Sir Roger Bannister passed away yesterday at the age of 88. As the first person to run a mile in under 4 minutes he paved the way for what was possible and set the bar for others to follow. His passing happened to coincide with me seeing Bayer’s advert Leaps which highlights Ali Boulala’s attempt to clear the Lyon 25 stairs and Aaron Homoki ultimately achieving it.
What these guys show us is we can never know where our boundaries lie unless we push them. Would mountain biking exist if it wasn’t for people like Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly and Tom Ritchey racing beach cruiser bikes at the Repack downhill race? Would the 100ft backflip be possible if Cam Zink hadn’t tried and succeeded? Would 140mph be possible on a mountain bike if Eric Barone hadn’t recorded 141mph?
When it comes to pushing their boundaries though, elite riders don’t just suddenly wake up and become good, or achieve what hasn’t been achieved before. Elite riders continually push their boundaries each day. Pushing a little harder, going a little faster, testing their boundaries and what’s possible. If any evidence is needed, you’ve only got to look to the 50 to 01 crew.
If we don’t regularly push our boundaries we can never achieve what we can be.
It’s what the elite do.
If you’re going to take the time to practice, practice like the elite.