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S2L Athlete Feature: Jason Lester

What makes an athlete incredible? Is it their inherent ability to run faster, jump higher and react more quickly than the average athlete? Is it how hard someone works in the off-season, in the gym and in the early morning hours, when she laces up her running shoes and puts in five miles–even though everyone else is still sleeping?


Or maybe it’s overcoming life’s obstacles to be the best athlete you can be. In the case of Jason Lester, it’s a combination of the three.

Lester was 12 years old when he was struck by a car, sending him tumbling to the pavement and paralyzing his right arm. An active, athletic child at the time, he could have let the bad blow life had delivered end his pursuit of competitive greatness.

Instead, he picked himself up–quite literally and figuratively–and harnessed the gifts he’d been given, namely tireless legs, an impressive lung capacity and the ability to push himself past plateaus and pain. He also dedicated himself to his athletic pursuits, rising early, staying up late and working harder than his competition.

But most importantly, he made the conscious decision to overcome life’s obstacles. As a result, he not only became a world-class athlete, he also became an athlete with the ability to inspire and empower others–and that’s exactly what he does.

Lester is one of the world’s top athletes. He is a world-class swimmer, cyclist and runner who has competed in and won Ironman and Ultraman competitions. He has won an ESPY Award from ESPN for “Best Male Athlete with a Disability.” And he has been able to inspire and empower others by writing a book, “Running on Faith,” that details his journey.

One of the things Lester shares with the people he meets is how important it is to live life to the fullest, never let obstacles get in your way and share your inspiring stories with others. He embodies the Sentenced2Life spirit–and so can you.

If you have overcome challenges to achieve a goal, share your story on You never know who you might inspire.

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