by Bruce Bowen with apologies
to Clement C. Moore (the original author)
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And I found it quite funny,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Pace Bunny.
The sneakers were arranged by the fire with care
In hopes that John Stanton soon would be there.
The Group Leaders were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Sport Beans danced in their heads.
My wife in her base layer and me in my mesh cap,
Had just settled in for a pre-long run nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
(Such speed and strength — hill training really does pay off!)
The moon in the sky lit the snow like the dawn,
I saw a small group of eight and with them was John.
Like leaves in the wind, upward he flew,
From the porch to the roof, with his bag of toys too.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney J.S. came with a bound.
His clothes were all Soft Shell from his head to his foot,
After his trip down the chimney, now dusted with soot.
A large duffle bag was slung on his back,
All full of goodies that Mrs. Stanton did pack.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all our sneakers, then turned with a jerk,
And laying a finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
Out on the sidewalk, to his group he now came,
And gathering around, he called them by name.
“Now Coolmax, now Drymax, now Nip Guard and Grippers
On Dryline, on Power Gel, on Tights and Ankle-Zippers.”
And I heard him exclaim as they left us in their wake,
“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL – A WALK BREAK!”