Since 1886, runners had been training vigorously to break the 4-minute mile and that challenge involved the most brilliant coaches and gifted athletes in North America, Europe, and Australia. At the time, this was truly the Holy Grail of athletic achievement. There was big pressure, big crowds, and the media swirled as runners tried in vain to break the mark.
Then came Roger Bannister. A full-time student who had no coach and created his own system to prepare for races. And on May 6, 1954, he broke the four-minute barrier with a time of three minutes, fifty-nine and four-tenths of a second. Bannister did it on a cold day, on a wet track, at a small ordinary meet in Oxford, England... the first person ever known to do it and he did it under pretty lackluster conditions.
Then, something even more miraculous happened.
Just 46 days after Bannister's feat, John Landy, an Australian runner, broke the barrier again, with a time of 3 minutes 58 seconds.
Then, a year later, three more runners broke the four-minute barrier in a single race.
Now, more than a thousand runners have conquered a barrier that had once been considered hopelessly out of reach.
What is your biggest, most daunting goal in life?
Why is it impossible?
Why is it not?
On your mark... get set...