A Lesson From California Chrome.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

This story isn't about an athlete in the traditional sense of the word. Nor is it about being female. But the story and the message are important non the less.

Today is the day that a horse named California Chrome races the Belmont Stakes to try and be the first horse in 36 years to win the Triple Crown. He won the Kentucky Derby, and the Preakness, all that is left is Belmont. But this is no easy feat.

You may be thinking, why does this matter, and why are you posting this on an actions sports for girls website?

Because California Chrome's story is a good one.

This magnificent horse came from very humble beginnings.  His owners who had never done this before,  only invested about $10,000, and were called "dumb asses" for even trying to breed a race horse from 2 horses who had never won a top race.  As a yearling California Chrome was trained in River Ranch, a town with a population of only 350 - not really the place of "champion" race horses according to people in the racing scene - for that you "need to be" in Kentucky. And then there is his trainer, he's  77 yrs old and thought his time in big time racing was over. His jockey was called the "second best" of 2 racing brothers, and grew up afraid of horses. The silks that California Chrome's jockey wears are some of the ugliest (and funny) in racing - they are purple & green and have a mule on the back with the initials DAP (standing for "Dumb Ass Partners") - a nod to that "Dumb Ass"  comment they got early on.  And last, but not least, how he got his name?  They pulled it out of a hat.

But none of this mattered. Not his pedigree, not where he lived/trained, not how he was named.  not how old the people were training him, and not even the history of the man riding him to victory. All that mattered was his desire to win and be the best. And right now people are taking notice of the horse that came out of nowhere, as they like to say.

So the point is this - It doesn't matter where you come from, what your name is, what sex you are, who has a better coach or trainer than you, who skates or surfs at better breaks all year round than you, who has more sponsors, or who has more pictures online or in magazines than you do. All that matters is WHAT you do.

Thanks to California Chrome for giving us a lesson in humble beginnings, and that it really is all up to YOU.

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