Posted in Fitness, Volleyball, & Motivation, Life Abroad

Sacrifice

I’ve officially lost all sense of time, it’s been two weeks since my last post?Certainly not. The past two weeks have flown by and have been filled with some memories that will last a lifetime and some I can’t even remember now (just ask the girly pops…on second thought definitely don’t ask anyone. Ever.). One win, one loss, one big party, lots of early nights, work shifts, practices, Danish classes, grad school work cafe days, and some sleeping in between but as I sit down to write this weeks’ post on Feb 6th of 2016 I have one major overwhelming feeling: I’m the worst daughter ever. It’s the day after my father’s birthday and I forgot to say a single word to him.

Daddy I’m so sorry!!!!!

I’m the selfish daughter that moved halfway across the world for the second time now, pursuing ambitions that don’t exactly fit into the typical engineer, lawyer, doctor route that a traditional Nigerian father would expect. And then couldn’t even write him to say happy birthday. Seriously the worst. Lucky for me though I have a loving, giving, selfless father that has continuously sacrificed for me throughout my entire life. He responded exactly how I thought he would saying, “it’s okay, I love you too”. (In more or less words).

This made me think about sacrifice. Sacrifice is moving your entire family across the world away from your own family to provide for them the opportunity to have the best life you imagine they could. Sacrifice is driving countless hours through the flat lands of West Texas to watch your daughter play the sport she loves for 1-2 hours and then saying hi and bye in less than 15 minutes. Sacrifice is going to work every single day for half of your life in order to provide for the daughter that doesn’t wish you happy birthday. Sacrifice is letting her pursue her dreams even though on the inside you’re secretly terrified of her going off for some frivolous seeming dream.

I thought that I sacrificed a lot by moving to Denmark . I sacrificed my career as a collegiate D1 coach, my dream job. I sacrificed watching my my nieces and nephews grow up. I sacrificed precious time with my mom and dad, my sisters, and my friends. For goodness sake I sacrificed tacos. But after this horrific mistake of mine I realize that sacrifice runs on a scale. Mine are so minute and selfish in comparison to my father’s big sacrifices based off of love.

Realizing the amount of sacrifice my father has made for my life makes me want to take advantage of the time I do have here. In the past two weeks we played two matches adding one win to our record and one loss. In the match vs the lesser of the two teams I literally had the worst warm up OF MY LIFE. Like legit forgot how to set. It was the most bizarre thing I had ever seen or experienced. The game went on and although we struggled in the first set we played well and had fun the last two sets. Having this little (catastrophic) meltdown of a warm up made me reanalyze my whole role as a setter. Not only do setters HAVE to be apart of every single play but I’m the only healthy setter that we have at every match. I literally do not have the option to suck. My team depends on me to work hard and deliver them a good ball to score points for our team, that is how we win. The magnitude of all of this came crashing down on me and I think I had a panic attack…or my hands had one and I had no control over it.

But this week in practice I realized that I do have control. I control the ball, I control the tempo, I control the distribution, I control a lot of the outcome of a game because of my position. Wow, how much sacrifice will it take, working hard in the gym, working hard at practice, getting to know each hitter, giving confidence to my passers by sacrificing my body for pursuit balls. The altruistic sacrifices my father has made for his family gives me confidence in knowing that I can do the same for my teammates. If he can give half his life to me the least I can do is give my full effort now to make him proud.

This past week there was a loss in the lyngby-gladasaxe volley ball family. Lars Møller the man that raised up the boys on our Elite team finished his battle with cancer almost a week ago now. Our men’s team is seriously the sweetest hardest working team in the men’s league and it’s a reflection of Lars. Hudson Wade a little boy in the ACU community that was diagnosed with cancer this past fall finished his battle with cancer last week as well. These two losses and all of the worlds hurts make me realize how for granted I take my family and friends. When making the decision to move I thought to myself, “my family and friends will always be there if and when I move back to the states”. How naive. Life is short, yes pursue your passions, live “selfishly” when it’s appropriate, but ultimately sacrifice for OTHERS, sacrifice out of love, sacrifice for the greater good. Don’t ever lose sight of what should be most important and cherish each and every moment with the people you love the most.

This time next week I’ll be in beautiful Budapest and will be relishing every moment of my current season of life.

Ever wanderlusting,

IJ

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