Free Your Mind and the Best Will Follow

picture by Norman Potter

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. "

-Thomas Jefferson

The following will be a earthy-crunchy feel good parable.  
Don't say I didn't warn you…

In the early 1950's no one could run a mile in under 4 minutes.  Back then the world record, set by Sweden's Gunder Haegg in 1945, held strong at 4 minutes, 1.4 seconds.  Many tried to break Haegg's time, but the four minute mile remained a seemingly impenetrable wall.

This barrier led many to believe that it was physically impossible for the human body to run a mile in under four minutes.  Many held that a runner would come to great harm if he tried.  But, stubborn bunch that they are, runners continued to try and they continued to fail and on it went for nine long years.

That is until one rainy, windy day in May…May 6th, 1954 to be precise…when a young med student by the name of Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.

Yipee!!!  Hurrah!!!  Three cheers for Roger Bannister!!!!  

He had achieved what no human before him had ever achieved.  It was miracle.  Roger Bannister was now the only person on the planet to have ever run a mile in under 4 minutes.  And he was able to enjoy this super human feat for all of…46 days.

On June 21st, 1954 John Landy came along and bested Bannister's time by running the mile in 3 minutes, 57.9 seconds.  (It's right about now that you are wondering why I am telling you this story…I'm getting there…I'm getting there.)

The previous record had taken nearly a decade to crack, but Bannister only got to enjoy his moment of glory for little over a month.  AND by the end of 1957, sixteen other runners had also cracked the 4 minute mile.  But..but...HOW could this be???  Did all of these men suddenly develop into better runners within months of each other???


What changed was their perception of what could be achieved.
You see, the 4 minute mile was impossible…until it wasn't.

As we move into fitness week, ask yourself this (Ah!  The point!  Finally!)...

What is your "four minute mile"?  
What is the thing that you think you can't achieve?  
Do you believe that you have certain limitations that are fixed?

I think that we hold on to our "limitations", not only because they feel familiar and safe, but because we believe that they are permanent.  Maybe you think your body will always look a certain way or that you were just born with certain ailments or that you can only achieve a certain level of health.  But many of those ideas are based on past experience and old habits.  If you change your mind, you will change your habits.
It is then that you will change your future.

-♥ J :)

P.S. Remember that Bannister broke the "unbreakable" record by 2 itty-bitty seconds.  The smallest change makes all the difference.
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