BIG HEART

"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." --1 Samuel 16: 7

Secretariat was fast.

As one of the top three thoroughbreds of all time, Secretariat was in a class by himself. In fact, no other horse has ever run 1 1/2 miles faster than Secretariat. ESPN's Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century ranks Secretariat at 35th, and is one of only three non-humans on the list. The other two were also horses, Man O' War (84th) and Citation (97th). Of the greatest sports performances of all time, Secretariat's run at the Belmont Stakes is ranked second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game. And on his way to a still-standing Kentucky Derby record, Secretariat ran each quarter mile faster the one before it, unheard of before or since.

Like I said, Secretariat was quick.

And while Secretariat was the only horse to dawn the covers of Newsweek, Time and Sports Illustrated, no accolade or award comes close to what separates him from all others; he was all heart. His exuberance when he ran was justified by what doctors found when he couldn't. After suffering an incurable hoof condition, the autopsy of Secretariat revealed his heart weighed an astounding 22 pounds, the largest ever recorded for a racehorse.

I wanted to share the story of Secretariat as I sit and wait for another run at the Triple Crown. Are we running the race harder than yesterday? Are we committing ourselves to spiritual and physical health with all our hearts? If so, or if not, tell it to beat. And...we're off!

--Jimmy Peña