Monthly Archives: May 2015
First published in The Huffington Post on 20 May 2015
Lessons from failure and success
Supported by a fantastic team, my riding partner Charlie Mitchell and I broke the 49 year old record for cycling non-stop from Land’s End to John O’Groats on a tandem, shaving over 5 hours off the record to complete the 842 miles in 45 hours 11 minutes and 2 seconds. As a businessman who took up cycling as a hobby in my spare time, the experience has liberated rich pickings for my day job.
With a career spent in learning and development helping others achieve higher levels of performance, attempting this record scratched an itch. I had to see whether in applying all the lessons we shared with others, I could, as a businessman, with a hobby of long distance cycling, at which I was mediocre at best, achieve an extraordinary performance.
Although the focus on records is always on the athletes, Charlie and I are simply the riders, we stand on the shoulders of expert coaching, nutritional advice, a brilliant support team and the generosity of those prepared to underwrite the costs involved. Many of these people give their time for little or no gain. Their generosity of spirit and time is humbling.
As the achievement slowly sinks in, I am struck how the journey leading to setting the new record has turned out to be one of the most profound and insightful experiences of my life. It has given me a deep and personal understanding into what it really takes to achieve a great result. Above all it has taught me that ordinary people really can do extraordinary things.
Dominic Irvine May 2015