Peter was a part-time athletics coach, living in the North of England. He was an engineer by trade and although he ran the factory, whenever there was an opportunity to put his skills to use he could be found on the shop floor tinkering with plant machinery.
When the phone call came through from Norway, the secretary knew exactly where to find him and sure enough he was bent over a machine, wrench in hand. The news that the runner he had coached for several years had broken the 800m World Record made him drop the wrench on his foot. From that day, the machine he'd been working on was known as the 'Jesus Christ machine.'
The Jesus Christ machine couldn't choose to accept the label or not. It's just a machine.
The labels we have, whether self-inflicted or given by others begin with a single event. They become our identity. Then we succumb to an incremental creep of available, convenient and supporting evidence and become a belief. Like the child who is called fat, or stupid will behave according to the label for life.
I've been systematically re-labelling to get better results. What labels do you really need to get the results you want?
The coach was Peter Coe and the phone call came from his son, Sebastian who, on 3rd July 1979, ran 800 metres in 1 minute 42.33 seconds at the Bislett Games, Norway.