The 4 minute mile was considered impossible until Roger Bannister ran it.
Up until he did it in 1954, most people thought the four-minute mark was impossible to break. They thought the human body couldn’t physically go that fast, that it would collapse under the pressure.
No-one could run a mile in less than four minutes.
It was impossible.
You were crazy to even try.
That was, until Bannister proved everyone wrong, training in his own way, often for not very long at all compared to his competitors, and believing that he could do it.
In the year after Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile in 1954, the record was broken again and again.
Once people realised it could be done, it was not an impossible task any longer.
For more than half a century, finishing a marathon in less than 2 hours was considered an insurmountable barrier.
Fast-forward to October 13, 2019, Eliud Kipchoge did a Roger Bannister and once again proved that it can be done.
This record-breaking race made me wonder about how often we limit ourselves by setting arbitrary mental limits on how much we can do.
It probably happens more often than we think.