Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Man in the Arena

This must be the most inspiring quote ever written, so for no particular reason I just wanted to post it.

"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."

"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Roosevelt's speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Talent, dedication, the tortoise and the hare

The lesson of "slow and steady wins the race" is very common in martial arts. Any instructor/coach/long serving student have all seen naturally talented students begin training, pick things up lightening fast, have all the right attributes and experience a little success. These are the "hares"

On the other hand you have the guys that have to work for everything, a lot of work for little return initially but stick at it. These are the "tortoises".

The hares set off at a great pace whilst, in the meantime, the tortoises are just plodding away.

BUT these "hares" don't seem to have the long term dedication to see it through, they get to a certain point very quickly then quit. Some often return years later to find that there natural talent is not what it was and requires a little work then they quit again.

Hares can be a source of frustration to the tortoises, the tortoises are the ones who keep training yet sometimes are still "losing". This is quite short sighted as the result of a sparring match is fairly irrelevant in the scheme of things. Especially if the tortoise is of smaller build and outweighed by the hare to the point that attributes win the day.

The key is endurance, I don't just mean being able to train for a couple of hours, that's nothing. The real endurance is to keep training day after day after month after year.

My Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach, Chris Haueter always says "it's not who's best it's who's left"

Keep plodding away, the finishing line is not that far away.