Tuesday, May 01, 2012


I went to Happy Days after work today and ran 6 miles going around the Ledges Trail, a Pine Grove loop and a No Frills loop on Kendall Hills.  The temperature was perfect and my legs felt great.  Going up hills, the only thing that stopped me from increasing the speed more and more was my breathing.  It wasn't that my breathing was bad at all.  My legs, however, felt like they could go all day and all night.  I can't say once during the run that they felt tired.  The only times I slowed to walk was going up some of the hills when my breathing got heavier.

During these kinds of runs, your mind wonders.  These runs have a great way of allowing you to think clearly and forget any problems or stress that happened during the day.  Same effect as a drug, but legal and good for your health.

During the run today, I was thinking about human limits and the Bill Bowerman quote from the movie "Without Limits" when he's talking to Prefontaine at the end:
Your belief that you have no talent is the ultimate vanity. If you have no talent then you have no limits, it's all an act of will. Your heart can probably pump more blood than anyone else's on earth, and that takes talent. The bones in your feet are so strong, it'd take a sledgehammer to break 'em. Be thankful for your limits, Pre, they're about as limitless as they get in this life.
Human limit questions come up many times in all areas, but especially sports - Do humans have a limit?  How low can the marathon time go?  How about the 100 meter dash?

There's no definite answer except that there is a limit, but those limits are farther than we think.  History has shown that people get proven wrong again and again.  It's the difference between those that dream and those that doubt that determines how far humans push the limits.

Are the limits just waiting there for us to reach someday or are they just a moving target.  Once one limit gets reached, the new standard is set and new ideas, goals and dreams are created for the next generation.

I think Bill Bowerman's thinking that people are born with a special talent is, to some extent, correct.  However, I don't think that Pre's physical God-given attributes were his best talent.  A hundred people could be born with that talent and only one do something with it.  What set Pre, and others with his thinking, apart was his belief that he had no limit.