Tag Archives: fail

How I tried and failed to be good at sports

I once told the story of how I wanted to play football but that’s not the total story. I have in fact, failed excellently at being very good at any and every sport. I am going to give you the entire, never before heard gist, sport by sport and failure by failure.

Football

To my American readers, its football, not soccer. How will you qualify for the world cup when you keep calling the sport the wrong name? Lets all respect ourselves. You don’t hear us calling the NFL, American Rugby do you?

Football is a very big deal in Nigeria and in my school, you could get really cool social points for being good at it. In primary school, try as I did, I never made the cut for the team. There was even a time that my Dad had told the coach not to include me in the team. It was so perplexing because the coach was never going to select me to begin with. It’s wasn’t like he was having issues with his squad depth.

I was probably bad at football because, I wasn’t fit or particularly active. I have always been a bed bug and back then, I had a mortal fear of getting tackled. You couldn’t really blame me considering the fact that my schools football field was made up of sand and small stones.

In secondary school, I managed to get into the football team for my house. The only reason why that happened is because we weren’t good at football. We came third out of four houses in junior secondary and fourth out of four in senior secondary school. I only recall scoring one goal in six years of playing in secondary school and it was in a very random friendly game in Js 1. That is why I resonate so well with Mikel, I prefer passing back. I will however admit that one goal in six years is really really bad, especially for a winger.

I retired’ in SS3 after assisting my house to last place in the annual inter house sports. I was the head boy and the two head boys before me had seriously injured themselves in SS 3 playing football. I was not ready to test my luck. God forbid bad thing.

Basketball

If there was a game I should never ever have attempted it’s basketball. I was terrible at it. Absolutely terrible. I never understood the rules and I never knew what I was doing. I was like a square peg in a round rim. Don’t even bother giving me a free throw, I missed every free throw I ever took and even threw a number of them out of the field. You could have called me a traveler because that was all I did with the ball.

Handball

My total career playing time for handball is probably 10 minutes, if you include training sessions. I don’t consider my career failure in handball as an actual failure because I always knew that the sport was not for me. Unlike basketball where I was deceiving my generation.

Shout out to our Js 3 handball keeper, Micheal Olorunfemi who helped us win the competition despite dislocating an arm before the game.

Track & Field

For whatever reason I’ve always thought I could run. Maybe because when I’m running the breeze bowing back at me tricks my mind into believing I’m moving mighty fast.  When someone is running beside or behind me, that’s a different story. In fact the only race I think I have confidently won against my age mates is a sack race I won for my house in primary school. A very important victory if I do say so myself. I woke up from a nap and went to win the race. #BOSSLIFE

In secondary school, my closest friends were some of the fastest people in the my  set. My best friend Arinze was (because old age and too much food have ended his career prematurely) one of the fastest people in the set. When he and I would race, for the first 2 seconds, in the race, I would be in front but by the end it would look like an abominable something. Let’s just say, if I was the standard for human speed every one would be on performance enhancing drugs.

My condition became an entirely different matter when my sister started winning medals for discus. As for me the only thing I could throw were wrong answers in Math class.

As for high jump and long jump, I’ve always considered myself as a very law abiding human being and I don’t like to fight with gravity.

Volleyball

My career failure in volleyball is the most painful because its the only game I felt like I really should have been good at. Well that and tennis but I have never actually played tennis. I think with Volleyball there were just better players than me and since it wasn’t a game that people randomly played I never really had a chance to practice.

FIFA

I feel the need to include this because with the rise of E-sports, God knows how long before we start playing FIFA at the Olympics. The truth is, how good I am on FIFA depends on who I am playing against. Let me put it like this, if you play Legendary on FIFA, you will wipe the floor with me. Anything lower than that you will most likely beat me except the gods of our land show up that day.

I want to know, what is the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever had while playing a sport. Tell me all about in the comment section.

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Failing Math Like A Boss

At some point in my life, I was pretty sure I had dyscalculia or as I like to call it, dyslexia for numbers  or better yet, the reason why I failed maths like a boss. See ehn, you just don’t fail math as many times as I did and not think you don’t have problems. 

Throughout school, my relationship with math was very abusive, it didn’t like me and it beat me very hard and very regularly. In fact the only time I was good at math was when I was solving an example someone else just finished solving. It’s not like I didn’t want to be good at it, I did, I just never was. 

In primary three my parents got me private math teachers, that didn’t end well. I remember one day, it was time for the lessons and I really wasn’t in the mood for it. So I locked the doors, went to my room and refused to open for the teacher. He knocked and knocked and knocked and I wouldn’t be bothered. Eventually he left, told my parents, who of course were livid. The only downside is that I had two lessons that week instead of one. It’s not like it helped my life anyway. 

