An athletic competition was held and it was one to remember. There was one notable winner amongst others; he had won the gold medal for 100m race, 200m, 800m and even the marathon - Chinedu Samson; It was indeed a blissful moment and day for him. Paparazzi was all over him! At a time, he was moved to tears - it was a sensational, emotional and at the same time awesome experience.
A TV station was able to interview him that night and they had this conversation:
Mr. Chinedu, how are you feeling right now?
I feel overwhelmed, Joyful, grateful but above all, I feel proud of myself!
Please tell us, how did it happen: 5 Gold medals in one night. That is over two-thirds of the medals awarded tonight!
(Smiles! He gradually adjusted his sitting position, he paused for a moment with his hands covering his face; he was stylishly trying to stop himself from weeping) You know, I had a really rough background. I was born into a family of terror and it was more of a world war scenario on a daily basis. At a tender age, my body was used to receiving slaps and beatings from my Dad like it was my daily bread. Anything and everything was always wrong and brutal punishment was the solution. I was maltreated big time and my mum could not do anything about that because she was receiving the highest load of the maltreatment.
But there was this pitch close to our house. Whenever my Dad beats me, I would run out of the house and go hide by the pitch. There, I saw athletes running and playing all sort of sports - it became the only place I found peace and rest.
When I was about 15 years of age, I took the bold step; I also wanted to run. Although they did not let me, but what can they do to stop someone that practically lives in hell at home. I would sneak in at night and run round, I would do it exactly as I saw them do it in the day. Out there, I could literally forget about my pain. So it became a regular go-to place for me but I was not fast, not as the people that would practice during the day.
I think one thing I heard vividly that I will never forget from the coach was when he told the athletes: Keep on running and your speed will gradually increase!
I held on to it and I adopted a method for that. I usually do the cooking for my Dad and as usual, it must be on time, the way he wants it and perfect. So one day I put noodles on fire for him: immediately I put in all the ingredients, I turned on the stove and I zoomed off as fast as I could to the pitch. I ran round the pitch one and head straight home. The idea was that I had to get back in time for the noodles not to get burnt else another scar goes up my body. So that was how I practically started running and getting better at it.
Wow! I am dumbfounded right now. It is both sad and amazing.
Chinedu, what will you say are the things you did or did not do that contributed largely to this success we are celebrating today?
You know, I did burn the food some of those times. And hell, I received the beating of a lifetime. One notable one was when I burnt his rice and he got to discover that It was not because I was sleeping or that I forgot but that I went running. He was mad that day. He went from belt to fan-belt and he wrapped it up with plywood. I was hospitalized for two days, every part of my body was swollen.
But I can still remember vividly, less than 12 hours after I was discharged from the hospital, I still put spaghetti on fire and zoooom: I went on running (hahaha it was that bad!)
I did not stop. Whether it was plywood, belt or hammer, it did not stop me from running. I got back up with bandages, plasters and I was back to the pitch, running.
You see running was my escape route from "hell"! I had practically lost touch with humanity and running was my link back so there was nothing that could stop me.
And it relates to everyone. When you are working on something or you are going through a difficult situation. It would have been easier to give up or stop or end it if you had not lost anything or passed through the difficult times. But you have, you have paid some shitty price of experience and you have scars to show for them so you cannot give up without getting a gold out of it. You should not suffer and lose at the same time. If you have suffered at one point or the other then the only compensation is success. YOU MUST GET THE GOLD else you just suffered in vain; and you do not get gold by quitting!
So I had a bad Experience of growing up but I used it to my advantage, I used it to build Myself. It got to a time that I would run round the field and still be back on time before noodles was ready!
I remember also upgrading to filling a cup of water. I would turn on the tap to fill a cup of water and race to the pitch. I beat that time only once in my life. I turned on the tap and zoom, I was out. I got back and the water was yet to overflow. I could not believe it. That day I received slaps from my Dad for bringing the water late but not one tear dropped from my eyes. I was over-joyed that I broke that record.
So no matter how little it is or the circumstance surrounding it, always Celebrate your advancement. It fuels your drive.
(He turned to the man that was sitting next to him and had been weeping uncontrollably since) This is my Father! (Everyone was shocked!) So lastly, one thing I did was that: I FORGAVE!