Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

Don’t look back …

Thank you to everyone who has read or skipped through my blog, or paused a moment to make a comment.   It’s a joy to share the journey with you.  

As we are about to the enter the New Year, I’d like to share with you the true story of Roger Bannister and John Landy who met for the first time for the one mile run on the 7th of August 1954, during the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver.   Both men had beaten the 4 minute mark previously, Bannister was the first man to break the 4 minute mile and Landy was the current record holder.  As 35,000 spectators looked on… as the race was broadcast live to an estimated 40 million viewers across North America … as 20 million listened in on radio … no one knew what would take place on that historic day.  It would later be known as the “miracle mile.”  With only 90 yards to go, John Landy glanced over his left shoulder.  At that instant, Bannister streaked by on Landy’s right to win in a time of 3:58:8…  Landy’s second place finish of 3:59:6 marked the first time the 4 minute mile had been broken by two runners in the same race.

Bannister and Landy

In 1967 … a larger-than-life bronze sculpture of the two men at this moment was created by Vancouver sculptor Jack Harman based on the photograph by Vancouver Sun photographer Charlie Warner … Landy said of that sculpture …  “While Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back, I am probably the only one ever turned into bronze for looking back”

The tragic mistake that John Landy made was to look back over his shoulder to see where his competitor was; to see what was behind him, and it would have been a double tragedy if he had allowed that moment to define him.  But he didn’t.   He picked up the pieces of his shattered dream and carried on.  And do you know what Landy is most famously remembered for in Australia?  Well, in the 1500 metres final at the 1956 Australian National Championships prior to the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games, Landy stopped and doubled backed to check on fellow runner Ron Clarke, after another runner clipped Clarke’s heel, causing him to fall early in the third lap of the race. Clarke, the then-junior 1500 metre world champion, who had been leading the race, got back to his feet and started running again; Landy followed.  Incredibly, in the final two laps Landy made up a large deficit to win the race – 4:02 minutes, four seconds off his world record of 3:58.  This is something considered to be one of the greatest moments in Australian sporting history.   

Landy and Clarke

A bronze sculpture of the moment, when Landy helps Clarke to his feet, was also created and it stands outside the Olympic Park in Melbourne.

We can’t let defeats define us and we shouldn’t let shattered dream stop us from carrying on dreaming.   As you enter this New Year, may you only carry your broken dreams not in order to turn inwards and mourn over their loss, but as a reminder that you have the ability to dream and to use them as a basis to rewrite and refine your future dreams.

I hope you all have a peace-filled New Year and may you be brave enough to dream new dreams.


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