Is there such a thing as a True Original?

There are not many plausible explanations for this: for many hundreds of years of running as sport, no one on earth could run a mile in under 4 minutes. And then in 1954, Roger Bannister could, and then lots more people could. 1400 and counting.

Maybe there was some critical evolutionary step forward that allowed this to happen. Or maybe the mere suggestion that it was possible made it so for more people.

I’m no runner. When I was growing up, if you looked at my journals, starting in seventh grade, all I wanted was to grow out of my…