- Posted by Amaka Akinteye
- 4 Comments
I registered for the Lagos women-run 10km marathon, I made it on 1oth of November 2018. I was not out to win the race, I ran for life, health, success, overcoming obstacles. I remember back then in college I was involved in a 1500m race and on two occasions I fell close to the finish line either from a push or fainting. The one I remember vividly was the last fall, then other students chanted “Amaka ada kwa o zor” meaning “ Amaka has fallen again”. This phrase haunted me for over 20years, I saw the impossibility in running again, engaging in sports, I approached everything I did with a mindset of not failing.
All my life, I have had the opportunity to present myself to enable me to discredit that phrase that I could not finish a race. I woke up one morning with the Lagos women run on my mind, although with doubts, I dreamed of every opportunity not to go for the marathon. My husband, who is my best fan and supporter offered to drive me to the starting point which was Tafawa Balewa square.
I could not find a tangible reason not to go for the race, I was nervous, he said to me, Baby you do not need to go, however, if you are certain I am always here to support you, those words hit me like an immune boost, I replied, yes I can do this.
Before the race started I got my kit from the administratos, I started searching for familiar faces, I decided to take pictures, make myself feel ready. As we waited, an old friend spotted me and walked up to me. I was so excited we encouraged one another and promised to look out for each other.
The race started at about 7:15 am, people cheered, some made mockery, some complained about the bad economic situation in the country, why would one be made to run in a country stricken with poverty, some called out “oyibo”- I smiled, some waved, some encouraged us to keep running, some analyzed the women’s bodies and made comments about their buttocks. I remember some guy saying to me in Igbo- nne jisie ike- meant well-done girl, I still cannot figure out how he guessed right.
As I ran, thoughts of quitting crossed my mind, unfortunately, there were no vehicles available, and I said to myself you have only one option which is- to finish the race. I ran, I jogged, and walked. As I ran some participants caught up with me and I ran past some, the more I ran the closer I came to the finish line. I knew I had about 30 women ahead of me, so winning the prize was not the goal but Finishing strong . When I saw the finish line ahead I braced myself and ran to Teslim Balogun stadium, I was sure I was among the first 50persons to arrive.
Who goes before us and or when we get to our destination is not a critical factor to dwell on, rather we need to focus on our goal. So comparing your life with another is foolishness says my bible because no two humans are the same, we face varying circumstances in life, I do not care if someone has 10cars, is rich, has grown up kids, got married before me, wears the best dress money can buy unfortunately most people dwell on these temporal phases.
I noticed I was generating heat, no sweat, I used the water I was given and poured it on my head and body. When we are faced with an unusual situation in life we must seek plan B to keep us in motion, I could only survive through the race by cooling off with water I poured on myself, the sun blazed on us, I did not relent I finished the race.
Life is a race, we run, we fall, we get beaten, ridiculed but our strength lies in how well we finish the race if you get back up or stay down. While we make efforts to achieve, to succeed people may say all manner of things to us, some attempting to distract us, some to discourage us, encourage or support us. We must learn to block noise on our walkway through life, picking up vital information that will help us succeed and get to our destination.