watching Secretariat (part 1)

It was a wonderful midnight when out of the blue, I suggested to Clyde that we watch a movie. Anj and Cherry were sleeping, Ateneo was having its bonfire, and Joan had just come home from attending it.

We settled to watching Secretariat. I wasn’t all that thrilled about watching a movie about a horse but Clyde had long been wanting to watch it. It was actually a first in a sense because 1) Joan had watched with us and that hasn’t happened before and 2) Clyde agreed to watch something after midnight and that hasn’t happened before.

One of the themes of the movie was heart. It was about running so hard, your heart bursts. This is related to the horse (Secretariat)’s race jockey, Ronnie Turcotte, who was once purported to have run his horse so hard, its heart burst.

And Secretariat was great- hearted. And I mean this figuratively and literally (his heart may have been the largest in horse history). Secretariat loved to run. In fact, it is said that he ran “just for the joy of it”. Following Secretariat’s most amazing race, Turcotte spoke of it, saying that the horse “did it by himself”. And that he was just “along for the ride.”

But of course, we didn’t know all this while we were watching the movie. Unaware of what was coming next, we waited for the big conflict of the story, with Clyde trying to guess at it and me protesting, “Don’t deconstruct it to technicalities, Clyde!”

When the movie was well past half its running time and no big conflict seemed to be forthcoming, we were beginning to wonder what the big climax might be and this was the subject of our thoughts and chit-chat as we sat ensconced in our comfortable sofa with the lights turned out so that we could watch the movie on the laptop screen clearly (I like remembering how things feel :p).

So, anyway, there we were trying to guess at the climax of the story when Secretariat was coming to his biggest and most decisive race and since we were practically horseracing ignoramuses, we didn’t know what it was really leading up to.

So we wondered, Is this the story of the horse who had so much potential but lost the race?

It didn’t seem like it. That would have been anti-climactic.

Well then, was it the story of the horse who won the race and then dropped dead (implying that he had burst his heart running)?

“Why would they make a movie out of something like that?” Clyde laughed.

I don’t know. Hehe. Maybe to illustrate the folly of running so hard your heart bursts?

Needless to say, Secretariat won that race (Belmont Stakes) with a record-breaking run that made the crowd watching him rise to their feet and their jaws drop to floor as they gazed at Secretariat eating up the ground in strong, powerful strides, recalling in his wake the majesty and might of God.

So inspiring was it to watch Secretariat (the horse and the movie) that by the time we closed the laptop, turned out the lights, and tucked ourselves in, I knew that the movie was not yet over.

Sure enough, it wasn't the next day. :)

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