Had the absolute pleasure yesterday evening of listening to the Guinness Book of World Records holder Josh Quigley deliver a captivating and remarkable address, during which, in addition to speaking about the detail behind his attempts on the record itself, he so honestly and openly shared some of the life events that have helped shape him.
Josh – hats off to you.
Not just for the Herculean physical achievement of cycling the world record distance of 2179 miles in those seven days.
Not just for the tremendous willpower and astounding mental fortitude and prowess in succeeding in that goal having had so little sleep throughout and so few hours actually ‘off the bike’.
Not just for pushing yourself to achieve so much in your younger years and consistently still wanting to better yourself, learn and develop.
Not just for recovering, in astonishingly quick time, from catastrophic crashes and some terrible injuries in the USA and subsequently in Dubai.
Not just for having the ambition, drive and target of making a name for yourself in professional cycle racing, getting a contract with a world tour team and of being the first Scottish winner of Le Maillot Jaune.
Hats off to you Josh for picking yourself up from some really tough times, for picking yourself up and making it through some very dark days during which you were at your lowest of lows.
Hats off to you for making your way through adversity, through heartbreak, despair and depression and for so ferociously exploding out onto the positive side of life.
Hats off to you for striving to achieve goals that very, very few people would even contemplate.
Hats off to you for showing to any and all of us that, if we apply ourselves and put our mind to something, then there’s no reason whatsoever why we can’t try whatever we want to. Whether we succeed with our goal or not is, in the grand scheme of things, not all that important. The much more important thing to bear in mind is, as you said, that we tried.
Hats off to you for being able to speak about all of your experiences so candidly. I have little doubt that your attitude, your example and your experience can and will help others going through their own tough times and dark days. It very probably already is.
Hats off to you for making your friends and family, and us as complete strangers, so incredibly proud of you. I’m sure your Dad is still watching over you and would undoubtedly be bursting with pride.
Speaking as a Dad and a Grandad, I expect that, while he’d congratulate you on your GWR and your incredible efforts on the bike, he’d tell you that what makes him most proud is that you’ve got yourself safely through those dark days and how you have become the determined young man that you are.
I look forward to the next instalment of ‘The Josh Story’ and wish you all the very, very best with whatever it is that you do. Whether or not you get that Pro racing contract, whether or not you even enter Le Tour, let alone whether or not you become the first Scot to win the blooming thing! Even whether or not you finally get that bike around the world!
Hats off to you Josh ‘cos you’ll be more than willing to have a damn good go at whatever you can and try!