Articles

Hold ’em Poker (and other lifechanging games)

Yesterday my son invited me to take a ride on his motorcycle.

I said yes.

This is significant.

Why?

Because…like every word in the English language…the phrase “take a ride” is elastic and subject to personal interpretation.

My definition of a ride is putting on a helmet and taking a slow jaunt (under 20 mph) down to the lake (under 300 yards) and back.

My son defines “taking a ride” differently.

Fast, not slow.
Miles, not yards.

By anyone’s definition, I hung on for dear life.

In fact, all my efforts to “keep a poker face” were unsuccessful. He wasn’t buying my “bluff” because I was giving myself away at every turn (on the road.)

What were the clues that I was “showing my hand?”

I knew (he knew) how scared I was when my son told me I didn’t have to hang onto him so tightly (sorry, but yes, Honey, I do…I most certainly do have to hang on for dear life).

Second, he kept telling me to move back on the seat further (no can do.)

Third, he kept reminding me to lean into a turn when he did (okay, so in other words…hug the road with my face?)

And on we went…

Interesting to me was once I got over the fear of what could happen, I started to enjoy the ride.

Surprising to me was how afraid I was when we first started out.

Hadn’t I spent hours and hours on an ATV earlier in the summer (going fast for miles and miles?)

Yes.

The difference?

On the ATV, I felt like I was in control (I felt like I was holding all the cards.) On the motorcycle, riding as a passenger, I felt out of control and reliant on my son’s good judgment, skill, and ability to make a fast (safe) decision (for the both of us.)

Suddenly the stakes went up (way up).

I realized too late in the game (on the ride) that I wasn’t sure I was willing to take the risk (of entrusting myself and my safety) to him (anyone?)

It was one of those “game of life” lessons that hits you when you least expect it.

Sometimes we’re already too far down the road to turn back (or we’ve invested ourselves too much to pull out.) When that happens, what do we do?

Turn back, take a loss, go broke and (cash in our chips?)

Or, keep on going (throw in all we’ve got) and take that risk (and possibly win?)over fears, insecurities, doubts and all the rest?

I know one thing for sure: if we don’t play, we can’t win.

So here’s to moving out of our safety zones today.

Zoom. Zoom.

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