Endurance Cartel podcast

#005 - SWAT Negotiator & Cancer Fighter - Terry Tucker on Mental Endurance

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In today’s episode of The Endurance Cartel, we are joined by Terry Tucker, a sought-after motivational speaker, former SWAT negotiator and cancer fighter who believes in the power of a good story to inspire people to live their uncommon and extraordinary lives to the fullest.


After a cruel diagnosis of cancer that robbed him of his legs, Terry started his true story of endurance. In 2019, he created the “Motivational Check” website, a membership program meant to help others face and work through their fears, and later on in 2020 wrote “Sustainable Excellence: Ten Principles To Leading Your Uncommon And Extraordinary Life”, a book meant to answers the three basic questions that can lead people to live their best life: "What is excellence, how do you achieve it, and most importantly, how do you sustain it?"


In our conversation, Terry shares some unique experiences from his time in the SWAT team of the Cincinnati police department, what drove him to become a motivational speaker and use his story to empower others and how his love for his family became the incentive in his fight for life. 



In today’s episode / Timestamps:


(00:51) Meet our guest, Terry Tucker, a sought-after motivational speaker and author of Sustainable Excellence: Ten Principles To Leading Your Uncommon And Extraordinary Life;

(02:02) Growing up in a loving family with a predestined passion for basketball;

(03:40) Enrolling in law enforcement despite his father's opposition;

(06:30) Joining the SWAT team for the Cincinnati police department as a hostage negotiator;

(18:20) What drove him to become a motivational speaker, his fight with cancer, and starting his own podcast;

(24:06) “You would fight harder for the people you love than you would fight for yourself”- a moment when endurance played a role in making him superhuman;

(32:18) His parents set the foundation for who he is today;

(37:39) Having his leg amputated during the Covid pandemic- the definition of courage is not the absence of fear but facing your fear and working through it;

(45:08) Terry's advice on striving for a perfect life: “Don’t wait for life to come to you, go out and find the reason why you were put on the face of this earth”;

(49:23) How to contact Terry,  get a copy of his book or get enrolled in his membership.




“My parents showed us the value and the importance of family. My parents did what I used to call divide and conquer parenting, where they would, you know, Terry's got a game over here on this day and you know, Larry's got a game over here on this day so, you know, mom's going in this game, dad's going to this game. We were always running in a million different directions, but we were always there to support and care for each other and love each other.”


“When I graduated from college, my father was dying of cancer and I could have said, sorry dad, I'm gonna go blaze my own trail and do my own thing, or out of love and respect for you, I will do what you want me to do. And so if you look at my resume, my first two jobs are basically corporate life (...) I sort of joke I did what every good son did. I waited until my father passed away, and then I followed my own dreams and I got into law enforcement.”

“In the end, it was up to the person how this was gonna end. And like I said, 90% of the time we got the people out, and 10% of the time, the person decided (...) to end their life. And while that was always tragic, I don't mean to sound cruel about this, but I never lost any sleep over it because I knew I did the very best I could to get the person out.”

“There's a great joke that goes like this: when we talk to God, it's called prayer, when God talks to us, it's called schizophrenia. So God never told me to write a book by any means, but I think what God does is he puts people in your path who start making the same suggestion, and I think I'm smart enough to realize that maybe I had to buck up and pay attention when people start making that suggestion.”



Links selected from this episode:


  • SWAT- police tactical unit that uses specialized or military equipment and tactics




  • Doc Holliday- an American gambler, gunfighter and dentist, close friend and associate of lawman Wyatt Earp




Follow Terry:




Terry’s book:


Sustainable Excellence: Ten Principles To Leading Your Uncommon And Extraordinary Life



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Production By Saw And Sine:


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