The year was 1954. At the beginning of May, Roger Bannister of Great Britain had become the first man to run the mile in under four minutes. A mere six weeks later, John Landy of Australia also broke the four minute barrier and eclipsed Bannister’s world record in the process. Thus, the stage was set for a duel between these two great champions.
On August 7, 1954 the two men met for a head-to-head race in Vancouver, British Columbia. At the sound of the starter’s pistol, Landy – as was his custom – shot out quickly and began building a lead. By mid-race he was a good 15 yards ahead of Bannister, and most knowledgeable observers felt that his lead was too big and his finishing “kick” too strong for him to be caught.
Though undoubtedly discouraged at his prospects for victory, Bannister simply continued doing what he had come there to do – he ran and he persisted. Then, during the final lap, the unexpected happened. He began gaining ground on his opponent. Landy could “sense” that his rival was nearer than expected and as he rounded the final curve before the homestretch he couldn’t resist the temptation to take his eyes off the finish line and sneak a look over his shoulder to determine his opponent’s position.
This brief backward glance was all Roger Bannister needed to make his move. For, as Landy was looking over his left shoulder, Bannister charged past Landy on the right side and stormed the final ninety yards to victory. For Landy, it was a bitter defeat. He had worked so hard and come so far, and with the finish line – and victory – in sight, HE LOOKED BACK and the race was lost.
This is where we are with “Revolution”. We’re in the final week – the “homestretch” – before our first service. Lately we’ve been “sensing” our Rival creeping up on us in the form of adversity, doubt and mental & physical fatigue. The question is, “Are we going to charge the final few yards with unbridled passion and gritty determination – with our eyes set firmly on the prize – or are we going to look back with uncertainty during the most critical moment in the ‘race’?” The decision may mean the difference between glorious victory and bitter defeat. DON’T LOOK BACK – let the Revolution begin!
Post by: Eron Elswick, “Revolution” Leadership Team