Sir Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. 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 1940s, the record for running a mile had reached 4:01. But it hadn’t budged since. Some doctors and scientists said it was physically impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes. Not just hard, or dangerous, but impossible.
Bannister decided to do it – to run a mile in less than four minutes.
Bannister’ chance came on May 6th, 1954.
Bannister had finished in 3:59.4. He’d done it. He’d broken the world record.
He’d done what so many believed was impossible. He’d made history.
Over the next few years, more and more people broke through the four-minute mark once they realized that yes, it was possible.
Once Bannister proved that it was possible to run a mile in under four minutes, suddenly everyone was able to do it – proving an important lesson: once you stop believing something is impossible, it becomes possible.