In primary four I had to stay back two or three times a week to get private lessons from some of the teachers, which was fun because there was a male and female teacher, the female was my math teacher by the way. They were always flirting with themselves, eventually they married, had a kid and moved to US. The Nigerian dream. 

In secondary school it was not a different ball game, I was in a boarding school so I had a guardian who conincidentally was a math teacher at some point, my class teacher. She would eventually teach me math in Js 2 or Js 3, I can’t really recall, but it doesn’t matter I failed it anyway. 

The thing is, in my secondary school if you got below a certain score in math you’d have to take the entire year again. I almost always got the barest minimum score eligible for promotion, other times I’d fail it totally, but because my grades in other subjects were good enough, I’d qualify based on let my people go. And that’s how I struggled and travailed in the place of failure till I wrote WAEC. 
PS. If you’re wondering what happened in my JAMB math, well, so am I, because I passed it. 

My WAEC math exam is the most memorable exam of my life because it was literally in Chinese. I don’t care, I saw questions dealing with angles of elevations and depressions that told me to construct triangles.  My French teacher, Mrs Azubogu who knew I had problems with math was invigilating that day, she would walk up to me and see the confusion on my face, then she would try and cheer me on. That obviously didn’t help because my brain was dead to it and what is dead may never die. I failed it and only made it into University that year because my school mandated we wrote NECO, where I got a C in math. 

I actually thought WAEC was like a final break up between me and math, little did I know that rebound is a ****. First year, first semester we did statistics and what we did that year was basic further math, which meant it was quantum physics. 

That year the tech department in school made a mistake, they briefly uploaded our detailed scores on our school portals instead of just our grades. So I found out that out of a needed say, 45 marks to do let my people go I had 44. I went to file a complaint, Greek for I went to beg for my life. Carry over wasn’t my portion. As God would have it they added one more mark and I was a people let go. Downsidemy CGPA was like that team in a 4×1 relay race that started late. 

Post-school, my calculator has become a very important part of my life. I usually try to do the math in my head, but that’s not reliable. Funny enough even when we were allowed to use calculators in exams in secondary school, I was still failing. Sigh…this life is not my own. 

Failing Igbo Like A Boss

My French is better than my Igbo. I’m not proud of it, but I don’t speak Igbo very well, actually I don’t speak Igbo at all. My Dad wasn’t the biggest fan of the language so he never spoke it to us and I still don’t know why my mum never spoke it to us growing up. 

Before you think I’m blaming my parents, which I obviously am, I’ve lived most of my life around Hausa or Yoruba speakers and my French is better than my Yoruba or Hausa combined. Let’s just say,  je suis un peu fier du moi-même, juste un peu. (I can neither confirm nor deny that I checked google translate for that). 

In Primary school Igbo was never taught as a subject, we were above such tribalistic philistinism.  In secondary school however, that was a different case. 

I aced Igbo in Js 1 because the Igbo teacher gave us the exam questions before hand, so I cramed and poured. I was a boss. In Js 2, my school had no available Igbo teacher for my set so we skipped it. To be honest, I can’t really remeber much of what happened in my JS 3 when it comes to Igbo. 

In SS 2, I got the toughest Igbo teacher South East Nigeria has ever produced, she was like a hammer banging Igbo down my head by fire and force. Because of the syllabus, we were supposed to be reading Igbo literature and you have to understand that for some reason, I read Igbo fine. I just had no clue what I was saying. 

My Igbo teacher knew I was an Igbo language imbecile but, she would always ask me to interprete what I’d just read. Then when I couldn’t, she’d ask me to kneel down. She’d then go on a long monologue about how I was a ceremonial head. Apparently being the headboy meant you had to pass every subject with flying colours. This happened in every class at leat twice a week throughout my penultimate year. It happened so much that every time Igbo period came around on the time table, it meant fear and trepidation. Some of my classmates would even jeer me, asking if I was ready for the war to come and that is how the cycle would continue throughout till exams. 

It’s pretty difficult trying to pass an exam when you literally cannot understand the questions. My Igbo vocabulary at the time was limited to about 10-20 words, it has caught lingual atrophy now. If I didn’t see any of those words, it meant more blank space in my answer sheet and if I did see a word I knew, it meant chicken scratch handwriting was going in my answer sheet. 

When your exam answer sheet is filled with chicken scratched ink prints and blank spaces, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the failure that is about to hit you is gathering red biro. 

