Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life

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The obstacles and challenges that life presents can strengthen the will or defeat the spirit. There are many great individuals in this world whom have crumbled under the weight of their genius but there are also a large number of great individuals whom excelled under the pressure of their success. Theodore Roosevelt was one of those individuals who rolled with life’s punches and asked for a second helping. Most of us know Theodore Roosevelt as “Teddy”, a tough native New Yorker who spoke of the West African proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, but not many of us know that Theodore was plagued with severe sicknesses as a young child. Theodore faced many challenges throughout his life but continued to strive forward through the storm …show more content…
Even though Theodore was a sickly child, he had an immense hunger for knowledge and was very outgoing. Though his mind excelled beyond his years, Theodore’s body was still fragile and frail. At the age of 12, Theodore Sr. presented his son with a challenge by stating these words “You have the mind but not the body and without the help of the body the mind can not go as far as it should.” Theodore looked at his father with a grin and began his journey into the philosophy of “A Strenuous Life.” Starting from the age of 12, Theodore exercised regularly and took up boxing, Judo, hiking, and several other challenging activities. Theodore also gave a speech titled “The Strenuous Life”, giving in Chicago on April 10, 1899. Here are the opening remarks of his speech and I believe it sums up all the ideals of his philosophy. “I wish to preach, but not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife, to preach that highness form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.” Theodore became the incarnation of these words by not letting his asthma or bad heart impede his progression but instead lived a very active

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