Monday, August 11, 2008

Some Times You Just Have to Want it Bad Enough....

I don't know if you are following the Olympics, but we are. In a former life, I swam competitively. I guess I got started at 8 yrs old and swam until I was 18. I think I missed 1 year in high school or maybe 2 b/c boys were just so interesting. At any rate, I love swimming and to this day still love watching swim meets. So, naturally we are watching the Michael Phelps 'drama' play out as he tries to beat the legendary Mark Spitz with a career total of more Olympic gold medals.

Anyway--we watched last night's 400 meter Freestyle relay, and honestly it was the craziest, best, most unbelievable race I have EVER seen. It truly defies logic. If you have not seen or heard about it, you can read the story here.

The commentators were saying that as much as the USA team wanted this gold, it was beyond unlikely or improbable and more like impossible that they would win it. They were undeniable underdogs, and all but counted out as Lezak, the anchor (4th swimmer) of the relay had started the final 50 meters at 1/2 a body length behind France's Alain Bernard. Lezak was swimming at world record pace, but by all reasonable calculations, he was going to 'run out of pool' before he caught his rival. Rowdy Gaines (commentator) called the race for the French with approximately 40 meters of swimming left. And then, the IMPOSSIBLE happened. Lezak caught Bernard and was in the fight for the Gold with less than 10 meters of water to go. AND...Lezak did it!! USA won gold to their own astonishment and the astonishment of people around the world. The Frenchmen in the next lane over were particularly verklempt as they saw their dreams of gold going down the drain. This win was even sweeter because the former record-holder Bernard had run his mouth to the press prior to the race by saying "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for," Bernard said.

It was mind-blowing. I kept watching the replays expecting to see that the call for the US had been a mistake, but over and over again, they kept winning the race. AMAZING!

So, I guess this proves that you have to put your money where your mouth is, or perhaps it is better to simply shut the mouth and get down to business. Either way, the US came out on top in a ridiculous win that will go down in the history books. They broke the world record by 4 seconds which is unheard of. It is noteworthy to mention that the teams who placed 4th and 5th in this race also broke the previous world record. Broke the world record and did not even medal. What a race!

I think it comes down to (and the point of this whole post) just deciding you want it, whatever it is more than anything else, and doing something about it. Lezak told a reporter that he was 'just sick of losing' that race, and it motivated him to swim a world record split of 46 seconds for his 100 meter leg of the race.

The human will is truly something to behold. I do not believe it is outside of God, or wholly human. I rather believe the human will is God-given, and truly amazing. Such determination has won many battles, endured many hardships, and even won a few races. The human ability to rise above it all, and do the impossible is age-old, and yet it is always something to behold, even in swimming.


OKeedokey said...

It was so AWESOME!!!!!

Mandy said...

We watched it as well. It was so amazing!!