in the arena

I’ve struggled the last eight days, feeling shame that I wasn’t ready to leave when I thought I should be. Feeling frustrated I’m not out There already. Feeling guilty that I haven’t written all of the thank you cards I wanted to mail. Feeling disappointed that I didn’t catch my engine issues sooner and resolve them.

But the truth is, I am already in the arena, and I have been ever since I untied my lines in San Francisco 22 months ago. With those feelings of frustration, shame, guilt, and disappointment, I step out of the arena and become my own critic.

I see clearly tonight, though. I may fall short sometimes, but I am the woman “striving valiantly,” and “daring greatly”. I am in the arena.


(Feel free to sub in “woman” throughout.)

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

Thank you, Margie. ❤️