Life is a Sport: Tug of War

On that Sport Saturday in Teslin Balogun stadium, Lagos, I supported Green House. I was meant to support it because the kids who came with me for the inter-house sports belonged there. Green House was doing well in the secondary category, but in the primary, it was neither here nor there. Yellow, with their noisy parents was everywhere.

Then came the Tug of war event, and Green house was up against yellow. When the kids filed out, many started protesting. It was a mismatch. The Green House kids were tiny, Yellow were bigger, older, fatter and stronger. It did not seem fair, it was like asking saloon car to pull a lorry.

The game started, and the Green house kids let the tiniest of them be in front. I refused to watch what I thought would be their speedy fall, but minutes later everywhere was silent. I looked again and the little Green kids were refusing to give up and give in, they stuck their feet like goats that ‘matched brake pedals’ when dragged; they were near the losing line but they hung on and pulled.

They hung on for minutes, and there was a miracle: the stronger Yellow kids came crashing into a heap on the ground. The whole stadium stood and cheered, even the opponents. Everyone kept asking ‘how was that possible?’. Perhaps this was the greatest sporting miracle after Atlanta 96!

This was not a victory for Green House, it was a victory for all of us. Life comes with its huge problems. Sometimes, you just want to run away from them, to disappear.

Life is a tug of war: the struggles we face are big, but we are tougher

You see, life is a tug-of-war, the struggles are huge, but we can be tough and resilient like those Green House kids, and really we have been. Just look back and see those trials you felt you cannot overcome in the past week, past month, past year, and here you are, they had all crashed down, so will these ones you now face.

Don’t let go of that lifeline

Hang on


#life is a sport

(Pen illustration from my 2017 journal EKOes [vol 3])

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