By Alane Cunningham – Contemporary Retirement – There are certain themes in movies that always work because they are inspirational.
There are certain themes in movies that always work because they are inspirational. Especially when they are true stories. Such is the case with the recently released Disney movie, “Secretariat”.
It was 37 years ago that Secretariat won the Triple Crown. While a lot has changed in that time there are many parallels that make the story relatable today.
It was a time of unrest and there was an unpopular war- Viet Nam. In watching the movie it shows how far women have come. While it is true that more women are working today than ever before, that is largely due to the inability to survive on one income and the recent layoffs and the elimination of jobs in what were once male dominated fields.
At the center of the story is Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery. She makes the decision to go back to her family’s stable and help when her mother dies. Her father had been a wealthy horse owner in Virginia but was suffering from dementia. Her husband and brother assume that the farm will be sold as they had other successful careers. Penny had other ideas!
While the first part of the story features the birth of Secretariat and how Penny wins Secretariat in a coin toss, the story then centers on the opportunities and courage that were required to make this horse a champion. There were many times when Penny could have given up and taken the easy way out. But she chose to surround herself with positive people, and with her courage and conviction made winning possible.
To me, this plays out in everyday life too, and especially in retirement, when you are often faced with multiple challenges and times of discouragement can be ever present. This is also a time to embrace taking advantage of opportunities, even opportunities that require some risk. One can never succeed unless you put yourself in the position to do so. Surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting people can brighten your spirit, but also make life more enjoyable.
I would encourage people to see the movie Secretariat for the positive message. It is nostalgic to see how far women have come and what opportunities are available if we just take advantage of them.
About Alane Cunningham
Alane is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. She retired from the University of Michigan after 27 years. She currently lives in Florida in a small beachside community with her husband. She navigates retirement with human nature observations realizing everyone must find their own way to happiness through this passage of life.