Sometimes there are horizons we humans think will never be crossed. They could be physical barriers, questions of time or distance, or impediments of the mind. But over the course of the history of our species, through ingenuity, hard work, perseverance, and imagination, we have shown the impossible can be possible.

There was a time when the idea of a person running a mile in under 4 minutes was assumed to be the beyond the limits of the human body. And then, a young English medical student named Roger Bannister proved that this conventional wisdom was wrong. It was 1954, on a track in the fabled university town of Oxford, England. That nation, still reeling from the destruction of World War II, needed a reason for optimism and hope. Bannister, whose own training had been hampered by the rationing of food in a war-ravished nation, became a hero and an inspiration.

Shoes worn by Roger Bannister in 1954 when he broke the four-minute mile

Today, more than 1,000 runners have bested Bannister’s time. A milestone has become a historical marker towards further progress. It is a timely reminder of what we all can accomplish in our own lives if we put our mind and energy to the task at hand.

Bannister passed away yesterday at the age of 88. May he rest in peace. In his racing days, he was known for his fierce final kick in the home stretch. It was what gave him his record and place in history. May we honor his legacy by always pushing ourselves to be better, no matter where we are in the race of life.