Growing up for me was a challenge. I started out at primary school and was always asked by my teacher to sit at the back of the class because I was a dullard.
I kept forgetting things; I forgot nursery rhymes and spellings. I was the butt of class jokes and I was all alone, friendless and dejected and always in dullsville. I hated school, but my dad would hear none of it. He kept telling me I was a champion, if I believed it.
A turn around came one day when I remembered the spelling of the word 'Cognoscenti '; a word all the other 'bright students' had forgotten how to spell because they spent their free time making fun of me.
I wasn't asked to spell, even though I raised up my hands. So I stood up and went to the front of class, with 23 pairs of eyes piercing me like darts.
My teacher grabbed her cane, ready to flog me if I'd failed. I wrote the letters, spelt the word and became an instant champion. I represented and won, for my school, five Spelling Bee championships.
Secondary school had its own share of challenges. I was a tall kid and wasn't good at any sport, except looking. I loved basketball and lawn tennis.
The first day I held a racket, I was disgraced by my opponent. He won six straight sets without sweat and there I was, sweating profusely like I'd run a marathon, whereas I hadnt even made a single point.
My dad's words kept playing in my ears; 'Stanley, youre a champion if you believe it.'
Believe it I did, because I wasn't only good at lawn tennis and basketball, I was an all round athlete and even won both athletic and academic scholarships to College.
Now, I sit staring at this old racket of defeat that brought me shame five years ago and I can't help but say to it, Racket, you made me a champion when I believed'.
So remember: Yesterday's failures are the manure for tomorrow's success.
Copyright © 2009 Stanley Anukege
Encourage someone today!