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
My very first mentor, Dr. Jack Barnathan introduced me to the teachings of Theodore Roosevelt with applications to being in the world of fitness and physical accomplishment. I will forever be grateful for Dr. Jack as he raised the bar for me. I have blogged about sitting in front of the TV watching Ironman when I was a teenager. The next piece was sitting in a class that Dr. Jack was teaching and listening a guest speaker talk about her experience in doing a triathlon. After a weekend of being challenged to rise above conventional wisdom and choose greatness from Dr. Jack, I knew there was no turning back from the Ironman journey.
While not everyone in my circles has understood how and why I train the way I do, I have had many an opportunity to examine what is right for me. I have been challenged to "dare greatly" in this sport by my coach, friends, team mates, those I coach and those that went before me. When stepping out to do that, the one thing that can be assured of is the risk and most certainly the stumble. I have made mistakes along the way. They were only mistakes when I chose to not glean a lesson the first time and had to do it that way again. I have stumbled and have been "marred with dust, sweat and blood". Yet every stumble, every scrape and every break as proven to provide me with a metaphor for sport and life. When a bone breaks and then repairs, the place where the break once was is now stronger than ever. I remember that my soul is like a bone, the times that I feel broken are also the times that I am being forged to be even stronger in life and in sport. It is my belief that those of us that chose to put it all out there risk much and gain even more.
So I am on the road to recovery from my epic flight over handle bars. After Las Vegas I was to take two whole weeks non weight bearing on my shoulder. The good news is that there has been obvious physical healing. The uncertainty is that now the structure of the shoulder is much different and the remaining anatomy is getting to learn to operate in a new way. This is painful. I am reminded of when my children had growing pains. Those pains were very real as are those in my shoulder.
I get to let go of where I was in July. I get to let go of old times and standards. My path just took a new turn. I will get to retrain my shoulder. The learning curve will be what it is and will not be rushed. That is how the sport is for me. There are no shortcuts and only processes that demand complete awareness and consciousness. There is not magic but there are miracles.
So for now... back to some baby steps and growing pains and lots of fun on the way to victory and defeat! Thank you Dr. Jack for making me Dare Greatly!