Lance Lameyse and Seabiscuit

Here comes something you don't see often on judo blogs: an interspecies analogy.

When I saw this article about Lance Lameyse and Sandro's role in resurrecting his career, I was reminded of Seabiscuit. That's right, the horse. The one they made a movie about, with Spider-Man as his jockey.

Like Lameyse, Seabiscuit was a great athlete who almost drifted into obscurity but was rescued by men who sensed his raw talent: owner Charles Howard, trainer Tom Smith, and jockey Red Pollard. These men saw that to bring out the horse's full potential they not only had to train his body; they had to work on his mind.

Like the Seabiscuit story, the Lameyse story has a class angle. The racing establishment looked down on Seabiscuit, who looked distinctly unaristocratic and whose owner didn't come from old money. Likewise, Lameyse is no stranger to scorn; he was a "Graton Boy," from the wrong side of the tracks.

Of course, there are differences. In Lameyse's case there were two men, not three. And whereas Lameyse has fought in the 100 kg and open divisions, Seabiscuit was small — so small he looked more like a cow pony than a champion racehorse. Furthermore, he was old to be competing, he was lazy, he liked to sleep all day, and if they didn't watch his diet he'd gladly eat all day as well. Frankly, he sounds more like me than Lameyse.

Despite the differences, I stand by my analogy. It even gets a little support from Sandro himself. He tells me that like Seabiscuit, Lameyse is incredibly strong and could be incredibly stubborn.

By the way, to really appreciate Seabiscuit, I don't recommend the movie. I recommend the excellent book by Laura Hillenbrand.

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