October 22, 2019

The 4 minute mile and You

Trekking to Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience, and I am so glad to have been able to do it. Once in a lifetime that is unless you are a Guide or a Porter on the Inca Trail that is. Our guide had done the Inca Trail 750 times. If you think that’s remarkable listen to this:

Each year they have a race, just local porters and guides, across the whole Inca Trail. End to end in one go. This trail is at serious altitude and takes us mere mortals 4 days of hard slog, and it is HARD. Really, really hard.

So what time do you think the locals can do this 4 day strenuous trek in? 3 days? 2 days? A day? Nope. The record holder is a porter who completed the entire Inca Trail in UNDER 4 HOURS. A sub 4 hour time for a 4 day trek. How incredible is that?

Yes they are used to the altitude, and yes they are madly fit, but nevertheless I think the most incredible thing here is the mindset. And the belief of what it is possible or the human body to accomplish. The mind has such a powerful influence on the body, more so I think that the hours spent in a gym preparing. If you believe you can accomplish something that knowledge is far more powerful than the actual prep. What you believe is possible is the greatest influence of all.

Consider this, that when Roger Bannister broke what was widely considered to be an impossible barrier – the 4 minute mile  – back on 6th May 1954 beliefs were challenged and changed. It must be possible because Bannister had done it. That change in mental consciousness and belief led to 53 people (fifty three!) also breaking the 4 minute mile in the next 12 months. What had changed? Certainly not training regimes or kit in that short time period: it was entirely due to the change in belief of what was possible.

Have a think about anything that might be holding you back right now…the belief that you can’t lose weight, that you are just too busy to have a healthy work/life balance, that you are too old to take up surfing, that you can’t hold your bow in yoga for more than 15 seconds and see how that belief is holding you back far more than your body is. Commit to trying and challenging the impossible: you just never know what you might achieve, or what you might inspire others to do.