The 100m Race I Missed

I am Barbara, just Barbara. Although many from the Yórúbà tribe in Nigeria would call me Olúwaseunbàrbàràláyémi, I preferred to be called Barbara.

The Prosperity Ark

At 15 years old, I was already 170cm tall, quite tall among my peers and that placed me at an advantage whenever we had to participate in sports activities like the end-of-the-year bowling competition, female badminton and competing for my school's relay team. I was beautiful, no doubt - with a well-proportioned body and without the evidence of sprouts of puberty on my face called pimples, my mother's best friend would jokingly call me the 'Agbani Darego' of our time. 

Did I forget to mention it? I was a brainiac too; in Arts, music, dance and painting, I was too good.

However, I wanted more, I knew I wasn't the 'best' as much as people hyped me up, I believed that someone somewhere was possibly better than me and constantly, I tried looking out for this imaginary person and that created the plot twist in my young life.

I began to work harder, trying to compete with this person I knew nothing about, I literally burnt midnight oils just to move from an A to an A+, I skipped meals to keep my shape and learnt every type of painting technique ranging from the Nigerian pre-colonial paintings to the Traditional Chinese Paintings to Oil Paintings. There was nothing I didn't do. 

My mom called my attention and attempted to call me back to normalcy but I had gone too far into my illusion.

However, an illusion will always remain an illusion and will never become real. A fake will always be fake and will never be authentic.

I was preparing for my final race as a secondary school student that day when, all of a sudden, I heard ringing in my head, my head began to swim and everything I was seeing was doubled. I broke out in cold sweats because I knew I wasn't normal! I needed help but there they were, my classmates, parents and teachers, all cheering for me. No one noticed that something was off with me.

With a bang, the race started and with a bang, I collapsed!

It was shocking! No one expected it, me neither. I wanted to win badly but my body could not take it anymore. Fortunately, the medical team from my school were swift and revived me but I couldn't continue the race - I was hypoglycemic and I needed rest.

An 'ordinary' 100m race became something that the Almighty Barbara could not win and could only watch from the sidelines as other people got crowned as champions.

Did it hurt? Absolutely! Did I regret it? I never allow that emotion to reign in me. Will I do the same if I were to be given another opportunity? Maybe, maybe not.

You might judge me because you feel I am too stubborn and do not know what is best for me but Barbara never hesitates, nor does she ever turn back!

The Prosperity Ark

I only take life lessons from my experiences and my lesson from this was that to be an excellent person in any sphere of work, I do not need to be competitive. I only need to do my best at every set time and watch them yield massive results.

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