Live out who you were created to be

May 20, 2021

By Jeff Becraft

I was never really into horse racing… but I knew who Secretariat was.  Someone said the movie was good and so years ago, one Saturday afternoon, I watched the movie.

Usually, Saturdays are outside chore days.  But on this Saturday I was more tired than usual.  As I was lying there on the couch, the scene for the Kentucky Derby came up and I’m lying there watching Secretariat go from dead last to passing the other horses.  I sat up on the couch.

I love watching something or someone live out what it was created to be.

While all three races in the Triple Crown were incredible performances by Secretariat (and if I have my facts right, he still holds the world record in all three races), the one that is really amazing to me is the Preakness (which not much is made of in the movie… I guess it is anti-climatic to have highlights strung along throughout the entire movie).

I went back and watched the actual original clips of each of the races.  In the Preakness, Secretariat was dead last.  No surprise there.  It is said he would even lean on the back of the gate.  But then in turn one… turn one… he literally starts to just run past all the other horses.  It’s like they were not even in the same league.

Later, the owner commented, “Ronnie (Secretariat’s jockey) wouldn’t have asked him to run that soon in the race.  It had to be what the horse wanted to do.”

For Secretariat, it was more than just physical prowess.  It was heart and soul.  It was not giving up and going all out.

I am really proud of this year’s group of YC students. Despite all of the parameters with covid (masks, 6-feet-apart, etc.) and awkwardness of it all, they have persevered on.  Many students have commented, “Youth Corps has definitely been a huge turning point in my life.”  And many more students echo what one student (in whom we have seen a huge transformation) stated: “Youth Corps isn’t just the path to leadership, it’s the path to the real me.”

It is a magnificent and inspiring thing when we live out who we were created to be.


Jeff Becraft is the Executive Director for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives.  Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].