I saw this posted on my friend Conrad's facebook page today, after he had to pull out of the SVP100 race. It's a passage referred to as "The Man in the Arena" from the "Citizen in a Republic" speech by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 (according to Wiki).
I just love it!
"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."
Apparently this passage is really famous, and I can't believe I've never come across it before, but it really struck a cord. It could have been written for ultra-runners! Obviously though, it wasn't, and if you're interested in the whole speech, it's here: http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/images/research/speeches/maninthearena.pdf