Seabiscuit is a fascinating story with many lessons; one of those lessons is presented in "Chapter 21: A Long, Hard Pull." Virtually everyone had given up on both the horse and the jockey after each sustained serious injury. They were both deemed "washed up." There were three elements, though, that contributed to their comeback.
First, they had time to heal. Hillenbrand writes, "Slowly, painfully, horse and rider healed" (349). In this case, the comeback depended on physical healing. In other cases, a person's comeback may also involve emotional and, perhaps, spiritual health. While the healing process was frustrating for jockey, horse, trainer and owner, it could not be rushed. Each had to face each new day with an expectant hope that healing would come. In time, it would indeed arrive.
Next, the comeback needed a plan. As both the rider and the horse improved, the rehabilitation strategy was increased. Again, Hillenbrand writes, " Pollard had learned a thing or two about training from Smith, and he managed Seabiscuit's rehabilitation carefully. By early summer, walking turned to a gentle canter, first a mile, then two, then three" (351). There was a vision and a plan for bringing them back to health, back to competing. It didn't happen overnight, but gradually the plan set the stage for a comeback.