fatigue brings out coward in a man | Strength with substance

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Fatigue can bring out the coward in a man. True or false?

September 6, 2017

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I remember getting into a fight when I was 12 years old, with a fellow student at my High School.

We had two bouts.

Our first clash ended with me losing because my opponent made a conscious decision to disrespect my temple.

My goodness! This kid put in work on me. He physically finessed my head.

Jab, Jab, hook! Hook, hook, knee-uppercut. It was nonstop. He was hitting me with mad combinations!

*Yea, I think it’s pretty clear by now that kid confidently whooped my ass in the first round*

However, “it feels like I’m getting assaulted by 3 grown men” wasn’t what was going through my mind at the time but instead, a very specific thought popped up in my mind: “why would my uncle lie to me like this?”

Let me explain

[*Insert Nollywood or anime-type of flashback here and prepare for drama* lol]

You see, I emigrated from Nigeria to England at the age of 11 and, on our way to the Nigerian Airport, our designated driver (my lovely uncle) gave me a piece of advice (as you do), which was intended to help me on my new life journey: “white people are not as strong as us, because, they don’t eat Eba and Pounded Yam (exquisite Nigerian cuisine) like us, so they’re weaker.”


Now that I think about it today, I can’t help but wonder why my uncle just couldn’t gift me with money like a normal relative because, as evident from the ass whooping I received above, his advice got my bodily integrity disrespected.

This boy beat my ass like a runaway slave!

Thankfully, there was only one spectator, so the event did not reach its maximum shamefulness against me.

(I won’t release the name of the sole spectator but, you know yourself. If you ever come across my article and you read this, I want you to know that ain’t shit bro! lol. You were an instigator and the catalyst of this physical altercation).

Back to my story

The first round occurred during the first 15 minutes of our lunch break and, the fight was eventually broken up by one of the best teachers in my High School at the time. (I think I still have him on Facebook today actually).

After my humiliating defeat, me and this kid (aka Ricky Hatton) went our separate ways. (I promise you, it felt like I was fighting a professional boxer). I can’t remember where I retreated to, but I know that he loves playing football and as such, he would have gone to the AstroTurf for a celebratory game of football with the rest of his hombre.

After spending some time recuperating in my fortress of solitude, my Nigerian Pride kicked in: “nah, screw this, I’m not going out like a punk in my first proper fight” and, “my uncle said I’m stronger than them” were the only recurring thoughts in my mind, post ass whooping.

I decided to go for round two. (I bet you think this is the story of my epic comeback (don’t worry, I thought so too lol)

I got up, stuck my chest out, and began my move towards the AstroTurf.

Word started to get out that “the new black kid is about to get into a fight!” and, I attracted quite a crowd. (I’m lowkey proud of this because I felt like a celebrity. Come at me bro!)


Side note

I think this is a perfect opportunity to point out that I went to an all boys High School, therefore, you can image how excited the dumbass students used to get at the prospect of a fight breaking out!

Visual representation of my high school

My high school was a colosseum and, we were its gladiators- it was truly ‘the survival of the fittest’ type of situation in that hell-hole of a school.


I tracked down the Opp (that’s a short term for “opposition”, for those of you that’s not fluent in Black Vernacular) and, as I approached the AstroTurf, my confidence started to increase. I really don’t know how or why for that matter (especially since I just got brutally wasted about 30 minutes prior) but I digress.

When we reached the entrance of the AstroTurf, me and the Opp locked eyes. It was obvious that something was about to go down. Again.

He charged towards me, and I followed suit.

The only thing that was going through my mind as I was running towards this guy was the voice of JR from the WWE yelling “SPEAR! SPEAR! SPEAAAAR!” and that’s exactly what I did!

I “speared” this badass kid, knocked his ass to the ground and, while I thought this special move would be sufficient to defeat him, boy was I wrong. He got right back up and began throwing those mad combinations again!

Thankfully, I blocked most of his shots and my head wasn’t used for warm-up or his cardio because my defence was a little bit better this time. I even managed to out-muscle him: I picked him up, and slammed him against the fence but, I couldn’t drop him to the floor because he was holding on to the railings with one hand. No matter how hard I tried, he wasn’t going down, but, he was still swinging and, throwing punches with his other hand. This kid was tough. (What a guy!)

As we kept going back and forth, I realised that this boy had zero intention of losing this fight and, because I was exhausted, I decided to let go of him just to tell him that: “we need to stop otherwise we will get excluded” as warned by the teacher who broke up the first round.

The altercation concluded.

As a grown man today, sat in his bed reviewing some past memories, the only assessment I can give of this incident is this:


I decided to give up because I was tired. Say what you want, but, that was definitely a coward move on my part!

Here’s the thing: I have no issues with being an aggressor and, I became the aggressor in this story the moment I decided to make my way to the AstroTurf to start a fight.

However, I also became a coward the moment I decided to end the fight due to fatigue. I can try to spin this however I want, but deep down, the truth remains that I coward out of the fight. I made the conscious decision to give up. Nothing more, nothing less.

I’m certain that my opposition was also as exhausted as me but yet, he was still swinging. Although I managed to overpower him, the guy was still throwing punches with one hand, right till the very end.

Even if the guy still had a lot of reserved energy, it doesn’t change the fact that, I, chose to quit. This is unacceptable. What a coward! I made all that fuss only for me to throw in the towel. Coward! I went to the battlefield to fight, but I retreated. Coward!

“Sometimes, fatigue can bring out the coward in a man”

Can you now understand the meaning behind the title? However, rest assured that this story isn’t just some long-winded analogy about cowardice.

The story is a metaphor for this difficult game we call “life”, as well as the type of audience I want to attract and, consume my content.

Know that I’m not writing for cowards. If you’re exhausted and ready to give up on life, please, leave my page right away- this website is not the one for you.

I’m not a motivational speaker, and I’m not here to hype you up. I don’t write with the purpose of temporarily alleviating your state only for you to return to a defeatist mindset.

I write for those who are exceptionally fatigued, but yet, refuse to stop fighting until their very final breath.

I write for those, who truly understand that there is hell written into the contract of living, but nonetheless, they welcome it with open hands. Some of you might even be going through hell as we speak, but knowing how determined you are to keep navigating through it, is one of the things that propel me further. Knowing people like you exist is more than enough reason for me to keep going. And I am supremely confident that people like you are out there. I won’t stop until I connect with each and every single one of you. It’s that simple.

I say all that to say this

Undoubtedly, we all have (or have had) our fair share of personal struggles.

This is one of the things that we all have in common as human beings but, the goal is not to compare the “weight” of our struggles. We aren’t here to superiorly pass judgments. After all, we are all at different stages in our lives and, each obstacle is relative to the individual.

However, what I’m truly after are those with a fighting spirit! Those who are willing to struggle! Those with the tenacity and the sheer audacity to win! If you are courageous enough keep pushing forward in the face of adversity, I gladly welcome you.

Reach out and let’s build.

Don’t forget where you found this article and remember to like, comment and share it! #BeSafeTho




Timi Awolola