The Athlete in Competition

It is not the hater who counts, not the loudmouth who points out how the athlete stumbles or where the doer of action could have performed better.

No, the credit belongs to the athlete in competition, whose face is covered by dust and sweat and blood,

Who strives valiantly, who falls short and tries again and again until victory is secured, because success tastes best when washing out the residue of defeat;

Who lives in the habit of great enthusiasm, devoted to constant improvement and the relentless pursuit of greatness.

Who, at best, knows that in the end, the triumph of reaching one’s full potential is the definition of success, regardless of the outcome, and that defeat is only a temporary setback while daring greatly for the cause of victory, so that the athlete's place shall never be with those ignorant and gutless haters who knew neither victory nor defeat.

This is my rendition of the incredible speech given by Theodore Roosevelt, originally called “ an in the Arena”. His speech is called Man in the Arena, and it inspired the poem you just heard, called Athlete in Competition. Let it be a call to greatness for you, reminding you that haters will never stop talking, so give them something to talk about while you experience life in the extremes, knowing the thrilling excitement of victory and the devastating blow of defeat.

Lead on, Athlete.