The homerun obstacle race was scheduled for 27th May 2017 and I was so looking forward to it. Unfortunately, a few days prior to the race I got sick and started second guessing my participation. This race was meant to demonstrate the challenges that refugees face while fleeing their home countries, usually in small families. Some of the challenges included delays in the documentation, language barrier, tiresome routes, hostile and unfamiliar cultures. Manoeuvring through barbed wire fences, climbing over walls, crawling through muddy fields were also simulated.
The day before the race, just after deciding not to participate, I got a pep-talk from a close friend who successfully convinced me to change my mind. However, there was one problem, I didn’t have a family to run with. “Hey James, am looking for a team, can I join yours?” a colleague asked me. “Hey, I don’t have one, but we could create our own,” I responded. “Cool, let’s do that,” he added. A minute or two later, four ladies walk up to us and say; “Hey guys, is it alright if you adopt us into your family?” “Yes, of course!” we were quick to respond. We then formed an adopted family named it Samuka and hit the road.
During the race, there were times when I felt like sprinting but some family members were exhausted. So, we all had to reduce our pace and run as a family. At some point, it became more of a home walk given that we resorted to walking a good portion of the distance. Then came the obstacles! Hardly could we hold our breaths, when we encountered the next obstacle. Our mental strength was challenged, our bodies were pushed to the limit, we got agitated, but we’re willing to go all the way. When we couldn’t sprint, we jogged, when we couldn’t jog, we walked, when we couldn’t walk, well, we rested a bit, the ladies took a couple of selfies then we marched on.
Just when we thought the obstacles were done, there came the mud-crawl. The whole family was quite sceptical about doing the mud-crawl given that some of us didn’t have a change of clothes, and the thought of walking through town all muddy was simply unbearable. Luckily, one of us had a change of heart and decided to take one for the family.
In spite of the occasional hiccups along the way, we managed to reach the finish line because we were willing. Obstacles and hurdles that are often times impossible to anticipate disorganize our plans and divert us from our goals. Nevertheless, we should be flexible enough to adjust our plans whenever necessary, be willing to extend a helping hand and take one for the team. Above all, we need to develop a character of resilience and an attitude of never giving up.
It’s not how many obstacles we may hit and fall that matter, but how many times we are willing to get back up, brush off the dirt and keep moving forward when we do.
If you’re willing, then it’s possible!
Thanks for reading, Until next time…