THE ROGER BANNISTER EFFECT – PUSHING PAST LIMITATIONS
With Guest Blogger Dr. Slaunwhite
On May 6th 1954, Roger Bannister pushed past all perceived physical limitations and broke the world record for his elusive four-minute mile.
Just think about that for a minute. (You could have run 1/4 of a mile. #haha #team)
For decades, it was thought to be impossible for a human to run a mile in under four minutes. This was based on the fact that one would have to run at a speed of 15 mph or 24.14 km/h for three minutes and 59 seconds.
To fully appreciate this, next time you’re on a treadmill, jump off to the side; ramp it up to 15mph and just think about getting back on. If, you’re really fit and it’s safe to do so, ramp the treadmill up to 15mph while running and see how long you can hold that speed. Most people wouldn’t even be able to reach that speed for one second let alone four minutes.
Stay With Me, This Post is About to Get Interesting…
After taking all of modern history for Bannister to break the barrier, that record was then broken again and improved upon! just 46 days later. And then three runners broke it in the same race one year later.
Now there are more than 1,300 people worldwide on that list of people running under four-minute miles. Regardless of improvements in technology, the most significant point here is that Bannister showed the world that it wasn’t impossible. His efforts inspired people to believe that they too could do it.
There are examples of this sort of thing everywhere – in athletics and life everyday. Once someone proves that something can be done, it gives others belief and motivation to do the same – or even better.
This subject has been on my mind because of a recent event. The other day, my good friend and training partner, AJ Zeglen told me about a popular video of a 275 lbs. NFL football player pushing a sled with over 1400 lbs. of weight. I happened to be in the gym when he told me about this so, then and there, I decided I would grab a sled and pile on a bunch of weight.
Until this point, my max sled push was 1000 lbs. for 100 ft. I did that a year ago, was pretty proud of myself, but never again really ever considered trying to do more. That day I did a push of 1210 lbs. and will be trying to break 1400 lbs. If not for seeing someone else push 1400 lbs., I probably would have never even considered it. But now, I’m energized to pursue the challenge.
Push Past Your Perceived Limitations
The moral of my story is that barriers are made to be broken. And barriers will always be broken. Whether you get the glory of being the first to achieve a milestone or you are motivated to follow in that person’s footsteps, we all win when we push the pace and aim to achieve new heights.
Don’t ever set limitations on yourself. Set a goal that is beyond your perceived reach. I bet you’ll achieve it!