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A Runner’s Plea (when the demons come calling)

A Runner’s Plea (when the demons come calling) ***

Please remember, don’t forget,
That when this runner’s face is wet
With tears, mid-race, of fear (or worse),
The help I need is in this verse …

‘Poor ickle you, you’ve done your best,
Go home and sleep, you just need rest,’
Or ‘Never mind, another day –
I think you’re awesome anyway,’

Though heartfelt, lovely, sweet and kind,
(my health and safety clear in mind),
When DNF is in my head
I beg you try these words instead …

Try ‘Don’t you bloody dare to quit!’
Or ‘Princess, just get on with it,
And stop your whining, take a breath,
You knew by now you’d feel like death,

So get a grip, get butt in gear,
Push through; the wall will disappear.
Play numbers games or sing, or chant,
Just MOVE – and clear your mind of CAN’T!’

Might go against the grain to be
So cold and heartless, seemingly,
But trust and please respect my fight,
My tantrums, rants, my woes, my plight.

Your voice of sympathy will be
received anon most gratefully,
And every word of praise I’ll take,
And hugs (and lemon drizzle cake)!

But while I’m racing, please play deaf
to pleas for leave to DNF,
My sobbing, wailing words of woe
Are inner voices screaming NO –

but not for long. This battle’s mine
to win; I’ll cross that finish line
and one day, when you’re racing too,
I’ll try and do the same for you.


*** Notes: A few year ago, in the middle of my second ultra I had a major meltdown halfway through. I had an internet link. I facebooked my plight (as you do these days). Within half an hour my timeline was filled with lovely comments, sympathising, listening to my tears and assuring me I’d done so well, that I just needed sleep, that as long as I’d done my best …… etc. etc. All beautiful. But in the midst of reading them I got a text from my daughter with a slightly different tone: ‘Mother! No crying in the f***ing gym! Stop feel sorry for yourself and keep moving. I’m waiting at the finish line (freezing) so hurry up!’ These were the words that got me to the finish – not the ‘beautiful’ ones that gave me permission to quit. Last weekend meltdown time came again in the middle of the High Peaks 40. No internet available. There was, however, a text message from my daughter – perfectly timed (see High Peaks 40 post). Thank goodness for signal ‘holes’. The last thing I needed was more well-meant permission to DNF. Hence the story behind the above poem 🙂

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