Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Endurance







The Race

"Quit, give up, you're beaten!"
They shout at me and plead.
"There's just too much against you now.
This time you can't succeed."

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure's face,
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene,
For just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being.

A child's race, young boys, young men
How I remember well,
Excitement sure! But also fear.
It wasn't hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win the race,
Or tie for 1st or if not that
At least take 2nd place.

And fathers watched from off the sides
Each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his Dad
That he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win to be the hero there
Was each young boys desire.

And one boy in particular
Whose Dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought,
"My Dad will be so proud!"

But as he speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself
His hands flew out to brace
And mid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face.

So down he fell and with him hope
He couldn't win it now...
Embarrassed, sad he only wished
To disappear somehow.

But as he fell his Dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said:
"Get up and win the race!"

He quickly rose, no damage done,
Behind a bit, that's all
And ran with all his mind and might
To make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself
To catch up and to win.
His mind went faster than his legs
He slipped and fell again.

He wished that he had quit before
With only one disgrace,
"I'm hopeless as a runner now.
I shouldn't try to race."

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his Father's face,
That steady look that said again,
"Get up and win the race!"

So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last,
"If I'm going to gain those yards," he thought
"I've got to move real fast!"

Exerting everything he had
He regained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again!

Defeat! He lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye.
"There's no sense running anymore
Three strikes; I'm out; why try!"

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away;
So far behind, so error-prone:
A loser all the way.

"I've lost so what's the use?" He thought
"I'll live with my disgrace."
But then he thought about his Dad
Who soon he'd have to face.

"Get up" an echo sounded low
"Get up and take your place,
You were not meant for failure here,
Get up and win the race!"

"With borrowed will, Get up" It said,
"You haven't lost at all,
For winning is no more than this
To rise each time you fall."

So up he rose to run once more
And with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose
At least he wouldn't quit.

So far behind the others now
The most he'd ever been,
Still he gave it all he had
And ran as though to win.

Three times he'd fallen stumbling
Three times he rose again,
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line 1st place,
Head high, and proud and happy
No falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race.

And even though he came in last
With head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he'd won the race
To listen to the crowd.

And to his Dad he sadly said,
"I didn't do so well,"
"To me you won!" his Father said
"You rose each time you fell."

And now when things seem dark and hard
And difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy
Helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race
With ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win
Is rise each time you fall.

"Quit, Give up, You're beaten."
They still shout in my face,
But another voice within me says,
"Get up and win the race."

by Dee Groberg

Photobucket

10 comments:

Christie Cottage said...

What a wonderful poem! Thanks fo sharing!



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http://christiecottage.blogspot.com/2011/04/win-it-wednesday-new-giveaway-and.html

Susan Oloier said...

I found you through the A to Z Challenge, and I am so grateful!!! My youngest son has Trisomy 18, so he has significant global delays. It is so nice to connect with others who know the journey of having a family member with differences.
I'm your latest follower and will be back FOR SURE!!!

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

The pic cracked me up. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Powerful Woman Writer Award.
Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
~Deirdra

Michele Chastain said...

Great post, Karen! :) When I first began reading the poem, it reminded me of the Casting Crown's song "The Voice of Truth"
I'm sending the lyrics to your inbox to share them with you in case you don't know that song. :)

Sue said...

Great motivational poem. I'm feelin' it!

=)

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, what a wonderful poem! It's so true... if we can keep that in mind, eventually we win, because the real opponent is giving up.

Alison Miller said...

What a great poem - I think I've heard that one before - or something like it! Love it!

Patty Ann said...

I remember this poem. I have loved it in the past and am pleased to be re-acquainted with it. Thank you for sharing.

Theres just life said...

What a great poem. I found you through the A to Z challenge and I am glad I did. Thank you for posting this. I need to make a copy of the poem and post it at my desk to remind myself to get up and keep trying. No matter how many times life knocks me down.

Pamela Jo
http://theresjustlifeyaliveit.blogspot.com

Candace said...

Great poem! I had never heard it before.