• E079: Overcoming Barriers with World’s fastest Paralympian Jason Smyth


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    “It’s amazing to see and know what you can do if your break those barriers down and look past them” – Jason Smyth

    Jason Smyth is a multi-gold medal winning Paralympic athlete. Having developed an eye condition, he was told at the age of 8 years old that his vision was only going to get worse. Although he was really too young to understand, he leaned to forget the ‘won’ts’ and ‘can’ts’ and through surrounding himself with the right people, and believing in himself, turned into the capable, outstanding athlete that he is today. With an array of gold medals and world records, Jason really is proof that we can achieve anything that we put our mind to. In today’s show, Jason talks to Jacob about the power of the mind and the value of belief in attaining our goals.


    “Success is about being the best you can possibly be”–Jason Smyth

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    Have you ever thought that you’ve got it tough? Given up on an idea because it’s just too difficult or because you ‘can’t’ do it? Don’t tell that to the multi-gold medal winning, world record holding Paralympic athlete, Jason Smyth. With only about 5% vision, Jason doesn’t understand the meaning of ‘can’t’. In today’s show, he talks to Jacob about how you can achieve anything that you want to if you really believe in yourself.

    If you prefer to watch the discussion in action, here is my recorded interview with Jason Smyth (please refresh your browser a few times if it isn’t loaded properly the first time):

    In this interview you’ll learn

    • 02’50” – About Jason and his eyesight condition
    • 05’24” – About Jason’s upbringing and how that shaped his attitude
    •  11’48” – Jason’s achievements
    • 16’50” – Why Jason believes that it’s important to surround yourself with successful people
    •  18’50” – Now and the future for Jason
    • 20’58 – What Json believes is the key to success

    Written Podcast Transcription:

    Introduction:  Welcome to the Enchanting Lawyer Podcast. The show that walks you step by step to improving strategies you can use today to grow your business. We show you how being kind, useful and, of course, enchanting will bring you more clients and build a thriving community. Now here’s your host from sunny San Diego, Jacob Sapochnick.

    Jacob:  Hello everybody, this is Jacob Sapochnick, host of the Enchanting Lawyer podcast. This is a show where we interview the most inspiring individuals from all over the world who share their stories with us and help us be better at what we do.

    I definitely have to say that today I have a guest that is very, very unique and special. He’s very different from a lot of the guests that I had recently. We talk to a lot of inspiring business people, attorneys, and … I always look into athletics and sport into my own inspiration because I feel this is one of those areas where you can … If you can pass those barriers, you can do anything.

    Today, I have Jason Smyth. He’s one of the stars of the Paralympics Games and he’s in fact THE fastest Paralymian in the world today. Jason has an amazing story.

    I would like to read a quote that was about Jason by Tyson Gay who’s one of the top athletes in the world. He says, “I believe that Jason is very talented. I honestly think that he’s running technique is better than mine. Sometimes when he runs he reminds me of Maurice Greene. He would be in my top five when it comes to technical guys running – Maurice Greene would probably be the number one. I think Carl Lewis may be in there, Asafa Powell, Leroy Dixon and then Jason.” This is from Tyson Gay, one of the greatest sprinters of our generation and one of only three men, in history, to beat Usain Bolt.

    Jason, welcome to the show. How are you today?

    Jason:  Thank you very much. I’m very good. How are you?

    Jacob:  I’m doing excellent.

    How do you feel to get such a compliment from one of the greatest sprinters in the world?

    Jason:  Yeah, it’s quite incredible really to … I don’t really feel like my technique’s one of the five best in the world. But to get a compliment from such an impressive athlete, and someone who’s been right to the top, and has achieved great things is something that I’m proud of I suppose.

    Jacob:  Right. Well, I can only imagine this is such a great honor. To our listeners who are listening right now, why don’t you explain a little bit about your story. We talked a little bit before the recording about your disability but why don’t you tell us a little bit about what do you have and how you were diagnosed and your journey.

    Jason:  I have an eye condition called Stargardt’s disease. I suppose, basically, the way it works it affects my vision. So I have roughly around 5% vision. The best way nearly to describe that is everything I see I can see outlines of images but there’s no detail.

    I suppose a good way that I’ve always found to describe to somebody, because it’s hard to describe what I see, is if you’ve ever taken a picture or looking through a camera, when the camera is not focused you see colors and blurry images but you don’t see detail. That’s kind of to a little extreme of what I can see.

    To read the complete transcription of this podcast, click here.

    Show Notes

    Is there any question you have regarding the podcast guest that is not addressed in this blog post? Please leave me a comment below or send me your thoughts at jacob@enchantinglawyer.com. I would really appreciate your feedback, your suggestion on future guests, or just an opportunity to chat with you!

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