Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Going for Gold

Living in London, in the months and weeks leading up to the start of the Olympics, I was privy to the general sentiments which mainly consisted of complaints about how crowded the city would get and how the transportation system would not be able to cope with the volume of travellers.

About a month or so before the games started I noticed that a lot of the people I walked passed on the street were conversing in French, Spanish, Polish, German, etc., and hardly any English. It felt like I was living in a multi-lingual familiar, but foreign country. I must admit I was somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing. And not the least because some roads were closed, some lanes were made unavailable to all but the Olympic teams and workers, and access to some tube stations were positively stuffed to the gills and others operating only one-way traffic.

So I decided to pretend that the Olympics wasn’t happening. It's not like I even considered going to the games. I mean, who could afford the few tickets they made available to the public, anyway?

But as July 27 approached (from my perspective anyway), there was a distinctive shift in the collective mood. There was excitement in the air. Apart from the swell of foreign visitors, a lot of people came into the city from other parts of the UK. The day before the Opening Ceremonies I started a contract with one of the biggest corporate sponsors of the games. I couldn’t avoid the excitement even I wanted to. A large number of my colleagues were volunteering at the Games and pictures of various athletes were plastered all over the building. I even got to take a few pictures with the Olympic torch. I was so proud of my country, and that pride grew as the days went on and Team GB started raking in the medals!

Things quietened down a bit after the closing ceremonies, Olympic lanes were closed and travelling restrictions were removed, and we all realised that it really wasn’t half as bad or complicated as most of us expected.

Now that the Paralympics have begun, I along with many others, I’m sure, have a tremendous amount of admiration for the athletes, who have overcome obstacles (many, I'm sure are unthinkable to most of us) to get where they are. There is so much that can be said for these special people but I won’t belabour that point. What I will say is that there is some much we can learn about tenacity from them. What I'm about to say is not any particular person’s story, but is in parts, applicable to many. Try to imagine being physically fit and able and having a dream to compete in your chosen field, and then by some unfortunate event(s) or a set of unforeseen circumstances, you lose a limb. Understandably you may feel that your dream will never be realised or that your life is over. It takes a certain mind-set to refuse to give in; to go through the agony of treatment and physiotherapy; to go through the expense (or through many doors, some open, some shut, to find the finances) to get the tools needed to make you able to think about competing and then going through extensive and intensive training. And of course, none of this happens overnight.

Those of us who post to this blog and a lot of people who subscribe to it are at various points in our writing journeys. We also, all have different gifts and life experiences. I have no idea how many of us are published, or even have agents representing us, but I do know that a number of us don’t. For a lot of the published authors, the journey to publication wasn’t easy. One of the things we have to learn is how to deal with rejection. If we know that writing is what God has called us to do, we must be diligent in it and trust Him to let us walk through only those doors He wants us to, when He want us to. By no means is this easy, but day by day we make it through and He strengthens us to deal with the low points and the high ones.

I am so proud of the Paralympians and am encouraged to take a leaf out of their book, pick myself up and continuing writing regardless of the nay sayers. God called me; He is teaching me and making me along the way. Not always pleasant, but it’s all good.

Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Technical Author and Software Trainer. She lives in London. She is working on some new stories about relationships and is trusting God for connections leading to publication.


  1. Ufuoma, did you know that you can get support for your writing dreams from the British Assn. of Christian Writers? You can meet us on the ACW Facebook grp page and at The Association of Christian Writers website. We have a number of multi published authors among our members. it would be great to meet you at one of our training days.

  2. It was great to read that perspective from somebody who actually lives in London. I visited years ago and would dearly love to again. And yes, let's be encouraged by those awesome athletes to keep pushing ahead with our writing.

  3. I'm with Paula. I loved the atmosphere in London even though we could only spend 3 days there. Thanks for giving us that intimate peep at what it must have been like for a Brit!