Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Race....!!

The 13th annual Larnaca race called to the barefootclan kids. We only heard about it a few days ago, and training was only for 3 days, but they were keen, keen, keen, so we went.

The first race was the 6-9 year olds, so Sam & Cara were in this together. Sean ran with Sam. 1400m up Larnaca sea front and back. Cara was over the finish line with some of the first ones.
This is Cara finishing.

Sam at the finish line.

Then Ronan's race, the 10-12 year olds. By this time it was getting pretty hot - I was only watching, but still sought the shade. Ronan said he did feel like giving
up at one point, but he kept on and finished with the middle bunch, red faced
and puffing! Maybe the poem "The Race" helped - I read it to them on the drive in this morning, when excitement and anticipation was running high. Here it is:

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
Medals and certificates were gratefully received. Oh, and ice cream!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot

Today we were going to walk around the Salt Lake, which is completely dried up at the moment, but we wanted to crunch salt with our feet. However, it was just too hot - I think we've slipped back into
summer - it was 31 Deg C in the shade at 9.30am as we set off. We investigated the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque, revelling in the experience of walking barefoot on carpet again - haven't felt that for a year now! By this time it was 10.45, and getting hotter, so the Salt Lake walk was abandoned in favour of the beach.

It was hot there too as there was little breeze - not like the day this photo was taken!

After a couple of hours we just had to head off for
ice cream.

We've been in Cyprus for one year now, and it
definately wasn't this hot when we arrived this time last year. Weird.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Elvish Impressions

I love the Lord of the Rings books (& the movies), there's just something about that whole fantasy thing of elves and wizards and doing what's right for the good of all! Ronan (11) loved the books too.

Imagine our surprise to find Elrond of Rivendell emerging from our shower one night! (giggle).
Ears need a little trimming, but we're nearly there!

"The man who can wield the power of this sword can summon to him an army more deadly than any that walks this earth. Put aside the ranger. Become who you were born to be." Elrond of Rivendell.

Our version: "The person who can control their thoughts and direct their attention to what they truly want - for the good of all - can summon all the good in the world to them. Put aside the fearful act of compliance. Follow your heart and become who you were born to be." The Barefoot Clan :-D