ahhhh…the time has come. the week has passed and i’ve set my resolutions. and, they’re big. and i’m nervous. because once i post them, i’m totally committed. i mean, it’s public. very public. and it’s one thing to write them on my printable download and hang them in my house for me to see….and another thing to post them here, for you to see. and so. here we are. and i decided to commit, because what do i have to lose? if i fail, at least i fail while daring greatly. one of my all-time favorite quotes comes from teddy roosevelt, the man in the arena:
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.
“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
i want my life to speak to daring greatly. as i told you earlier this year, i’m not naturally bent to daring greatly or living spontaneous and silly. but i want to. i desire to live in a way that teaches my kids to dream big dreams. to set goals outside their comfort zone and steadfastly pursue them. the word steadfast itself means to be resolute. firm and unwavering. i want to teach them excellence by example. and by hard work. how else can they learn it? excellence in every single area of life requires a steadfastness of spirit, body, mind, and heart. i want to be able to look back and say that if i fail, at least i actually had some skin in the game. to stand on the sidelines and criticize is cheap. it is easy. and in this life we see easy in every direction we look. we see people around us every day taking shots at those who step out into the arena. who throw their hat in the ring and take the risk to stand apart from the crowd. to fight for something they believe in. to swim against the powerful current of this modern social world. to risk failing for the sweet reward of personal accomplishment or fundamental principle. let’s choose hard. let’s choose those dreams that require us to work. steadfastly. that force us to grow and expand beyond our present capabilities. let us look back next year and be amazed how far we’ve come.
and then this…i love this…
i mean really. isn’t that true? so often we set goals that we already know we can accomplish. that are within our grasp. this year i’m striving to set goals beyond my ability. way beyond my comfort level. ones i’m actually afraid to commit to because they give me butterflies in my stomach. i’m fully aware that i might fail. in all three categories! in fact, the odds are completely against me. but i’m going down with a fight. and even if i fail, i will gain so much in the process that it could never be deemed a failure, except by one of those critics, who could never know victory or defeat themselves. those who choose to stand on the sideline and critique those of us who dare to dream. who dare to push the boundary of who we are, and venture into the territory of who we can become. they are entirely different realms. and so, i choose the arena. so without further ado…or procrastination and weaseling from me… (drumroll please)…..
see, i told you. pretty intense. i mean, the boston marathon qualifier has been on my wish list for over ten years. TEN years! i’ve never written it down, fully committed to training for it, but still. it has eluded me. and it literally scares the pants off me to commit to it personally, let alone publicly!! but i trust you to help me get there. and if you’re interested in joining beth moore’s scripture memory team with me, check it out here! i think it’s going to be great.
okay. your turn. what do you choose? sideline or arena? i do so hope you’ll join me in the arena, daring greatly. and if you so choose, you can commit publicly to those resolutions right here. i promise to cheer you on and i hope you promise to do the same for me. resolve to be steadfast this year in the pursuit of greatness. in the pursuit of daring greatly. if there is anything i learned in my journey to ironman last year, it is that anything is possible. from a girl who was on the dance line through high school and never played a competitive sport, i swam 2.5 miles, biked 112, and finished a 26.2 mile marathon. in one day. in 13.5 hours. if i can do that…YOU can do ANYTHING.
let’s go. to the arena!