Thank You John Landy

I love all things that involve the world of sport.  I have been known to become engrossed in a telecast of the World Curling Championships, nervously chewing away at potato chips while watching the stones fly in and out of the circular target zone.  I am also quite possibly the world’s greatest trivia fan.  For some reason, my mind has the capacity to retain the most obscure of facts.  In the early 1980’s, nobody would play “Trivial Pursuits” with me more than once!  To this day, my friends and family are still begging me to audition for the “Jeopardy” game show!  A sports lover and a trivia aficionado; now there is a truly dangerous combination!

By now you have to be asking yourself, “Just who is this John Landy, and why is he being thanked?”  On May 6, 1954, John Landy became the second man to run the mile is less than four minutes.  He came in right behind Roger Bannister, the man who first broke through the legendary barrier of human performance.  The two men were running side by side with less than twenty yards left in the race.  Landy looked over his left shoulder to see where Bannister was, only to have Roger pass him on the right and win the race!

For the prior eleven years, runners had come within two seconds of beating the four-minute threshold in the mile run.  Leading sports authorities of the day, including many runners themselves, declared that the sub-four minute mile was not humanly achievable.  Just 46 days after Bannister performed the impossible, John Landy set a new record for the mile, besting his rival’s world mark by one tenth of a second!  In the next two years, nine other men would run the mile with an official time under four minutes!

Scientists have performed biomechanical studies that indicate a human being is capable of running a mile in less than three minutes.  The current world record is roughly three minutes and forty-three seconds.  We have seen a drop of only sixteen seconds of time over a period of some fifty-seven years!  The skeptics, many of them world-class milers, are saying that 3:40 will never be attained.  You can only imagine their reaction to the studies performed by our aforementioned group of scientists! 

We live our lives in a world of seemingly “impossible” goals.  Each of us recites to ourselves the many reasons why something simply cannot be attained.  When we take pause from lambasting ourselves; we find a bevy of others waiting at our doorstep, ready to remind us of our shortcomings.  They join in chorus to sing the harmony of all that is simply unattainable in our lives!  The question is, “will you listen to, and take to heart, the lyrics of their intoxicating song?”

The choice is yours, as always.  You can look at everything that is simply impossible in your life and simply walk away from it.  On the flip side of the coin, you can stoke the fires of your inner inspiration and take the challenge head on.  Yes, Roger Bannister was the first in his chosen challenge, and you can be too.  But I have to thank John Landy for driving home the fact that second place only relegates you to historical obscurity!

About Jerry V. Dollar, Author, Humorist, Observer of the Human Condition

When not trekking around the globe, Jerry Dollar can be found in Colorado Springs, CO where he lives with his wife Robbi. Besides an affinity for writing and travel; he is also an avid bodybuilder, a very prolific reader, and an enthusiastic observer of the human condition. Jerry has published two books which are available on: Lulu, Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and IBook. "Announcing a Flight Delay" is a hilarious recap of the author's experiences as a million mile flyer. "A Dollar's Worth" is a collection of observations on the human condition, which originally appeared as blog posts. Dr. Dollar has served in various senior executive management capacities over the past 25 years. He has previously worked within the healthcare, insurance, software, and several other high technology industries. Jerry is recognized for his expertise in creating the foundations for emerging organizations to succeed in complex sales environments. He is also well known for his leadership in guiding technology companies through rapid growth phases. Jerry speaks five languages and has conducted business in over 70 countries on six continents. He holds particular expertise in the Latin American and Western European geographic areas. Dr. Dollar holds a BA in International Affairs, a BA in Spanish, an MBA in Marketing, and a PhD in Organizational Development. He has authored numerous professional articles, various training courses, and has conducted seminars and conferences around the world.
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3 Responses to Thank You John Landy

  1. Stephanie says:

    I love this! I plan to look at the things in my life I still want to accomplish and go for it, despite the naysayers–including myself.

  2. Thank you for a awesome article.You have given me some ideas and a different way to to write articles rather than just plain text.

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