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Becoming a Champion

Photo copied from Sports Brief

I woke up to an unusual discussion with a friend about Tobi Amusan’s (a Nigerian athlete who specializes in a 100-meter hurdle) world-breaking record yesterday and how that made every Nigerian proud.

Today, I ruminate about how life deals with us and vice versa. How we can be angry, frustrated, or even depressed when things seem not to work according to our plans. Just how we wish we could know what the next minute holds, maybe we won’t have to worry so much.

Just over a year ago, Tobi Amusan was denied her African record during the Olympic trials (if you remember that incident) at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos Nigeria. The World athletics only recognize electronic timing devices, but “Nigeria never fails to be Nigeria”- the electronic timer failed to display the time at the end of the race. Hence, there was no valid record of her race time, although she won, she was denied her African record. Can you imagine? Have you ever been in situations where you do all your best and end up not reaping (for the lack of right expression) the benefit or result of your hard work?

I have been in similar situations where I put in my best and sometimes it yields results; other times it’s like I put in my best for nothing. Tobi Amusan’s experience last year reminds me of the time when I put in my all for a particular admission and was sure I was getting it until I was told the department had a funding issue. It wasn’t about me not being good for them as we had discussed some of the things I would do once I got in, but the department just could not have me. (Can you keep a secret; this admission story is so painful that I have bottled it up for months and I run away from the thoughts. I cannot bear to process it).

Let’s bring it back. Tobi Amusan’s victory yesterday resonates in different shades. In her words, “I believe in my abilities, but I was not expecting a world record at these championships. You know, the goal is always just to execute well and get the win. So, the world record is a bonus.”

My takeaways:

·      The onus is on you to believe in your abilities. Irrespective of acceptance or recognition. Know your worth and be true to it.

·      Have a winning mindset. I always like to emphasize thinking of the good and worst outcomes. You want to win always, but failure or limitation isn’t always bad. It propels you to be better and learn.

·      Keep pushing

·      There’s no limit to what you can achieve. Tobi Amusan set two World records in a single day.

Gentle reminder: Becoming a champion at whatever we do isn’t overnight work, it comes with successes, failures, and setbacks that seem like the world is against us.

Ponder on the above but let’s talk about the tears that went along with the national anthem after Tobi Amusan received her medal. First, it was the first time many of us thought of and sang the national anthem in long while. Second, it was an emotional moment that brought tears to our eyes, literally and figuratively. What does this tell us, “We love our country, Nigeria.” We want nothing but the best for her.

God bless Nigeria!!!


Published by Tobi Oloyede

Tobi Oloyede is a young visionary with a flair for personal and population developments. Rather than being pinned down by the challenges around her, she is dedicated to learning new ideas and getting the best out of life. She is one that is inspired by the popular Yoruba saying, "Ona kan o wo oja- There is no one/single route to the market." She holds her first degree in English and Literary Studies from the Ekiti State University, Nigeria, a Master's degree in Gender and Diversity from East Tennessee State University, and is currently a Sociology graduate student at Georgia Southern University. Writing is one of the several other things she loves to do and she brings it upon herself to make the world a better place through her writings. For her, 'the pen is always mightier and with it, she speaks volumes.' BE THE LIGHT, BE THE CHANGE…A BETTER YOU, A BETTER WORLD.

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