The Strenuous Life


I’m going to step outside of my typical posting style and share something about one of my heroes:

Did you know that on October 14th, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin?  Instead of going to the hospital, T.R. went to the podium to give his speech.  He was running for a third term as a candidate in the Bull Moose party (a party he himself started when he could not win the Republican nomination).We could all learn a little something from Theodore Roosevelt.  As blood soaked through his white vest, he pulled his speech notes from his pocket and held them up to the crowd.  A hole had been ripped through the pages by the bullet meant for his heart.  The manuscript likely saved his life.
He waved the torn paper above his head and shouted, “It takes a lot more than that to kill a Bull Moose!”

That day he delivered an hour long speech – with a bullet lodged in his chest.
I wouldn’t call this behavior normal, but I can’t help but be impressed.

Teddy was a man who knew how to live.
I find his accomplishments inspiring.
I won’t list them because the list would be extensive, and you might not believe me.
He aspired to live what he called, ‘The Strenuous Life’.  Every day with vigor, integrity, and fearless conviction.

Theodore Roosevelt’s life serves as a great reminder that without struggle, without stepping from one’s comfort zone, without a code – a moral framework to guide our decisions, without failures – we are weak.

A reminder that what we do with our time on earth is entirely up to us.

The Man in the Arena

April 23, 1910 – Sorbonne, Paris
The famous quote from the speech
“Citizenship in a Republic”

“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.”


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