Barb and Mark in Playa del Carmen.

If I had to sum up my philosophy of life in one word, it would be: persevere. I believe that any of life’s challenges can be met if you put your head down and just keep on keepin’ on.

I chose the name of this blog based on that philosophy. But “persevere” was already taken. As was “strive.” As were a dozen similar alternatives. “In the Deed,” however, was not.

And selecting this name results in a perfect mash-up of my life’s philosophy and one of my other passions: Nebraska football.

Inscribed into the four corners of the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium is a poem that could serve as the long version of my life’s philosophy. The poem was written by Hartley Burr Alexander, a UNL philosophy professor. The inscription goes:

“In Commemoration of the men of Nebraska                                                        who served and fell in the Nation’s Wars.

“Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game;                                       In the deed the glory.

“Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor;                                                                               In these are the true awards of manly sport.

“Their Lives they held their country’s trust;                                                                    They kept its faith; They died its heroes.”

My greatest joy doesn’t come from the victory, but rather the action: Training for marathons and trail races. Finding the right angle for a photo. Composing and recomposing a painting. Exploring the flavors for a cheesecake or a cupcake. Finding New Orleans’ best bar (as if there was just one).

I’ll never run a marathon like Ryan Hall nor paint like Thomas Hart Benton.

But I’ve yet to run my best race. Or shoot my best photo. I will strive to improve. I will persevere. And I will continue to revel in the effort. Because I know, In the deed lies the glory.

— Mark Smidt

A little background

Although my wife and I have lived in several states over the years, we are native Midwesterners. We’ve lived in Montana, Oregon and Nebraska, but we keep finding our way back to Iowa. We call Keokuk, Iowa, home — as we have since 2001, with one year off for good behavior.

9 Responses to “About”

  1. gallivance.net at 6:18 am #

    Hi Mark, Yours is a powerful and inspiring philosophy, and I can’t wait to read more. Keep on keepin’ on. All the best, Terri


    • msmidt at 7:16 am #

      Thanks so much, Terri. However, I feel like a scaredy cat and a slacker after reading your blog. 🙂 I love the way you have chosen to live your life. I can’t wait to see more of your adventures.


  2. runnershealth at 8:50 am #

    This is very inspirational, Mark, and so applicable to running!


    • msmidt at 9:03 am #

      Thanks so much for the comment. I am struggling with a recurring, nagging injury again, so it’s good to be reminded that I just need to keep making slow, steady progress. 🙂


  3. Katherine O. Cooper at 9:28 am #

    Thanks for stoppoing by my blog – I think it was by way of Jim Brennan. I am one of his non-running followers. I follow him for his wisdom and wit. I am noticing that you and I share the same weather report. I love saying Keokuk. And Maquoketa (sp?) – love it out here. Hope you are well. take care, Kate


    • Mark Smidt at 9:49 am #

      I enjoy Jim’s blog and his attitude; great guy I’d like to meet one day

      The Quad Cities are a fun place, Kate. Our daughter lived there a couple years ago before moving to Des Moines. And we just moved our son to Des Moines, too, so I know what you are referring to in your latest blog post. 🙂


  4. Jason at 7:32 am #

    Great blog – I’m glad I found it!


  5. Ray Laskowitz at 7:48 pm #

    Thank you for stopping by Storyteller. — Ray


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