May 2, 2009...
It's race day.
I watch one horse race a year, and today's the day.
The Kentucky Derby.
At around 3:00, I turned the television on avoiding the two previous hours of hype and commercials. Twenty minutes later, I was rewarded with the "underdog chill."
Defining the "underdog chill" is not hard to do. It's that moment when the ordinary guy beats all the extraordinary guys. It's the moment when what wasn't supposed to happen...happens.
And if feels really, really good.
Today, it happened.
The 135th running of the Derby was won by a 50-1 long shot by the name of Mine That Bird.
Despite having a silly name, this amazing horse ran today as if his name was Secretariat.
Despite being initially sold for a mere $9,500 in a world where racing hopefuls sell for over two million, this new champion left the more expensive horses falling fast behind.
Despite having to be driven 21 hours from his New Mexico stable to get to the starting line, this special horse has reminded all of us just what the underdog can do on any particular day.
And in that, we can all take hope as we look to our own goals and endeavors.
Dead last in the early going, Mine That Bird kept coming. And so can we.
Despite finishing 12 out of 12 in a previous race, he forgot the past. And so can we.
Despite pre-race bookies writing that he was "To slow to be a factor"...and "He faces an extreme class hike," this now roses-wearing winner shined the brightest on the day it mattered the most. And so can we.
Mine That Bird had no clue he wasn't supposed to win today. He just did.
And so can we.
Now imagine how good THAT "underdog chill" will feel when we do.