Don’t Chase Your Dreams, Lezak Them

You’re doing a disservice to yourself if you’ve never heard of Jason Lezak or probably the most insane comeback in all of sports.

Everyone assumes the hero of the 2008 Bejing Olympics is Michael Phelps. I agree, 8 golds in one Olympic games gives him a pretty convincing resume for that title.

But here’s the thing, Phelps is a god. He’s the perfect genetic specimen, coupled with uncanny pose and competitive spirit. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising when god wins every competition he’s put in. After all, Phelps was favored to win every event he swam at the 2008 Olympic games…

Well every event except one, but Phelps didn’t win that event. Lezak did.

It just doesn’t look possible. Even with half a pool left to go in the entire race, the announcers were still debating, “I just don’t think he can do it!”

To this day, I still can’t believe what happens in that section of water. You blink and it’s over. Somehow Lezak becomes something more than himself, beats the odds, and keeps his teammates hopes alive.

And I want to reiterate that, hopes. Phelp’s dream of winning 8 golds in one Olympic games was completely in Lezak’s hands. Without the 46 second miracle swim, Phelps wouldn’t be nearly the house-hold name that he is. That doesn’t sound like a hero to me. In fact, that sounds like someone who was saved.

So how did he do it? How did Lezak, out of nowhere, capture the fastest relay split in history?

He wanted it, really fucking badly.

Sometimes, you just need to just ignore the hype. If you want something, and you’re capable, go out and get it. Don’t worry about the politics. Don’t compare yourself to your opponent. Just get in there and get the win.

Practice and training are good but in that moment, Lezak saw his opportunity and said, “Not tomorrow. Today.”

Do that. Don’t just chase your dreams, Lezak them.

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