Change the impossible to possible

Experts are idiots.

Well, not all of them. And not all the time, but hear me out. Often experts are so entrenched in their beliefs, thoughts, training and how they know things are, that they make a critical mistake – they shut themselves down to the possibilities of life, of human ingenuity, of creative minds with no limits.

History is loaded with these examples. The four minute mile was impossible. Human beings could not physically run a mile any faster than four minutes and 1.4 seconds. It had taken 32 years to go from 4:14.4 (set in 1913 by American John Paul Jones) to the record of 4:01.4 – set by Gunder Hagg from Sweden, set in 1945. Gunder’s record stood for nine years without anybody changing it. At that time, according to the history books, doctors, trainers, coaches and many others were writing papers about how breaking the four minute mile was impossible. They could explain it through physics, wind forces, muscle response time and a whole host of other things that experts do. Then Roger Bannister ran a 3:59.4 on May 6th, 1954. His record stood for 46 days before John Landy ran a 3:58 flat. Then it was broken again three years later and again and again. In fact, in 1964, a high school kid broke the four minute mile barrier.

Most of my favourite stories begin with ‘impossible’ whether they are movies, books, true stories or fiction, or people I have met. I have heard ‘impossible’ lots myself. When I broke my back in 1984, doctors told me that I would be in a wheelchair by age 40. When I tore all the ligaments in my ankle in 1993, doctors told me I would never run again. Five Ironman triathlons, two World Long Course Triathlon Championships, an Ultraman Triathlon and several marathons later, I am 44 years old and not in a wheelchair by a long shot, thank you very much.

Experts said Theoran Fleury was too short at 5’6″ tall, too small at 180lbs and would never play in the NHL. As we all know, he played over 1,000 games in the NHL from 1989 to 2003, and has won Olympic gold three times.

When Terry Fox lost his leg to cancer in 1977 he was told many things, by many experts. He chose to see what he could still do, instead of what he couldn’t do. By 1979, he started training for the Marathon of Hope – his dream of running across Canada on his artificial leg.

Here’s where we have to stop and realize something; back then – the mere thought of this was preposterous. The artificial leg Terry had was not designed to run on at all. It was clunky, had a leather strap on it and was really designed to hide underneath a pair of pants and ‘pretend to be a real leg’.

After having his leg cut off, then chemotherapy to kill any stray cancer cells in his blood stream, Terry left the hospital, bald and weak, with a dream. He started training in 1979, and could only manage short distances, working up to 1.6kms, while in agony. His dream was to run a marathon a day until he crossed our country. Experts did not approve.

Regardless, he pressed on and started in St John’s Newfoundland on April 12th. He had to deal with crazy weather, detours, hills, rain, sleet, snow, blisters, no money, and a million other things including maintenance on his prosthetic leg – which was absolutely not designed for this. He ran 5,374 kms, all the way to Thunder Bay before he felt the pain in his chest, that was soon diagnosed as lung cancer. It has been said that the cancer that cost Terry his leg, is now fully curable.

I have been running in his honour since Sept. 13th, 1981 when the very first Terry Fox Run was held and I invite you to do the same. Walk, run, ride, jog, blade, stroll, skateboard – whatever, head to to find a run site near you. Not only to raise money for cancer research, but just to show the experts that they need to keep an open mind.

Just Posted

Singer/songwriter John Wort Hannam heads to the Elks Lodge April 12th

Concert is being hosted by the Central Music Festival Society

Young athletes hope to achieve Olympics dreams through RBC Training Ground

Olympic sport talent scouting event took place in Red Deer Sunday morning

Sharon and Bram head to Red Deer on final tour

The duo is celebrating their 40th anniversary farewell tour

Supporters rally for Jason Kenney as UCP leader stops in Red Deer

Kenney promises equalization reform, stopping ‘Trudeau-Notley’ payroll hike, trade, economic mobility

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

Apple announces its long-awaited streaming TV service

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa

15 Canadians on cruise ship that was stranded off Norway; one injured

The cruise ship was carrying 1,373 passengers and crew when it issued a mayday call on Saturday afternoon

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read