The 4-minute mile was considered physiologically unreachable for the longest time period; which naturally fed the psychological belief that is was also impossible. This was reinforced by physiologists of the time who believed running and training for this time was dangerous to the health of any athlete who attempted to reach it.
On May 6, 1954, Englishman Roger Bannister became the first person to break the “four-minute barrier”. Before that, Australian, John Landy held the fastest time just over 4 minutes. The world record mile set prior to Landy’s time over 4 minutes was set in 1945 and therefore held, and no one broke that record for nearly ten years!
What happens when our minds realize something is achievable?
Within 2 months of Bannister's breakthrough, Landy surpassed the record with a 3:57.9 in Finland. That same year they followed with a race called "Mile of the Century" at Vancouver to determine who the fastest miler was. Bannister won in 3:58.8 to Landy's 3:59.6, the first time two men in one race had broken 4 minutes.
The breakthrough?... By the end of 1957, 16 runners had logged sub-4-minute miles!
That was a psychological breakthrough more than a physiological one, although you can imagine how hard these runners trained to achieve their goal. Bannister proved this. He made it possible and achievable in the minds of other runners who strived to make a mile time under 4 minutes.
What is it for you that you want to change but don’t believe it is achievable for you? Our minds can open opportunities or close them. You really can take one step in the direction that you want to go. One step. Each of us are different and we have different motivators and different preferences. What works for one person might or might not work for another. What we do know is the mind is powerful. You have the power to decide to take that first step.
For tips on how to start achieving what you desire, check out two other blogs for inspiration. Believe and another written about New Year's Resolution: Be Kind to Myself.
My passion and purpose is helping people reach their full potential and master their wellbeing.
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