I am writing this blog on the first week in May 2020 after eight weeks of lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus.
I was coming into the office (alone again) this morning and I paused as I looked at the pictures, plaques, awards, articles and mementoes of our business. The job today is to begin picking up the pieces of a devastated hotel real estate economy and finding the path forward. I am often inspired by underdogs in life, business and sports because see, they inspire us and help us believe we can also become what we were meant to be.
One of the greatest underdog sports stories in history is about a horse named Secretariat. I have written about this subject on two previous occasions, but today as I walked in the office I stood in front of the autographed picture of Ronny Turcotte as he crossed the finish line in the Belmont Stakes to win the triple crown in 1973. It was like the picture was saying, sometime the least likely to succeed are the very ones that do so.
An underdog story is only as good as its ability to help those who read it be able to see where their life could be improved and that just maybe, they have some unrealized qualities in their own life. It is not about being the best in the world at anything. It is about being the best you can be in the world.
I love this story because it is about a woman whose mother had passed away and her father had dementia and she was saddled (pun intended) with a small, failing, horse breeding farm in Virginia that was losing money. She had opportunities to sell the farm but decided to hold on to it because she believed in her ability to turn it around. Everyone around her said she should sell, pay the taxes and get on with being a normal housewife. Back then a housewife was expected to take care of the children and the house while her husband made the money. She said, no. I want to see where this opportunity will take us. She did just that.
It is a story about an owner with no qualifications, no pedigree and no experience. A woman in the man’s world of horse racing. The story included a disgraced trainer, a jockey that had never won a big race and an un-tried horse. The breeding farm was in Virginia (not Kentucky) and it was small and falling apart and very ordinary. By all accounts, it was a failure as a farm. From the beginning they were all shunned from the horse racing establishment and told to go back to Virginia and stay out of the way. That is why I love this story.
If you haven’t watched the movie Secretariat, you should rent it and watch it. It is simply an inspiring movie about not listening to what others say about how far you will go in life and your potential. We all have those types of people (and even family members) in our life that speak words of discouragement to you. The movie is about reaching your God given potential and shutting out what others think about you.
The story of this horse, its owner, its trainer and its jockey are like many of us. We’ve been told we will never make it because we don’t have the right education, talent, looks or background to go very far in life. Yet somehow, God has a different plan if we will listen to him. KT