Sport, like all of life, is about taking your chances.
Doctors and scientists said breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead
If there was the opportunity to climb a mountain, or to go ballooning, or some adventurous activity, I would always be keen to do it. I loved the countryside.
The reason sport is attractive to many of the general public is that it's filled with reversals. What you think may happen doesn't happen. A champion is beaten, an unknown becomes a champion.
I raced supremely well. I felt I was as well fitted to do it as I had ever been, and as perhaps I might ever be. I went climbing three weeks before, because I was feeling fed up with running.
The essence of sports is that while you're doing it, nothing else matters, but after you stop, there is a place, generally not very important, where you would put it.
My introduction to track racing was through the background of cross country running, which is not a sport perhaps as popular in America as it is in England.
When I was about to break a world record and become well known, my mother used to say that for her the important thing was for me to become a doctor - a career which had not been possible in her generation and in her society. Sport was something to be set aside.
Sport is not about being wrapped up in cotton wool. Sport as about adapting to the unexpected and being able to modify plans at the last minute. Sport, like all life, is about taking risks.
It's a question of spreading the available energy, aerobic and anaerobic, evenly over four minutes. If you run one part too fast, you pay a price. If you run another part more slowly your overall time is slower.
I enjoy singing, and the instruments which truly move me are the horn, the trumpet and the cello.
I wanted to be a neurologist. That seemed to be the most difficult, most intriguing, and the most important aspect of medicine, which had links with psychology, aggression, behavior, and human affairs.
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