Having What it Takes

I’m a huge tennis fan and a hardcore fan of Roger Federer. For me, he’s the only male tennis player I consistently root for regardless of his opponent. Needless to say, I was crushed when he exited Wimbledon unnecessarily early and that was the end of the tournament for me. But, I still kept an eye on the scores and what not…and for the final, I was rooting for Djokovic over Nadal.

I actually like Nadal much better than Djokovic (both as a player and as a person), but I don’t want him adding to his Grand Slam tally and catching up to my beloved Federer anytime soon.  As a result, I was rooting for his opponent, who with 2 Grand Slam titles still has a long way to go to catch Fed at 16.

Anyway, Djokovic won.

When I heard the news, I did a little celebratory jig…exactly what I wanted! (How often does that happen?). But after a few hours, I started thinking about Djokovic and how significant his victory was. For years, he has said that his goal was to be the Number 1 tennis player in the world…this was far back when he was a very (very, very) distant third to Fed and Nadal’s years of  total domination of men’s tennis. He lost to them frequently and never seemed to gain any traction in his bid to surpass them. He had frequent respiratory issues and retired from many (too many) matches due to breathing problems. Many people considered him a quitter and too flaky to dominate the game, yet he never gave up.

He worked hard – practicing for hours every day, radically changed his diet (he now eats a gluten free diet) and totally believed in his potential to reach his goals…and he showed up at the start of the 2011 season a very different player.

He stirred up his potential, took responsibility for the things he could control – his diet, his game, his attitude – and he has achieved his goal. He is the new Number 1 (as of Monday, July 4) and just won the most prestigious tournament in tennis.

I look back at Djokovic’s journey to this point and I think about myself – my goals, my dream, and most of all, my personal responsibility in making them a reality. I wonder about my attitude when things go wrong or the road is full of obstacles…I believe there is a word over my life, a purpose for which I was placed here…but I need to do my part – I need to take responsibility and do what I’m supposed to do, and leave the rest to God.

So, as Djokovic celebrates his new domination in the world of tennis, I celebrate a fresh awareness of the fact that yes, I do have what it takes to become all that I was designed to be…and everywhere I look, I see possibilities!

Onyih Odunze