American President Theodore Roosevelt

I am currently reading a book by John C. Maxwell called The 4 Pillars of Leadership. In this book it makes reference to one of Theodore Roosevelt’s most famous qoutes which uses a boxing analogy:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, 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; who knows the great enthusiams, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

After losing to Lotte Eriksen in Cardiff by just two points, and losing to Victoria in Edinburgh, one of the things that became apparent to me is that there does not seem to be a lot that separated us as players – yet someone  has to be the victor at the end of the day. Who? and Why?

There are the obvious answers to those questions: it is probably the one who wants it the most; is more consistent on the day; makes less errors; wins the last point…and so on. All these, i seem to know now, but knowing does not seem to be enough. One thing people have been happy to tell me over the last few years is that I am a good loser. It does make me happy that people are encouraged by my conduct, and my lack of tantrums and display of racket throwing abilities. But last week it got me thinking whether or not  I was getting too used to losing!?

I visited the New Frontiers Church in Edinburgh, King’s Church, the sunday morning before my plate final against Carrie Hastings. There, they read from Romans 5, verse 2-5: “And we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God. Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverence; perseverence character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Well…what do you make of that?!

I guess then, we’ve gotta keep playing, get stuck in the game, and continue to be eager to learn.  I have also heard that patience cannot be learned overnight…


One Response to “American President Theodore Roosevelt”

  1. Hey!!

    Some wise thoughts in this blog. Losing a match, whether in life on the squash courts, is never easy. But I think you have a point when you say there is something to learn from it – whether patience, perserverance or improved technique. And hey, being a “good loser” means you have some character. It takes humility and self confidence to not get angry, through tantrums and get into all manner of twists when losing a game. I’m proud of you.

    May God continue to talk to you as you continue to play for His glory – both on and off the courts!!!

    Lots of love.

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