The wrestler was once more solid than a bull.
He loved to flex enormous, oiled forearms
Before he delightedly vanquished foes.
But now, brittle skin is taught over bone,
And his wheeze is a ghost of his manly bellow.
At any point in life, it is prudent to contemplate the nature of prowess. If you have it, glory in it, and use it wisely and compassionately. But you should not think that it is you yourself who are doing these things. You are borrowing this strength. It isn’t yours. It is a gift, something here for you for as long as you are lucky to have it. Once it passes, you will not have the victories, and you will be stuck with the same body and mind. When you have been humbled, what is gone? You are still here, here to feel the pain of not being able to do what you were once able to do — unless you learn how to exercise your prowess without identifying with it.
Those who fail to learn this become bitter old people. They curse life. They lose faith. That is because they placed all their self-worth in their abilities and not in who they were. That is why it is good to meditate, and to accumulate not victories but the experience of those victories. Savor them. No one can ever take that away from you.
It is the experiences that come out of prowess, not prowess itself, that are valuable.