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 and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, 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 he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
-Theodore Roosevelt “Man in the Arena”
I’ve been noticing something at the gym lately. It is packed!!! There are so many people working out right now, probably three times as many people at any given time than before New Years. I think it is great to see so many people working on their fitness goals – even if it means my favorite machine might not be available anytime soon…
I haven’t been able to stop myself from staring at all of the new faces around me as I pedal my bike: we all have our own reasons for being here today…
We all have something. All of us. Some of our somethings are more visible than others. Some of us wrestle our somethings more privately, but that doesn’t mean they are any less painful.
We all have baggage.
Different skill sets,
Different life lessons.
But the baggage remains,
In us all.
We can only control so much of what is thrown our way, though we can always decide how to react.
And so, as I keep pushing through the bike on a fresh ankle sprain I can’t help but be excited to see the new faces around me. People, like me, who made time to work on a fitness goal today.
I don’t know their personal stories or motivations, but I do know one thing: we’re all here, every one of us, in the arena.