Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Our youngest son entered his first wrestling tournament of the season over the weekend.  He found himself in a difficult situation in his second round match.  His opponent wrapped his arms around his neck began choking him.  Our son clawed his way to the edge of the mat and managed to get out of bounds before passing out.  Once he recovered, he complained to the referee but the referee did nothing.  He got back in the ring and attacked his adversary with all his might, pinning him in the closing seconds of the final round.  When the tournament ended, he received a first place medal.

I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the days when I felt like life was trying to pin me down.  I do know one thing – my place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

If you happen to be facing a great challenge in your life today, please stay in the arena.  Don't give up.  I'm cheering for you.  And I'm wishing you a great day. 

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