The Man in the Arena

My wife was recently reading a book about woman in combat and asked me if I knew anything about some famous words spoken by former President Theodore Roosevelt. Within a split second I knew what she was talking about. I was certain she was referring to an excerpt from his speech in France, way back in the year 1910, that was known as “Citizen In A Republic.”


The coincidence of her timely question surprised me in that I was also watching a documentary on Netflix titled The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (thanks for the referral Adam!). I am not a big TV watcher, at least not without doing something productive like flexibility/mobility training, yoga (you can always find time for some exercise) or while knocking out other mundane tasks on the computer, but this was different. I was captivated and was fully paying attention — while using the foam roller of course.

I love Roosevelt’s words…from the beginning to the end, they are quit compelling, and I challenge you to take them and make them a part of the driving force behind your purpose, no matter how old you are, or what your purpose might just be.

“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.”

(Taken from President Roosevelt’s speech “Citizen In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910).

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