Nothing is Impossible?

The mural of Muhammad Ali throwing a punch next to the impossible quote is finished. It’s on the south side of the ICOR Boxing building, which faces Highway 6.

Impossible quote mural Iowa City

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

Muhammad Ali’s name is lettered below his picture. It’s highly improbable he created the impossible quote. An Adidas ad campaign copywriter named Aimee Lehto probably wrote it, according to Quote Investigator.

I think it’s possible that Ali might have said it, although I can’t prove it like I can prove that the Korean war veteran Howard William Osterkamp said “All gave some…some gave all,” but probably didn’t create it.

I’ll have to concede there are some things that are impossible, like licking your elbow.

But I don’t think it’s impossible for us to be kinder. And I know I’ve made excuses for not doing something because I lacked confidence or skill—and saying that it was because it’s impossible.

Many things that used to be impossible have been done. The list of impossible things tends to look shorter as I get older. It speaks to the temporary nature of what we think of as impossible. It is about realizing my potential.

In a way, impossible is a dare, a challenge to do more in spite of what I think are my limitations.

If you turn the last line of the impossible quote backwards, it says “Nothing is impossible.”

But I dare you to lick your elbow.

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