Bruce Lee is unarguably the greatest martial artist that ever lived. And he's legend till date and source of inspiration to many. During his training sessions he used to run with his close friend, John Little - who once shared this incident:
Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile. [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Bruce Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile].
So one morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.”
I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.”
He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.”
I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more.
So I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” – and we’re still running, "if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.”
He said, “Then die.”
It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it.
I said, you know, “Why did you say that?”
“Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”