In my not very exciting secondary school tucked away in Owinni Hillis, one of the great highlights for us was inter-house sports. For us, it was as close to olympics as we could get.
The most exciting event of the day was the march parade, which was a beautiful display of colour, glamour and great routines, with teams donning their funkified costumes. As a member of the trio BBJ (BLP, BJ & Jackie), with B & J being members of the march-parade squad, you might imagine that I would make the cut, but somehow my hand and leg coordination failed me and would just not move in sync, and alas my fate was sealed!
Track and field events were the next best thing, in particular sprint events (100M & 200M), long-jump, high-jump, javelin and pole-vault. The participants here were the star athletes.
The rather dull events which often didn’t have spectators turn out in large numbers were the long-distance running events (400M & 800M); and yes you guessed right! This is where yours’ truly found her place, as a member of the relay team.
In particular, I recall a year where I was the the final runner on the “4 x 400M” relay team. My team started off very well on the first lap which kept hope alive. “NEVER DROP THE BATON” is a very important rule of a relay race, but unfortunately that’s what happened between the first and second runners. Needless to say that it all went rather downhill thereafter.
By the time the baton was passed to me as the final runner, I was quite determined to give it my all, and do the best I could. I ran a few paces, realised I was still in the first 100M of the race, while the only other runner was pretty much at the finish line. I thought to myself, “what’s the of point of humiliating myself, completing a race that no one was watching, and in which my team was going to loose to miserably?”. I did what I thought to be wise in my own eyes. I got off the track, and by not finishing the race, my team was disqualified, and we got zero points.
When the cumulative scores for all teams were tallied, my team came second (out of 6 teams/houses). The difference between our score, and the score of the winning team were the points I would have been awarded if I had completed the race. I cost my team the trophy!
I know there is nothing exciting about the times we live in at this moment in time. Furthermore, you may not be a key worker (NHS, health-care worker, other emergency service workers, key public service provider [postman etc], childcare provider, retail worker, delivery driver…), and whilst the spotlight is not on you, as it was on the march-parade team and the “star” track and field athletes, like me and my rather humiliating race, you may have grown weary of continuing to keep with the protocols of keeping safe during this time.
My selfishness and stupidity cost my team the trophy, please, don’t let yours cost you life itself or that of someone else. Most cities of the world have a lockdown policy in place now. Peoples, please let us follow the guidelines set by WHO and our national and state agencies.
May God keep us all, and see you in the post-COVID era. Amen!!
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About the author
BLP is the owner of this blog, which she developed out of the need to present news/stories with a focus on Africa and the black community in an easy to read format.
BLP has a keen interest in solving problems in the developing economy through the use of technology. Of all BLP’s passions, she finds loving and looking after her 2 sons and her husband most rewarding.