“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.”
-Theodore Roosevelt, Paris 1912
In my opinion, this quote refers to the fact that it is better to be out there, trying, failing, doing, than to go do something that takes no great risk. It is better to be tried and at least see what you’re made of, to be in the arena. In the “areana” means that you are relavant or at least competing, you are not on the sidelines. I know that I’m competing, I’m just not in the top tier of areans yet. I may not with the big guys, but I think I’m on a path that with enough endurance and grit I may eventually be on that level, or so I hope.