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To hit a/the wall

Posted by Ortin on October 06, 2001

In Reply to: To hit a/the wall posted by Bruce Kahl on October 05, 2001

: : : Sometimes you hear someone say, or you read, "then he hit a wall" --- meaning what exactly?

: : Runners "hit a wall." It's a point where the runner is exhausted and in pain. But if she keeps running, the runner can go past this point. "Get a second wind."

: : Am I right sports fans? I have never experienced this. I've never run anywhere in my life and don't plan to.

: Your phrase is also used to indicate a dead end or obstruction as in "The detectives looked at all the leads in the case and then they hit a wall".

Well, aren't these two different things? A wall you can get beyond if you try, and one you cannot? Which does the phrase usually mean?

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