Teddy Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts….

I recently came upon this quote from US President Teddy Roosevelt in 1910. I think it applies to many situations and efforts we may embark upon. I know many people who embark on journeys towards worthy goals. Some of them succeed, while others may fall short – this time. But they try, try again. And eventually, most of them succeed, but if they don’t, I still admire them because they tried. If you reach for the stars – you may or may not succeed. But if you don’t reach for the stars – you will certainly never get there.

“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 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 and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for 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 he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt in 1910

And here is a first-hand account from Alan Geraldi, an ultra-runner who ran theĀ  Western States 100 mile Endurance Run – and got most of the way there – but had foot problems that slowed him down so much that the sweepers caught up with him. It was a magnificent effort though! A few of my friends – Jan Soderqvist and Mike Palmer – completed the race successfully, while many runners like Alan Geraldi and Catra Corbett had troubles that day. But they will no doubt try again!