Our Standby Ambassador and extreme athlete, Ash Dykes, kindly took the time to answer some questions to help give an insight into his life and what motivates him to push himself to the limits.
Please can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m an explorer and extreme athlete from North Wales, where I grew up. I studied in college from age 16 and worked every hour as a lifeguard to save up the money to set out travelling at age 19. Since then, I have cycled countries, trekked mountains, learnt how to survive in the jungle with a Burmese hill tribe, worked as a Master Scuba Diving Instructor in Thailand and trained/competed against the Thai locals in Muay Thai.
I’ve since progressed on these and completed two world first records, presented around the world, partnered and helped certain causes, published my first book among much more.
What motivates you to do what you do?
Everything! I love meeting new people, understanding new cultures, challenging myself, discovering and learning new things and being able to help causes, share stories and inspire people along the way.
What are your philosophies on life?
There are many, but main thing is to just enjoy yourself, learn, develop, help others and do right. The biggest danger in life, is not doing what you want to do now, in the bet you can buy yourself the freedom and health to do it later.
What would you say are your greatest achievements so far?
There are many different achievements in their own right. Completing Mongolia and Madagascar were of course amazing! But what I find are also great achievements, are speaking in Parliament alongside Annie Lennox, addressing the MP’s & UK Government to increase the percentage of money into the Global fund to help millions of lives from Malaria – which was a success. From raising awareness for the Lemur Network Conservation, to discovering a new location of one of the worlds rarest birds and then to surviving certain ordeals which I now look back and laugh thinking to myself – how on earth did I survive that haha!
Can you tell us what your next goals are?
I have many goals and huge ambitions, I feel this is just the beginning. I’m currently writing to you from Beijing, in which there have been some very new and exciting developments here in China around my next expedition – Mission Yangtze.
Why do you think film is important in helping you and your cause?
Film is extremely important, the world is changing, people want to take in information as quick as possible, but with the content being as sharp and punchy as possible. Having the right films created, including the message you want to get across, is far greater than any text or photo nowadays, so to spread a message and create awareness – film is important for that.
What is it about working with Standby that you enjoy?
There are many things!! Their knowledge, skills and expertise in this field is immense. They’re already ahead of the game and are creating incredible and very diverse films. I also really like how much I just connect and get on with them. it’s important that who ever is filming you, you must feel comfortable around, otherwise you won’t allow your true colours to shine when on camera, in which I feel super comfortable and at ease with Standby, allowing us to get what we need. I’m 100% sure, that there are many others who feel exactly the same.
What’s the relationship you’ve built with Standby like?
I have been working with Standby for over a year now and already they’ve become friends of mine, I can talk to them about non business related topics and we have a great laugh. They’re always supportive and even rocked up to my book launch in London and produced a last minute expedition announcement film, which received hundreds of thousands of views so far! Great relationship and one that I’m sure we’ll continue to grow.