. Even basic exercises like squats and lunges can make a difference with adding strength to the knees.

er_cole7 karma

Wow! These events sound incredible. Of all of the endurance events you have completed, what was the hardest one you've done?

tofeevans8 karma

The hardest one that comes to mind is a 100km walk carrying 25L of water on my shoulders. I did it during the coldest time of the year and anything that could go wrong did...  blisters, not enough sleep, water apparatus kept breaking, road closure at one point so needed to detour, had to walk along the highway at one point (which would've been f*cking hilarious thinking about it now).

The point of the event was to replicate those in developing countries carrying water from village to village and to raise money for cleaner water solutions. Where that weight is only suspended on the shoulders instead of the hips, it magnified into much more and was one of those events where you're questioning your sanity. 

groggboy6 karma

Why do you hate yourself so much to do this to your body?

tofeevans6 karma

Haha no hate here, brother. At first I was I used running as an escapism and a therapy. Then I got curious with how far I could push my body.

ADuckNamedPhil5 karma

Would you do the Barkley?

tofeevans5 karma

Yeah, I'd give it a crack.

ADuckNamedPhil2 karma

Come down here to New Zealand and do Tarawera Ultra 100 Miler?

tofeevans2 karma

Yeah I've heard wonderful things about it! I could be down

Mixmaster6075 karma

Thanks for doing this Tofe.

Can you recommend any ways to become more resilient without doing ultramarathons or intense physical events? I want to do it eventually but not in shape enough right now.

tofeevans13 karma

Yeah, absolutely! The key is to put yourself through something scary every day. Try cold showers, ice baths, or even sign up for a class you haven't done before. When you learn to make this trait habitual so it's first nature, it has you accustomed to growth at a much quicker rate.

Regarding physical events or ultramarathons, it's about building the crescendo. You gotta start small and work your way up or else you'll traumatise yourself.

markmetry4 karma

Hey Bro. If I want to start endurance running, where can you point me to learn more about getting started properly?

tofeevans4 karma

The key is to start small, my man! You gotta get in the rhythm with a smaller distance first then work your way up.

The next step is getting a coach so they can help you get the goals you want and keep you accountable throughout the process.

JankySwordfish6384 karma

What gives you motivation?

tofeevans11 karma

It comes back to purpose for me, the reason why I do things. Motivation comes and goes and is what's needed to light the fire. But it's discipline you need to keep fanning the flame.

taryntarynbobaryn4 karma

I cannot imagine what it was like to literally run down Mt Everest..how did it feel and what were the absolute toughest parts for you?

tofeevans7 karma

The run down Everest was EPIC and a little scary. Altitude is something you can't mess around with. I'm used to long runs, but up there my lungs felt like they were failing (and it was the most rugged terrain I've ever seen). More than any other event, this one felt like my survival was on the line, because there's no reception to call anyone and no helicopter available if you needed to pull out for whatever reason.

alexsaysyes3 karma

These accomplishments are more than epic, Tofe! Respect!

And your method of battling mental issues with physical activity is so damn simple, but so effective. All you need is running shoes to get your mind into a different, more positive state.

But what would you recommend to someone who is suffering from severe depression, who is NOT able to get out of bed or physically move their body because they are in agony RIGHT NOW, maybe even considering hurting themselves?

It’s great when we are in a state of mind when we are aware we should move our ass and are able to actually do it, but in the hardest moments we are not able to think, analyze or engage with others to ask for help, let alone start any physical activity.

How to do the shift from this agonizing state to the state where we are able to start helping ourselves?

tofeevans2 karma

Much respect, Alex!

I'd recommend taking up daily gratitude practice. When we think of what we have instead of what we're missing, it changes the paradigm. If I'm ever in a terrible mood, I'll do something for someone else so I can see them be happy so I can be happy. The key to this is to give without any expectation in return.

The other thing to take up is exercise, it's a game-changer because you're present-focused living. Depression is living in the past, anxiety is living in the future. Present-focused living is being able to focus on the world around us right now.

To make that shift to a state where we're helping ourselves is about having a goal that's scary enough, then become committed and disciplined and make sure we have plenty of accountability.

ADuckNamedPhil-1 karma

That isn't all you need if you have depression. What if you are chronically depressed because you can't walk anymore and are in pain constantly?

Saying it's so simple to cure depression is negligent and is why my brother remains fucked. He exercises, but is still mentally broken, but all you need is a good pair of running shoes, right?

tofeevans2 karma

Life is about adapting and bouncing back. I've got friends who have lost limbs, sight, and even their ability to walk but they don't let that get to them. Sometimes life will get the best of us and we gotta work with what we've got. I find it fascinating how some people who are para-athletes have made adversity their greatest strength. You have to be grateful with what you've got.

Look, depression is not the easiest of things to fix. Exercising is definitely needed but it sounds like there may be a lack of purpose there and that's totally fine. Not everyone has found theirs yet. One tip is to do a bit of a volunteering or charity work to give back. That perspective shift will change your definition of reality.

Withmyrespect2 karma

What does the body feel like after an ultramarathon? How long does it take to stop feeling sore?

tofeevans8 karma

Depends if it's on road or in the trails. Road takes longer because the bitumen is high-compression and usually the contact on the road is hitting one part of the foot. Sometimes it can take me up to a week to recover from a road ultra.

I just did a 100km ultramarathon in the trails this past weekend and I was recovered within two days. When you're on terrain that activates different muscle groups, it distributes the loading throughout the legs instead of one part like the roads.

good_testing_bad1 karma

What is a favorite movie of yours?

tofeevans1 karma

Art of Flight is one I love.

Usually anything that involves humans breaking limits.

good_testing_bad1 karma

What would be your last meal?

tofeevans1 karma

Pizza :)

good_testing_bad1 karma

How do you fight athletes foot?

tofeevans2 karma

Never had it before

brad-corp1 karma

I just did an 8 hour over night obstacle race and ran 25 miles. I'm wondering how I can extend this out to 100km or more. How did you train for your first endurance event and did you feel like you were going to complete it at the halfway point?

tofeevans1 karma

Nice, man! Were you looking at doing a 100km obstacle race or run? It might be best to sign up for a 100km ultra and work on that.

Believe it or not, if you can run a marathon, you can run 100km. Yes, your legs hurt a little more but it requires more mental than physical.

To be honest, the first 50km flies. I try and zone out and focus on enjoying the entire process out there and embrace every bit of it.

oreesama1 karma

do you ever feel like your legs are gonna fall apart after any marathon in special?

tofeevans1 karma

I've had that feeling before, haha.

Icommentoncrap1 karma

What was the hardest thing about doing any of this? Also how are you doing today?

tofeevans1 karma

It would probably be letting my mind take over, but there are ways to keep it in check to avoid that from happening.

I'm good, thanks for asking! Just recovered from a 100km ultramarathon from the weekend

RonPaulsDad1 karma

This all sounds incredible and the charity aspect sounds cool, but real question: Why?

These events sound torturous. I can't imagine choosing to do them willingly.

tofeevans4 karma

At first, I got into this because I needed it. I wasn't looking after myself, and this was a way to build a holistically healthy life, not just physically, but also mentally. The training and focus needed to do these kinds of events has made me a happier and stronger person. At some point, mental health no longer became the goal. It's a nice side effect (and all the crazy shit really does help me handle the mental battles in life), but now my larger focus is on using my running to give back, by raising money for charities. There's always someone that needs a hand.