Training Manual for Life’s Hurdles
Written by Julie Boden
Choric voices (The Crowd): Ten hurdles spaced along life’s running track,
from starting block to tape; no turning back.
As boys and girls, we sprint to start the race
then ease to feel the rhythm, find our pace,
push down one foot to jump, to fly, to fall,
to find our own technique that clears them all.
We have to train ourselves to jump, you see
for no-one lives a life that’s hurdle free.
Voice 1: Guess my advice is, ‘Don’t dwell on the bad
but focus on the good times to be had’.
Voice 2: And mine is, ‘Seize the moment! Look ahead…
don’t sleep too much… save that for when you’re dead’.
Voice 3: Free up your mind and live from day to day.
Look at these hurdles in a Zen like way.
Voice 4: Why celebrate ten hurdles on a wall?
Why make a show of what makes humans fall?
Voice 5: Let’s celebrate the ways we’ve overcome
the slings and arrows. Look, we’ve carried on
despite the grief we’ve had to wrestle through
with death, divorce and loss … the boredom too…
Voice 1: Let’s look at ways we’ve raced the arrow’s flight.
Voice 2: And how we’ve chased back spectres of the night.
Voice 3: If there’s to be a show, let’s show the way
we sing old songs and find new games to play,
find faith in prayer and hope in holiday,
as breath creeps out and day creeps in on day.
Voice 6: For some of us, it’s keeping busy’s key.
I’ve always found hard work has worked for me.
Voice 7: For me, it’s friends; their smiles, their hands to hold.
The hearth of hearts that warms as days grow cold.
Voice 8: And family of course; the ones you love,
whose hearts fit heart as close as hand to glove.
Voice 9: I hurdle best when wearing snazzy clothes,
with lippy on and powder on my nose.
Voice 10: There’s nothing like a good meal in your tum
to lift you from the doldrums when you’re glum.
Voice 11: A good old laugh has always seen me through.
Voice 12: I’m not too old to flirt at eighty two!
Voice 13: What can we tell you dear?
Voice 14: What do we know?
Voice 13: Just raise yourself and run… just raise that toe!
(I’d rather raise a glass though, truth be said,
when leaping all those hurdles in my head).
Voice 3: If you can look beyond the troubled path,
Voice 7: If you can meet with friends and make them laugh,
Voice 15: If you can sing a song to help them through,
Chorus (Crowd): You’ll find it helps you jump these hurdles too.
Chorus (Crowd): It’s not the things you say, it’s what you do:
If you hurt others, you’ll be hurting too.
Find your own path, then practice, find your pace
and you’ll find your own way to win the race.
Resenting other runners when they gain
will only bring unhappiness and pain.
Don’t give yourself the cramps or get the stitch
by envying the ones you think grow rich.
Voice 13: Don’t only run to try to beat the rest
but focus on your own lane, do your best.
Voice 2: The things that I regret when looking back
are hurdles never tried along the track.
Voice 12: I don’t regret the parties I have missed.
But I regret the True Love never kissed.
Voice 10: Parties?! I could eat a bowl of jelly!
…helps to feed that hunger in my belly.
Voice 6: It’s not the things I did that I regret
but things I did not do, the goals not met.
Voice 7: Put others first but care for yourself too,
if you are ill how can you help them through?
Voice 8: Though back-to-backs and old tin baths were tough,
for people these days … nothing seems enough
Voice 1: When you grow up, you step up to the plate;
the blame of parents has a sell by date.
Voice 3: Dog spells God when read out in reverse,
both were my best friends in this universe.
Voice 9: Eat, drink, be merry! Taste variety
– life is a one time only shopping spree
Voice 14: If you do only what you want to do
the world will tire of giving in to you.
Voice 4: Fame is a wave that falls back to the sea
surfed by the fool of false celebrity.
Voice 7: The way to beat those hurdles in your path
is knowing how to love and how to laugh.
Voice 15: If in this life you’d like to reach your goal
then, ‘Focus on the doughnut, not the hole!’
Voice 11: A simple life of duty, loyalty,
feathers the pillow of tranquillity.
Voice 5: Alone – at one with Nature. That’s my wish!
To be upon a riverbank… to fish
Chorus (Crowd): What can we say? How can our words help you
Voices to find new strategies to help you through?
Don’t be afraid. Fear is a living grave.
Be bold. Learn from your own mistakes. Be brave.
Though you may not have had an easy start,
try to stay open … listen to your heart.
Find your own path. Don’t follow others through
but cut the unmown grass; have faith; be true.