“It’s not about going back… it’s about life being ahead of you & you run at it, because you never know how far you can go.” —Penny Chenery Tweedy
I have watched the movie Secretariat, seriously, a hundred times and not because I simply love horses. It was because Diane Lane gave a star performance portraying a remarkable woman by the name of Penny Chenery Tweedy, the First Lady of Racing. Today she is my #TuesdayHeroine.
Being a strong-minded, no-nonsense, feisty woman allows me to say, “I am who I am. And I will not apologize for who I am. If you love me, you will accept me… Just Because.”
Penny was that woman, who saved her family’s horse farm by listening to her gut and ignoring all the odds stacked high against her, especially in the male-dominated breeding and horse racing industry of her time. She was the youngest of three children and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College, then studied at the Columbia Business School. Penny knew for certain what she truly believed thanks to her parents, and she stuck to her guns when she made the decision to take on the responsibility of running the farm.
It appeared at times that the only support she had came from her father’s secretary and the farm’s horse trainer. As a child she loved horses; she listened and watched intently as her father, who came from poor beginnings, built their farm of great horses even though he was facing financial straits. Their trainer, who was a sneaky, conniving thief, was trying to rob them of great thoroughbreds. Right before her mom died, she stopped the sale of three of their great thoroughbreds, which was being brokered by that very same conniving trainer. Not to mention, he also happened to be rude, obnoxious, and definitely disrespectful toward Penny.
Penny had to juggle her marriage and family (a husband and four children), who remained in Boulder, Colorado, with the responsibilities of the family’s horse farm, which was surely challenging at times. But, what I loved about Ms. Chenery Tweedy is that she stuck to her guns and ignored her bothersome brother–a professor at Harvard–and her husband who had joined forces to get her to sell the farm and, of course, Secretariat before the 1973 Kentucky Derby. REALLY?!
Secretariat is an American Classic, the story of a remarkable horse that won the 1973 Triple Crown, whose records have yet to be broken. And it was Penny’s brilliant mindset at the “Coin-Toss” alongside her father’s brilliant mind from which Secretariat was reared. Thank God that she ignored all the Nay-Sayers and embraced her belief and trust in SELF.
The moral of the story is to Never Give Up!!! When you believe in a thing, believe it wholeheartedly, unequivocally, where you can’t be shaken, rattled, or removed from it until it reaches full potential.
“Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” —Walt Disney
Thank you, Ms. Penny Chenery Tweedy, for setting the stage for excellence, for never quitting or giving up, and for representing women exceptionally well. You are my #TuesdayHerione.