“A Little Deception Helps Push Athletes to the Limit”

Did you ever hear the story about the first man to run a sub-four-minute mile? As I heard it, after he did so, it suddenly seemed that everyone could do it. I’ve also heard that the first man to lift 400 pounds was tricked into it by his trainer, who told him it was only 390 pounds, which he’d lifted before.

Both stories may well be apocryphal. I haven’t been able to find verification of either. But it seems that they could well be accurate too.

The human brain is truly an amazing piece of equipment. Too bad it doesn’t come with an owner’s manual, but maybe we can reverse-engineer enough of it to write one ourselves eventually.