The Legend of the 4 Minute Mile

I did an unassisted chin up!!!!

Chin up, Lisa!

Chin up, Lisa!

I know this is no big deal if you’re a dude or if you’re a strong woman, but I’ve been trying to do an unassisted chin up since December.  That’s five months kids.

I’ve been working on this for months with no luck.  My trainer, Mel, has been pushing my legs as I struggle to lift.  She did this as recently as Thursday.  Now here’s the funny part.  I told my husband, Henri, to get his phone camera ready just in case tonight was the night.  I did the chin up!

…but his camera didn’t work.

So I did it again.  Another unassisted chin up.  His camera still wasn’t working.  This picture is of the third chin up.  Hmm.  Attempting this exercise for the better part of a year with no success but suddenly I can do not one, but three?  It makes me wonder how much of this was a strength thing and how much of it was a mental thing?

This reminds me of the Legend of the 4 Minute Mile.

A sculpture of Bannister and Landy was placed ...
A sculpture of Bannister and Landy was placed outside of the Empire Stadium to commemorate the Miracle Mile. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For thousands of years runners tried to run as fast as they could, but no one could run a mile faster than four minutes.  Scientists told people that it could not be done; it was not humanly possible.   But then, on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran it in 3:59.4.  He relentlessly visualized himself achieving his goal.  Barely a month later (46 days,) someone else ran a mile under four minutes.  Now many athletes have achieved this goal; even some speedy high school kids can do it.

Here’s what I take away from this story:  once you remove the naysayers from your head and you tell yourself with certainty you can do something you can.  Henry Ford was once quoted as saying, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

So here is my question I’ll pose to you:  Are you ready to run past your 4 minute mile?  Are you ready to push past your own mental barriers?  Do you think you can?  (I’ll bet you can.)

Here is the video clip of him breaking the World Record for a little inspiration.

Lisa ;) (c) 2013 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

19 responses to “The Legend of the 4 Minute Mile

  1. I’m pretty sure that on the old Adam West Batman show, Batman ran a 2 minute mile!!

    I did my ‘4 minute mile’ yesterday when I ran a half marathon! My legs still hate me.

  2. That is awesome! Not just one, but 3! Way to go! An unassisted pull up/chin up was one of my before 40 goals…now it has become sometime in the year of turning 40 goal. Ugh. I’ve certainly been frustrated by it. Thanks for the inspiration this morning to start to remove the negative and restart the “I think I can’s” (on repeat) in my head! 🙂

  3. Way to go! Chin ups were the one thing I hated most in gym class as a kid (besides gymnastics). It seemed as though everyone but me could do them with ease. I’m very impressed that you did three. Love the Henry Ford quote.

    • I hated push ups. We had to do the Presidential Physical Fitness Test every year but because I went to Catholic school, they put an even more sadistic spin on this: They had the local Marines administer the test. Nice.

  4. Congrats on the chin-ups! very exciting!! I just set my goal to do an unassisted pull-up. Got to break through that mental barrier… whenever I give it a try, I automatically think “I can’t.. it’s too hard!”

  5. Pingback: The chin up saga continues… « WEIGH TO HEALTH·

  6. Pingback: April’s Goals – How Did I Do? | She's Losing It!·

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