Today I watched the Breeder’s Cup. Horse racing is really big in my family and I practically grew up at a racetrack. This year the race’s spotlight was a mare named Zenyatta. What makes Zenyatta interesting is there’s a story behind her…a journey, if you will.
Zenyatta was originally purchased for a low price because she was sick. So she was sick and female; not a great combination for a race horse! However, late in her career, Zenyatta started breaking ALL the records. She was going into today’s race, her 20th and last race, undefeated.
Everyone watched as she ‘danced’ into her stable (her signature, she does this lil’ kick with her hoof that makes it look like she’s dancing). I think everyone was anticipating the Hollywood ending. The race began and Zenyatta was dead last for most of it. But, another one of her signatures, she hangs out in the back and then destroys the field in the last stretch. This race was no different. As they turned into the last stretch, I thought there was no way she would catch up. But she did…it was amazing to watch. In the last 200 yards, she caught the front runner only to lose by half a head.
Watching the jockey interviewed after was heartbreaking. He was devastated. My dad swears that these horses know when they lose. I don’t know if I believe that, but I initially felt a little heartbroken for the girl who would retire with a loss.
Yet, I started thinking about the conversation I had with my trainer Jada earlier today. We were discussing this past first week of my program, and she reminded me to celebrate the victories each day. Why, after winning 19 races, should this horse only be remembered for the one she lost? I tend to do the same thing when it comes to my life: focus on the one defeat when there are several victories surrounding it.
So my goal for this week is to remember Zenyatta. The horse whose career became legendary later in life, who defeated many of the odds placed against her, and who did it all with a lil’ pep to her step. I’m going to challenge myself to remember and celebrate the victories each day.