Dust and Sweat and Blood

Last night I went to the club's AGM (there's only one View - Bedfordview) and Peter van Kets gave a talk on his recent 888km race to the South Pole. I was lucky enough to sit next to Pete at the dinner and get a better insight into his expeditions. He is a true scholar and a gentleman, with some exceptional stories on his CV. And, very importantly, he reads great books. We exchanged our recent literary exploits and at one stage commented on how this was just like book club.

Below is a brief snippet of Pete at South Africa's FEAT (Fascinating Expeditions and Adventure Talks) in February 2011. Since then he has done a triathlon around the borders of South Africa and completed his South Pole race in early 2012. An action packed year.

And here is Pete's Theodore Roosevelt quote from Teddy's "Citizenship In A Republic" speech (full text here) delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910:

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.

Mar your face with dust and sweat and blood,