Education and determination – the perfect fit for success
Facing the possibility of life in a wheelchair and challenged with dyslexia, Luke Taylor blames his curious nature for wanting to find answers. He’s now helping others achieve their health, wellbeing and fitness aspirations with a strong belief in himself and a degree from Wintec.
Health and wellbeing became a lifestyle for Luke after a flexibility disorder meant he was prone to injury and in and out of specialist treatment as a child. The only way out was relentless daily stretching and training to achieve a level of strength and fitness that meant he could move freely. The road to physical wellbeing led him to Wintec’s School of Sport Science and Human Performance to gain the knowledge and achieve the qualifications he needed for a career in health and fitness.
Dyslexia is another hurdle but he hasn’t let that hold him back either.
"I’m a visual learner and I had to develop repetitive study habits, meaning I couldn’t cram. The repetition really helped with retention," he says.
Luke’s desire to find answers saw him graduate with a Bachelor in Sport and Exercise Science in 2012. He liked the strong science-oriented approach and he valued the opportunity to learn alongside industry professionals who encouraged him to develop. He recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Strength and Conditioning. Physiology was a highlight for Luke, which is not surprising given his personal journey. It required detailed study and to help him learn, his tutors encouraged him to do public speaking. He says this taught him to research and to quantify information.
Five years ago, Luke who is based in Hamilton, set up his business Taylored Health & Performance in his third year of study. Ready to take the business to a new level, Luke was mentored at Wintec’s business incubator Soda Inc. last year.
"Participating on the Soda Lift programme not only gave me business knowledge, it gave me a reality check," he says. "It helped me take my business to a new level.”
Taylored Health & Performance recently moved into a new purpose-designed studio in central Hamilton. Luke has partnered with health and performance specialist Nathan Lardelli and they offer a health and performance specialist service based around the key components of mind, body and lifestyle. They work with a range of clients from those starting out or maintaining a programme of fitness and wellbeing and corporate teams, to athletes competing at a national and international level. Luke’s own specialty is exercise rehabilitation, corporate wellness and athletic performance.
Luke knows too well the benefit of health and wellbeing in achieving physical performance objectives. He practises what he teaches and firmly advocates that wellbeing is essential for physical performance. He’d like to see more physical trainers addressing health issues along with creating programmes for physical fitness, particularly alternative healthcare.
"I want to change the way the industry is right now," he says. "It needs a shake-up.
"There needs to be more awareness of underlying issues, for example gut health stress and that means more evidence-based practise."
He stresses the importance of looking at causes.
“I don't treat symptoms, I look at cause for long-term gain. I like to identify a strategy and give people a way to get there.
"There’s never a ‘no’, there’s always a way."
Luke believes no challenge is too big, and he’s currently fundraising to compete in the Triathlon World Champs in Rotterdam in September. With that under his belt, his next goal is to compete in the gruelling Ironman competition in Taupo next March.
In his ‘downtime' Luke can be found working on his blog, surfing at Raglan and he's a keen snowboarder.
Find out more about Wintec School of Sport Science and Human Performance here.
Find out more about Soda Inc. here.