"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."
Old timers knew what was up. If you never lost, you never came up short, you'd never know how great it feels to win. But winning doesn't come from a score board, it comes from the moment in which you know there was nothing more to give, you put it all on the line, you prepared beyond as hard and smart as you thought you could, fought w/ everything you have, and you can live w/ the outcome.
I have two moments I remember very well. One I can live w/ forever and one I have to live w/ forever. I prepared myself w/ a gruesome work ethic, I gave it everything I had, I made my own outcome and I came out on top. The other I failed, but not b/c I lost. I sub-parred my preparation, I overlooked an opponent, I was still in another match trying to wrestle the current one, I foolishly lost a match to a lesser opponent. I've never been so disappointed or embarrassed of myself in my life.
Train Hard, Train Smart, Train Right.
Athletes are not born, you make your own path in this world. And no one is going to give it to you. There's one way to have it, and that's to take it.