Daily Archives: February 15, 2016

The Song of Smiley Elder

OK Readers, apologies if you are not a local, this post is a shameless play for preferential treatment arising from the Smiletastic Challenge, so probably somewhat opaque for all but that sub-group of Smiley Paces running club members who are taking part in the Smiletastic challenge.  Normal service will be resumed later, possibly.  Depends on how events unfold…  Let’s just say the competition is hotting up, and sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes.  It surely can’t be any co-incidence that a bit of shameless sycophancy on the part of Clucky Ducks was rewarded with them knocking we Fighting Feathers off the top perch for the first time since Smiletastic Records began.  I’m all for giving youngsters a chance but really, play fair!

Look is this heart really superior to mine?  Some would say its undoubtedly phallic properties make the message at the very least ambiguous.  I Heart Smiley Elder Super Geek.  Hmm, tenuous.   Just compare and contrast the Clucky Duck so-called ‘heart felt homage’ versus sincere non cynical Fighting Feather homage done by a member of the group picked at random like say ME.  I believe I can rest my case:

Coincidence?  I think not.  Fortunately, we are not ones to be bitter, we can beat them at their own game, hence I give you this homage to Smiley Elder Super Geek, as an act of completely spontaneous appreciation by the Fighting Feathers.  Enjoy….

The Song of Smiley Elder

By the sloping Porter Valley
By the Shining Derwent Water
At the turning of the year
In the freezing winter evening
Elder Smiley stood and waited.
All the air was full of snow flakes
All the earth was frozen solid
And before her, nought but darkness
Elder Smiley feared for runners.

Through the dark and dismal winter
How would Smilies dare to run?
Who could steer them oh so wisely
Who would save them from themselves?
Duvet days and sweetened cocoa?
That is not the Smiley way.
My nesh chickens, I must lead them
Lead them to a better path
I shall set some testing challenge
I shall see them running free’

From the brow of Smiley Elder
Gone was every trace of sorrow,
As the fog from off the water,
As the mist from off the meadow.
With a smile of joy and triumph,
With a look of exultation,
As of one who in a vision
Sees what is to come, and what joy,
See our Smiley Elder beaming,
Marvel at she so worldly wise.

Smiley Elder had a spread sheet
Smiley Elder made a plan:
Run-ners I give you Smiletastic
And I promise it is fun!
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
All you do is run and run.
Set a target, seek to meet it
Join a team and help them out
I will split you, mould you, guide you
I will judge you, find you out’

So the noble Smiley Elder
Wielded judgement fair to all:
There shall be but five teams only
Feathered fowls to mark you out
Tom toms to track you up the river
Stra-va to record your GPS
Choose your own goals oh so wisely
Shun not your runs or your team fails
Bonus points will help inspire you
Venture out in freezing fog,
Early start or late departure?
Bag a point and feel quite smug.
Timed runs too will be rewarded
Parkrun tourists will fare best
Smiley Pacers just embrace it
Smiletastic rules will do the rest!

Then the joyous Smiley Elder
Cried aloud and spake in this wise:
First the Old Birds will be gathered
Ancient wisdom is their way;
There is no route they have not travelled
No running trick to them unknown
They will be a strong contender
Watch in awe and see them grow!

old birds

Fighting Feathers shall flock next,
For them communication’s key
Flying out in all directions
Nabbing bonus points through strategy
Oh so strong, but not all-powerful
They will keep others on their toes
The winning team? It could be so.

fighting feathers

Squawky Chicks are next in line
A flock large in size but all a-scatter?
First impressions can deceive.
Amid the squawking, plenty plotting
Steel is forged through fire you know
This test is a marathon not a sprint
Those who win may start out slow!

squawky chickes

Rowdy Roosters rally slowly
Perched in comfort on their boughs
Perhaps they do not need Smiletastic
For it seems they pay no heed
They will do running, now and then
But on their own terms – not for chicken feed*

Rowdy Roosters

Last and least are Clucky Ducklings
Noisy upstarts with much to prove.
We should indulge them for they are youthful
But alas, also less than truthful
They may rise to victory but at what cost?
To win is nothing if honour’s lost

Clucky Ducks

So my teams I send you outwards
Out on the streets and trails round here
Take on the mountains, roads and moorlands
Enjoy winter running without fear.

So we Smilies scattered outwards
Taking on the many trails
Pounding roads with bright head-torches
Each run pledge honoured with heart and soul
Through the bitter weeks of Jan
Smiletastic runners how we ran!
All the teams were quite committed
Gathering points were they can.

Elder Smiley watched and waited.
How her protégés performed!
True it was their efforts pleased her
Yet what more might they still give?
Elder Smiley took to thinking
Elder Smiley made a plan.
She gathered close her Smiley Runners
Spake out words yet unfamiliar
Told the purport of her mission
Smiley Elder uttered thus:
Smilies I have awesome news
This Feb. there will be no winter blues
New joyful challenges await you
How much fun you all will have!’

First you must all greet the monkey –
The fire monkey for Chinese new year
Race down hill with gay abandon
Make it known he’s welcome here

year-monkey

Next you mark our Valentine
Give me a heart for all to see
Trace your art with care on Strava
See how creative you can be

Finally, I require a royal flush
Successive miles of ever faster speed
Sacrifice but one team member
For this team task, ‘tis all I need.

By the sloping Porter Valley
By the Shining Derwent Water
At the turning of the year
In the freezing winter evenings
Now we birds were all a-feared?
What new challenges were these
Smiletastic now is not such a breeze

Bravely still we ran onwards
Hearts were drawn
And monkeys run
Now we start to see some fallen
Shin splints all too easily done

At halfway through morale is sagging
Teams a-squabble, feathers fly
Some stomp off to ski and ponder
Others stay and wonder why?
Worry not brave Fighting Feathers
Clucky Ducks or Squawky Chicks
Elder Smiley has us running, running wild
Be you Old Birds or Rowdy Roosters
We can do this, one and all!

We must trust our Elder Smiley
We must honour her resolve
We should worship one so clever
One so generous, fair, and bold.
February challenges will soon be over
March will bring new ones for sure
We must trust our inner runner
We must regroup and try once more

Fellow Smilies please come gather
Listen to her words of wisdom
Listen to the Truth she tells
For this Elder Smiley sends us
On the roads and over fells
So as the days get ever longer
As the cold is soon forgot
Let us honour Elder Smiley
For helping us to go out running
When, quite frankly, we would rather not

We can run onwards all together
One for all and all for one
We should remember if we can
Smiletastic is but just ‘a bit of fun!’

*Where ‘chicken feed’ equates to bonus points

I think that just about covers it.  Thanks for tuning in…

Categories: motivation, running, running clubs, teamwork | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

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