The only thing that is CONSTANT in life… is CHANGE
Have you ever had a life changing moment? You know, a specific incident where the decision you make will be one that molds your life and re-defines you in one way or the other? I’ve experienced only a few of those:
- August 1994- MOVING DAY; Relocating from Lagos, Nigeria to southern California with my family
- November 2005- SIGNING DAY; committing to attend and compete for the University of Southern California
- June 2006- HEALING DAY; God miraculously healing my hamstring 2 days before Junior Worlds
- October 2007- SAVING DAY; Deciding to follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly and committing to better my relationship with Him.
Despite all the ways my life has been impacted and changed, I can assure you that I never saw this next one coming. This was definitely the most sudden and unexpected change yet…. This time last week, I left work at 24 Hour Fitnes-Burbank and was headed over to coach Louisville High School in their Dual meet. During the drive over to the track meet, I received a phone call that changed my life…
- March 2012- TRAINING DAY
— Let me back up a minute…
In May of 2010 I graduated from USC, and received a clear vision to compete at a professional level for Nigeria and use the platform of track as a ministry tool to spread the message of Christ to those who I encounter. God opened so many doors and in a matter of weeks I knew where I would live, where I would work, and where I would train for the next olympic games. Two years seemed extremely far away at the time. In previous Olympic and World Championship years, I know that the Nigerian team had gotten together a few weeks beforehand and formed a Training Camp in Nigeria, or somewhere in Europe. So my plan was to train at USC until June and then travel to Nigeria right before the trials…. I found out recently that my plans were way too small for God. Proverbs 16:9 Spoke so clearly to me last week. Regardless of my own plans, God was going to be the one aligning my steps and determining where I would go. I heard that the former World Champion Innocent Egbunike was named the Head Coach of the Nigerian Olympic Team for 2012. Check out some of his stats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innocent_Egbunike
or if you’re more of a visual person, here’s a video
I had a connection with Coach Innocent, and has spoken with him in January about the possibilities of the track season. He advised me to continue running and to keep in contact with him. So once I heard he was officially the Head Olympic Coach, I called to congratulate him. He informed me that for the first time, this year the Nigerian Athletic Federation sent over a group of 10 athletes– Athletes who have represented Nigeria at previous world championship and olympic events– to Atlanta, GA to train with him and compete in the states. I was ecstatic and thought, wouldn’t it be awesome if I can compete at some of the same track meets with these athletes and get a feel for what the trials would be like? Once again, my plans were wayyyyy too small for God.
Coach Innocent explained to me the benefits of moving to Atlanta to join the camp and stated that being in an environment where I would be training daily with my future teammates would only benefit me. He said– Like iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. However before we went ahead with any plans he said he needed to get permission from the Federation and get back to me. — So as of last Wednesday March 31st, I had another life changing moment:
- March 2012- TRAINING DAY
I received a call back from Coach Innocent Egbunike stating that I have officially been permitted to join the Nigerian Training Camp for the London Olympic Games. He asked me to call the President of Nigerian Track and Field and thank him for permitting that I join the others. So I placed a call to Nigeria, spoke with President Solomon Ogba, and not only did he say that I was more than welcome to join the team, he miraculously said that they would take care of my accommodation, and dining as well. My sole job from here on out was to “Eat, Sleep and Train”. He told me that he wanted me to be in Atlanta by Saturday afternoon.
I never in a million years imagined that in a matter of days I would quit my job and move over 2000 miles away to train.. but God’s timing is so perfect!!! I had several plans of how I would work hard this season as an unattached runner in hopes of running a time that would qualify me for the trials. But one thing I been reminded of is that my plans are way to small for God. He says in Jeremiah 29:11- “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” and Ephesians 3:20 says- God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all we can ask of him or even imagine… So I had 2 days to pack up and take a one way flight to Atlanta. In the midst of the chaos, God sent me a packing angel– Macey McKinney, who helped me pack my closet like a game of Tetris into these bags.
I’m so excited for the journey before me. Since my move on Saturday, I already feel like I’m getting better. I’ve been challenged daily with each workout, and am making strides towards the games. My hope is to keep you updated (in much shorter blogs than this) on where God is leading me as I train for this Summer’s Olympics. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I’ll update you all on how the training is going pretty soon!!! Here are some pictures from when I landed where I am staying in Atlanta: