BOULDER — There is no truth to the rumor that Michael Zarian actually wrote this story.
But I guarantee you, if he had the time in his busy schedule he most certainly would have and could have.
There is so much more to the Fairview junior, who is the reigning state champion in the 500 freestyle, than just his ability in the pool. Zarian recently published a book titled "Success as a Teen Athlete: A Guide to Reaching Your Athletic Potential," has visions of qualifying for the Olympic Trials this summer, is helping his Fairview team achieve its goals and is a whiz in the classroom.
Where does he find the time?
"The only time I had time to write it was during the summer," said Zarian, who even then was training upwards of four hours a day. "When I wasn't sleeping or eating or on the weekends, that's when I did most of the writing."
The book was an ambitious goal for a high school student, but one Zarian was incredibly passionate about and felt like his journey could be beneficial to aspiring athletes that wanted to come close to tasting the kind of success he already has.
"I wouldn't necessarily call myself a writer of someone who loves to write, but I wrote the book because I felt like I had some advice that hopefully a lot of people can use," he said.
The book, which currently sells on Amazon for $9.99, has been met with rave reviews from both adults and his peers at Fairview and across the country.
"Everyone that has read it has said that they love it, which I am grateful for, the fact that they took time to read it," said Zarian, whose No. 1 goal this high school season is to help his team in every way possible reach its goals. "And I'm glad that I able to help some people out. Even some of my teammates have said that it has made a difference."
Zarian's incredible work ethic and devotion to getting the job done has also paid off in the pool. The relentless hours spent in training resulted in a state title last season at the Air Force Academy.
He shaved five seconds off his preliminary swim of 4:41 to earn his spot at the top of the podium. It was an effort not lost on his coach Amy Webb, who knows she has a special blend of brain and braun in her state champ.
"In a race like the 500 free, you really have to strategize about how you are going to swim it and you have to constantly be thinking," said Webb, who will most likely have Zarian in the hunt for the 200 IM in May. "In something like the 50 free, you don't really have to think, it's called the splash and dash for a reason.
"In the 500, he has to swim the ace to the best of his ability, but he also has to think about what the competitors are doing or when they are going to make their move. It's a little bit like chess, you have to plan it out and know your game."
It could be a big five month stretch for Zarian, who like many swimmers across the country has his sights set on Olympic Trial cuts. He would love nothing more than to have a chance at the 400 IM in Omaha when the Trials come around in the summer before the Games begin in Rio in August.