“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, yong 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 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 afire.
To win and be the hero there
was each young boy’s desire.

And one boy in particular,

whose Dad was in the crowd,

was running in the lead and thought,

“My Dad will be so proud”.



But as they 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 tell 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

that 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 hiss 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 going to gain those yards”, he thought,

“I’ve got to run 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.

And 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 not 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 otheres, 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 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 hem the greater cheer,
for finishing the race.

And even though he came in last 

with head bowed low, un-proud,

you would have thought he’d won the race.

To listen to that 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 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





-Dr. D. H. Groberg

Renowned facilitator of 

the Covery Leadership Centre.

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