Dee Groberg


                  "Quit!  Give up, you're beaten!"

                  They shout out 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 children's race, young boys, young men;

                  Now 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 that race;

                  Or tie for first, or if not that,

                  At least take second  place.


                  And fathers watched from off the side,

                  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 of fire.

                  To win, to be the hero there,

                  Was each young boy's desire.


                  And one boy in particular,

                  His Dad was in the crowd,

                  Was running near the lead and thought,

                  "My Dad will be so proud."


                  But as he sped on 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 that 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, he jumped up to try again,

                  Ten yards behind the last,

                  "If I'm to gain those yards," he thought,

                  "I've got to run real fast."



                  Exceeding 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 has disappeared,

                  All hope had fled away.

                  So far behind, so error prone,

                  Closer 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's not much more than this--

                  To rise each time you fall."


                  So up he rose to win 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'd rose again.

                  Too far behind to hope to win,

                  He still ran to the end.




                  They cheered the winning runner

                  As he crossed, first 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 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."