So, first term I failed, second term I failed third term I failed and each term I failed Igbo, the teacher would always call me to her office and hand me my partially marked exam script asking me to continue from where I stopped. 

I would sit down in her office, looking at the ceiling, chewing my pen and I still wouldn’t be able to form a coherent Igbo sentence. So when she got tired of seeing my face she’d send me away and when the result would come out, I would fail it. 

When I was given the option in my last year to drop Igbo, I dropped it like it was hot. Literally. The only thing that would have given me more joy, would be if I could drop mathematics.

Whenever I see that Igbo teacher now, I smile like we’re cool. Really we are, I don’t have anything against her. She was just doing her job, which included making my life miserable. I just wonder if my kids will ever learn Igbo. 🤔

Failed Relationship Attempts of 2015

I actually made a New Year resolution at the beginning of the year not to try and date anyone (another reason why I won’t be having New Year’s resolution for 2016). I started so well, I was like a reverend father, devoted to Jesus and my work (Dedicate his life to looking for companion one must not).

Skip to middle of March, then A (of course I’m labelling my crushes with alphabets) happened and my priesthood went out the window. A and I have been friends for a little over two years and it was purely plutonic till I started listening to the devil. We began to spend a lot of time together, okay maybe not 24/7 but some quality time anyway. The problem was A was in a relationship that was complicated at best (but what relationship isn’t?).

According to A, the relationship was practically over. I’m not sure if A knew I liked her at the time but she would soon catch up. Somehow I think she knew I liked her before I knew it because it seemed I had gone from trying to lay the foundations for this house, to being manipulated into laying the foundations. I’m not quite sure, it was a little confusing. One of my three best friends took it upon herself to be my wingman, the other two became a sit in the stands and cheer. So as soon as I heard that A and her Ello bae were no longer an item, with that much needed support from my best friends I went head on to jam trailer.

Yes I mean a trailer, because from the days after I told A how I felt, our conversations went from fun and laughter to monosyllables. The conversations literally became

Me: Hey

A: Hi Ugo

Me: Whats up

A (the next day): Nothing

Me: Hey, took you long enough

A (the next day): oh, sorry, was busy

 To be fair, A was going through some personal issues at the time and it may really not have been about me, but since I was ‘in love’, of course in my mind it was about me. I always wondered “What I did wrong?” “Did I tell her the wrong way” “Was I played?”, “Was this some big joke?” “Was A just the devil?”

My wingman and I hadn’t seen this turn of events, all our projections, cost benefit analysis, feasibility studies. Had we misread all the signs, I can understand if I misread the signs, I can’t even spell properly so misreading is an occupational hazard, but my wingman (who by the way is actually a woman) is a pro. This was a cause of peculiar perplexity.

Eventually I realized that A and I weren’t meant to be. The most painful part for me is that A is drop dead gorgeous. That kind of person that you don’t hear anything they say because you were too busy wondering how fine they were. That actually happened to me a couple of times (okay maybe a lot of times…okay, it happened almost every time. Happy now?), So, after months at grasping straws I moved on (sheds tear).

Then came B. Our relationship was strictly business. Deceive the public that we were dating. The problem was that we had already told the public that we were joking. B and I actually spent close to 6 months on this joke. Princess of no nation (drags her by into post) was my wingman (wingman, wing woman whatever is politically correct for you). Anyway B and I broke up because of the “other women” that were interfering in the relationship because I was always talking and chatting with them. By other women, she was referring to the different personalities and social media accounts of Her Royal Majesty the Princess of no Nation.

Finally around October C happened. The tango with C is a simple case of I like you, I’m not sure you like me, but you are sure you don’t want to date me. (Move along nothing else to see here…okay come back).

My wingman on the A case returned although this time she was less optimistic and really didn’t want this one to go south (I had been through enough heart break lol). This was the conversation between me and my wingman when it did go south

Me: It didn’t work out

WM: ahh, what happened?

Me: She said she’s in a complicated place. (Let me just interject here and ask why every relationship is complicated. Global warming, terrorism, falling oil prices, those are complicated, not relationships. I don’t get).

WM: oh well, that ends that. (Please pay attention to the lack of support and noticeable joy, present in WM’s few words, you won’t be wrong to wonder whose side she’s on).

Anyway so here I am, at the end of the year, flying up the corporate social ladder of team singu pringu. At this point I feel like a founding member or at least a member of the board of this prestigious organization. Maybe, and this is not too great an assumption, I could be the CEO of Singular Pringular Corporation.

 (drops mic)

Shout out to Naija Single Girl for courage to write this.