In my book ‘Slingshot’, I draw on examples from sports to illustrate the power of overstepping self-imposed, mental limitations. One of these is the story of the 4-minute mile – how people thought that the human body was simply not capable of running this distance in such short amount of time.
It turned out of course, that this perceived limitation simply had to be debunked – which Roger Bannister famously did in 1954 – becoming the first person to run the mile faster than four minutes. Even more interesting was the fact that taking Roger’s lead, 300 other people went on to break this time barrier within the next ten years.
Well, it seems that the 4-minute mile still has a lingering fascination for people. Take a look at this story, in which an engineering student is devising a jetpack which would allow ordinary people to experience the rush of breaking the 4-minute barrier: