Monday, September 27, 2010

This is a sponsored post from Disney and BlogHer.



My grandfather told me the story of Secretariat. One year before I was born, an unlikely horse was moved through the horse racing circuit by an even more unlikely female owner, landing the Triple Crown -- the trifecta of horse racing. It's a feat few have accomplished in over 100 years of horse racing, and there hasn't been a Triple Crown winner since 1978 when Affirmed took the title, five years after Secretariat.

He told me the story as we watched the movie Phar Lap, a similarly unlikely tale of a non-pedigreed Australian race horse that beat the odds to become one of the best race horses in the world. I was a horse-loving girl, a rider who volunteered at the stables mucking stalls and cleaning shoes in order to spend more time around the horses.

Even without following the racing circuit, it's easy to have your heartstrings tugged when you hear stories such as Secretariat because in the end, it is just as much about humanity as it is about the extraordinary horse. It is just as much about Penny Chenery, a housewife of 18 years (and mother of four), who showed the world that the skills needed to run a house do apply in the business world and that child-rearing is work. She successfully transitioned from raising children to running her father's stable, making the keen decision to hire Lucien Laurin as the trainer.

It's a story about a woman who broke other barriers. Penny Chenery was one of the first women (she was one of three) to be inducted into the all-male Jockey Club. She helped create a foundation that took care of aging Thoroughbreds after they left the racing circuit.

And it is easy to place yourself in the context of the story -- we all have our own private Secretariat moments -- those times when the first answer was clearly "no," but we ignored it and pushed ahead and grabbed the prize. My own twins are my Secretariats -- though early losses and fertility treatments, a twin pregnancy and premature birth, a NICU stay and an inability to breastfeed, it felt like ocean waves pounding down on us. Our two options were to retreat or push ahead, and we pushed ahead. It's amazing to see them now in kindergarten and know how close the world came to not having them here at all.

I have been planning on taking the twins to see the new Disney film, Secretariat, which comes out on October 8th, because it sends an important message, one that is best paraphrased from Norton Juster in the Phantom Tollbooth, "anything is possible just so long as you don't know that it's impossible." People need to see these stories because they serve as a reminder that while working hard is not a given in the most important aspects of life, without that hard work, you don't stand a chance.



BlogHer is asking readers to share their own impossible story for a chance to win a $100 Visa card from BlogHer. Leave a comment below telling them about a time in your life when it looked as if you didn't have a chance -- and yet you pulled through in the end. One comment will be chosen for the winner, but there are additional ways to up your chances.

Not only can you leave a comment (2 valid entries per person only), but if you tweet about the post and leave a direct url to the tweet as an additional comment, or blog about the post and leave a direct url to the blog mention as an additional comment, you'll be entered an extra time. US resident, must be 18+ to enter. The official rules for the contest can be found here.

In Theaters Oct 8

For more information:

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86 comments:

Mami2jcn said...

I had 3 miscarriages before conceiving my first child.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Barbarawr said...

From the time I was 16, all I wanted to do in life was to be a mom. When I hit "old" (the year after 29) and I was still single, I realized that my dream was never going to happen. I also knew that I would never have a husband, so I went to the library and took out Plumbing for Dummies and Electricity for Dummies and started making repairs around my house. I ended up married, and then I got pregnant, and I thought my life was perfect... until I had a miscarriage. I was devastated, but I ended up having 2 wonderful kids, who I appreciated A LOT more since I realized that having kids wasn't a given like I had always assumed. They are both friendly, thoughtful and smart (he was valedictorian; she is #3 right now in her senior year). When I was the age after 29, I would NEVER have believed that things could have worked out just like I wanted - and better!

Barbarawr said...

I tweeted http://twitter.com/bsw529/status/25797345499

bsw529 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see this movie! I've overcome breaking my back in the middle of college to still finish strong and keep up good grades!
scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/DesMoinesDealin/status/25807582150 scg00387 at yahoo dot com

wigget said...

i didn't think i would ever conceive, and now we have 2 boys!

JC said...

I overcame anorexia and it was an amazing journey in my life.

JC said...

http://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/25814918092

bdiane34 said...

My impossible moments in life were when I lost both of my parents. Both within 2yrs of each other. I didnt think I would get through it. It has been 2 yrs now since my mother passed and I am going strong. Miss them very much but life just goes on.
sweokgrl@gmail.com

bdiane34 said...

tweeted
sweokgrl@gmail.com
http://twitter.com/bdiane34/status/25818828252

fostertam said...

I had a bad car wreck about half-way through graduate school that left me in a lot of pain. I had to drop several classes and at one point thought I was not going to be able to finish. Physical therapy and God's grace pulled me through.

fostertam said...

http://twitter.com/fostertam/status/25822583309

The Sunshyn said...

I'd gone to so many doctors that its amazing it took 5 years to find one even willing to help. Even he didn't know how to at that point because the injury had gone so long without treatment so I went to physical therapist after physical therapist and tried medication after medication. Both forms of treatment always had very bad effects, which wouldn't have been so bad if there were any good ones mixed in there somewhere. It was a decade before I found a physical therapist whose work actually helped after the initial pain. The medication I found by chance and had to beg and badger doctors into prescribing it since it also makes it impossible for me to see at a distance. But now I am able to leave the house sometimes, even go on short trips. Its not perfect, and my husband's layoff is making just feeding ourselves difficult but I had know with certainty for many years there that I would never have times that I wasn't in that terrible pain which made even thinking a task and a half. Now I can look forward to having breaks from it and some good days again.
chainmail(at) iwon(dot)com

The Sunshyn said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/The_Sunshyn/status/25824584414

gmissycat said...

There was a time when I thought I lost both my kids to a world of madness. I just wanted to die but one of them is back and I am beyond grateful and can see the light. I didn't think there was any reason to live because all I lived in was fear. I pray everyday that the other one comes back too but right now, I am so very blessed!
gmissycat@yahoo.com

gmissycat said...

Tweeted your wonderful giveaway too!
http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/25835763563
gmissycat@yahoo.com

sy said...

i haven't really went through any hardship in my life. i guess the worst time was after college i went to what felt like 100 interviews (probably only 50) and kept getting rejected, i finally got accepted for a job but i wasn't satisfied with it. after another year i tried again and got my current lovely job. i'm glad i kept trying.

sy said...

i tweeted http://twitter.com/syytta/status/25919716606

Nancy said...

I grew up in a dysfunctional home in small town america where I could do nothing right and saw few opportunities. Amazingly, I made the decision to go to a two year school. I did well and transferred to a a four year school, graduated and started a good career.

Nancy said...

My tweet: http://twitter.com/njhhb/statuses/25925480246

Charity Donovan said...

How to raise quadruplets & a singleton and give everyone the attention & love they deserve as individuals.

charityd AT centurytel DOT net

Brooke said...

My deaf dog is constantly a challenge. She can be such a handful but other times is just a dog. I am happy that she grabbed my heartstrings - if the Humane Society knew she was deaf before we adopted her, she probably would have be euthanized.
shutterboo at gmail dot com

Leah @ A Butterfly In My Stomach said...

My obstacle to overcome was my health. I have had chronic tmj for a span of 6 months for the past four years...I am only 35! I wasn't able to eat or talk. It was a true trial.

leahforlove(at)aol(dot)com

3 Boys and an Old Lady said...

Overcoming infertility has been my biggest challenge. I am so blessed to have a wonderful family.

Just call me b said...

Just a few years ago, I was NOT athletic at all. Not the least!
And, I decided I wanted to run a 5k. I trained. And I trained.

I did it. And then another. And another.

And, this Fall, I will run my 3rd marathon!!!

Training, persistance, hard work...and the help of the Lord! Praise God!

Angel Jacklyn said...

I NEVER THOUGHT I'D MAKE IT THRU HIGH SCHOOL BUT I DID! LOL kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

TWEET http://twitter.com/kytah00/status/26047148343 kytah00@yahoo.com

Lindsey @ I Run in Heels said...

I'm taking my brother and sister-in-law to see Secretariat for their birthdays. They're both in the midst of grad school programs in the medical field and have a great deal of studying ahead of them. They oculd use the boost!

Kelly Massman said...

I don’t know that I’ve completely overcome it, but I have lupus! I try to make the best of it even though I have alot of pain and fatigue with it! Thanks for a chance to win!
kmassman gmail

Kerry said...

My husband and I overcame our infertility problems and ended up with 3 beautiful children!
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Kerry said...

tweeted: http://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/26129193160
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

jakiesmom said...

being diagnosed with cancer with a breastfed baby, but luckily now being cancer free

nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

Deb said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/tnshadylady/status/26185706968

Deb said...

blog post http://tnshadylady.blogspot.com/2010/10/secretariat-and-blogher-giveaway.html

Shel said...

I became a teenage mom at 17 and married my son's father. I overcame the statistics and finished high school with my diploma, but it was tough. Classmates were cruel and there were plenty who pointed and laughed at me. Many times I wanted to give up and just take the test and get my GED. In my heart, though, I wanted that diploma and the chance to walk across the stage and be handed what took so hard to get. I kept my focus and graduated...while my son and mother sat in the audience and watched me walk across the stage. While the marriage was a mistake, my son never was. He graduated college with honors 2 years ago and I couldn't be prouder of him. What I learned and always taught him was that your education is something no one can ever take away from you.


shel704 at aol dot com

Shel said...

Tweeted:
http://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/26215028573

shel704 at aol dot com

allysmama said...

I overcame an abusive marriage and 14 miscarriages, to be in a happy, loving marriage and am a mom to a beautiful 12 year old daughter!
bleatham*at*gmail.com

allysmama said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/sleatham1/status/26237085711
bleatham*at*gmail.com

JoeyfromSC said...

Thanks for sharing your story!

The biggest challenge I have had to overcome, was raising two brothers after my Mom died(of leukemia at age 44)..it wasn’t always easy but they are successful adults today and I’m SO proud of them!

Thank you for the chance to win!

ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

JoeyfromSC said...

Tweeted

http://twitter.com/JoeyfromSC/status/26298291408

ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

Mom2anutball said...

My biggest obstacle was having a total of 4 miscarriages before I got my 2 beautiful children. It was hard to keep trying, but I'm soooo happy that I did :)

Thanks!
fineinsanity {at} live {dot} com

racergirl1313 said...

I quit smoking 7 years ago, at the time it seemed impossible, especially after my previous failed attempts, but I did it!

racergirl1313 said...

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/racergirl1313/status/26384850522

Lavender Luz said...

Despite horrible odds, I am now a mom.

And I'm taking my kids to see this movie later this week!

amandawk said...

I had to deal with some health problems when I was in high school.
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

amandawk said...

Tweeted http://twitter.com/amandawk/status/26400141930

Norma said...

I overcame cancer at age 78!
bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

I was afraid of heights - so I went up in a small Cessna plane - did I mention I was flying it?! Loved it! Took 3 lessons and would have gone for my plot's license if I'd had the money :)
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

Tweet!
http://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/26410396785
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

floating said...

Five years ago we had a still born baby girl.It was so heart breaking It was so scary to try again.Now we have a Just turned 4 year old healthy boy.
floatingonabiscuit@gmail.com

Susan said...

My husband was the only one in our family that worked, until he hurt himself. He couldn't work, the bills were piling up, and I was unskilled. It was heartbreaking to go to one job interview after another and never hear back or to find out I didn't get the job.

Finally, I used some skills I had (hobbies) and was able to make a meager living so we could at least get food for the family.

After my husband's second surgery, he was finally able to go back to work. It is amazing how one day everything is fine, then the next, it is not.

rsmstahley @ adelphia dot net

Susan said...

Tweet http://twitter.com/rsmstahley/status/26423348682

rsmstahley @ adelphia dot net

Carrie White said...

i never thought i would beable to graduate from high school but i did and i had to keep myself motivated. but luckly i did.

Tabathia said...

It was really hard overcoming postpartum depression and every day is a challenge
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/26511517496
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Amy said...

The hardest thing I've ever had to overcome was the loss of my mother when I was 21, and then my father also passed away a little over 1 month later. I thought I'd never recover, but I was fortunate to have a wonderful husband and baby daughter who helped me get through it.

susan1215 said...

I overcame a challenging childhood with an alcoholic Dad and a sick Mom. I didn't have a lot of guidence while I was growing up.

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...

http://twitter.com/susan1215/status/26597067567

LivewithFlair said...

This impossible story is my daughter's. It seems silly, but for us, it was a moment of victory that represented a the truth about trying to win the approval of the crowd. She's been in counseling over bullies, shed so many tears about "mean girls," and suffered embarrassment. http://livewithflair.blogspot.com/2010/06/fame-that-lasts-till-lunch.html

won said...

The day my daughter died it looked like I would never have a chance to want to get up and face another day, much less smile.

But today I'm doing just that....somehow.

won said...

http://twitter.com/#!/won2x/status/26668248515


Thank you!

DaisyGal said...

I never thought I would marry, find a man that could love me enough for me to love him back enough to be in a marriage. I was 31 yrs old and feeling pretty hopeless. My husband came at such an unexpected time, in less than ideal circumstances and yet, there he was ..standing in my life and changing it forever.

When I was sure I might be "used goods" or "Too old' to find true love..it found me.


:)

I loved this post, and I get teary even watching the previews for this movie, the "OVERCOMING" of it all. I too, will be seeing this movie soon.

coriwestphal said...

I’ve struggled with weight since my teen years. I lost weight to get married. Gain weight with a baby. Lost weight. Gained weight with another baby. Lost weight. Gained weight quitting smoking. And now I’ve taken control. It’s been 3 years since I lost weight and I’ve kept it off. Yay for me!

coriwestphal at msn dot com

coriwestphal said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/coriwestphal/statuses/26770363920

coriwestphal at msn dot com

Susan C. said...

I was the first person in my family to attend college - and went on to earn my MA!

Kristin said...

I have been pregnant 11 times and have 3 children. When my husband and I were trying to conceive our third child, we went through loss after loss after loss. We had 4 losses in a row before the docs figured out I had luteal phase disorder and, once that was treated, we conceived again and were thrilled to see a heartbeat at 6 weeks only to lose our daughter 2.5 weeks later. Despite all this, we kept going because my heart told me there was suppose to be at least one more child for us. More testing showed a mild clotting disorder. We had one more super early loss and, then, treatment for LPD and the clotting disorder allowed me to finally carry our third child to term. He is now a happy, healthy almost 5 yr old.

Kristin said...

I tweeted the giveaway.

pixie13 said...

We lost two pregnancies to miscarriage & stillbirth before our daughter was born

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

Stacie said...

After much heart break and many challenges, we are finally pregnant with another baby, our third.

Stacie said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/heeeeerestorkey

Hippie4ever said...

After 6 years of trying, I finally have my son!

PauleyD said...

I have overcome having asthma as a child to become an adult who has controlled my symptoms through proper diet and eliminating toxins in my home by “going green”.

pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

PauleyD said...

http://twitter.com/lpauld68/status/26876337966

pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Deb said...

I quit my job when in my late 20's when I realized my career was not fulfilling my spirit. It was hard because I had a good salary and knew I'd have to spend all my savings to go back to get my masters, but I took the leap and got my teaching degree. I was very broke for a very long time, but now, 15 years later I know it was the best decision of my life.

Amber said...

Depression as a teenager, I never thought I'd live to see age 21! ow I'm 27 and so glad that I pulled through and didn't do anything drastic.

missamberlynne at gmail dot com

slehan said...

I always thought I couldn’t sing: my sister and my mother could and my father & I couldn’t.
A friend took me to a choral concert and I loved the group, said I wanted to join, but I couldn’t sing. I joined as a support member. Got a mailer from a local school that said: do you sing in the shower?. Well, yes. I took the class and the teacher said I had a fine voice I just needed to think of my body as an instrument and learn to tune it. I did, and I’ve been singing with the chorus for 20 years now.

slehan said...

blogged http://slehan.blogspot.com/2010/10/win-100-visa-from-secretariat.html

Henria O. said...

I lacked self-confidence and was extremely shy as a teenager. This kept me from doing a lot of things that I really wanted to do. In my early twenties, I finally overcame this self-imposed imprisonment and freed myself to do all sorts of things I never would have previously done.
sazzyfrazz at gmail dot com

Betty C said...

My middle school years were very difficult. I had moved from the south to the midwest and had a definite "hillbilly" accent and kids made a lot of fun of me. I hated having to stand in front of the class for any type of speech or presentation. I was determined to lose the accent and get some courage so I took a public speaking class in high school. I hated the class but got some confidence. I ended up teaching seminars with up to 400 people in attendance.

Betty C said...

Tweet - http://twitter.com/willitara/status/26953347627

Lisanne624 said...

As I was getting close to finishing my graduate degree, I was despairing of every being able to find a job in my field. My husband and I were living in student housing, so we were soon going to have to find a permanent place to live. I had lots of student loans to pay back. I sent out resume after resume, and mostly heard back nothing. Then I got an interview for a job really close to where we were located, and I ended up getting the job. I've been there 15 years now, and am grateful every day!

Lisanne624 said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Angloaddict/status/26975023062

lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

Tammigirl said...

I didn't think I would ever know what it was to be 'normal' and live in a house where I felt safe and raise a happy family.

Now I think my life is 'normal' and I feel safe in my own happy home with my own happy family.

For me, that's amazing.

Kelsey said...

I had a very "dysfunctional" childhood. A lot of bad memories, but I didn't let that make me, I have a great life with a wonderful husband and kids, and the rest of my family have succeeded, too.
Kelsey
micahandkelsey1(at)cox(dot)net

JJ said...

After my first child was born I went through a year or more of depression unfortunately I was not aware what was going on becasue I was in my own mindset but have grown so much since then and managed to control this from happening again and help others in their time also

Lu said...

I adored this movie for the reasons that you mentioned. I am also a horse-lover to the core, and can't watch an animal movie, no matter the outcome, without sobbing.

Penny's determination and brilliance is truly to be admired. I didn't know much about her story before seeing the film, but would be interested to know more about her.

Malkovich was fantastic, too.