This summer, I was home in Nigeria for 3 weeks. Then, I returned to the US to train (not for a race this time!) with my (worship/missions) team at CTI in Minnesota. We spent the next month traveling across Honduras with JPC, playing concerts every day in churches, schools and parks. It was such a thrill and a blessing. I was a bassist on my team, but it was much more than just the music. Lives were changed forever—including mine!
I returned home for another week before finally heading Stateside to begin my graduate school adventure. So, yes, I’ve moved from Central Jersey, from the school and the students I love, to embark on a five-year journey in civil engineering at JHU. It’s been tough adjusting to everything, but I trust in my God to sort me out!
A major highlight of my summer was teaching my little brother, Jola (11), how to run. He’s a soccer nerd, but I had to convince him that running could only improve his soccer prowess. Every morning, we’d go for two to three miles, followed by stretches, upper body and leg workouts. He came to enjoy it so much that he’d drag me out bed every morning when the last I wanted to do was leave the comfort of my nest. We did 4 miles once, which was a bit hard on him but he pulled through. When it got really hard, we survived by singing. Those were awesome moments. I’m so impressed by how much Jola grew this summer alone. And now, I’m confident he’ll be a top player on his team with his new-found skills.
But all the running I did with my brother was pre-Honduras! While training with CTI in Minnesota, I went running only once—with my roommate (and team member) on what turned out to be a seven-miler, as we got lost in Spicer, MN! In Honduras, I hit some beautiful trails in Copan on two occasions with other runners from JPC.
With all the travails of resettling, running was pushed to the back-burner until Friday when I ran in Baltimore for the first time ever (actually, not quite—I did go on another run a month earlier but that was a utility run!). It felt great, but I realized how out of shape I was. I have been biking to school almost every day since the second week of September, so I was not terribly unfit. However, it felt strange running again! I came across four other runners during my run, so that was fun! After the first choppy mile, I eased into a nice stride, glad that my legs had not failed and that I could once again feel my arms pumping as I glided along. As expected, calves and quads were sore when I was done, but it was fantastic.
My goal this week is to get in at least 3 miles each day. Then, we’ll see what happens afterward. Today, my older brother Jide ran his second Chicago Marathon. It was wonderful following his training up until the big day, and I am inspired to keep running. Again, I’m thankful I can use my body in this way, and I am eager to fully return to training and racing!