Calculated Risk

I have a little confession to make. I have never played the lottery before. Sure, I have thought about it many times when the jackpots reached eye popping numbers. My ex-father in law used to play everyday, and would hit for a few thousand bucks every year. I often wondered if, at about 30 bucks a day, if he spent more than he won each year. But I have never filled out a lotto ticket and eagerly anticipated the drawing, hoping that the numbers would come up and change my life forever. However, on the drive back from an inspection in Chillicothe yesterday, I stopped to get something to drink and thought oh what the heck.

I had been told that the tickets were a dollar each, and you can have more than one set of numbers to play. I asked the clerk for 5 powerball tickets. She asked if I wanted the power play and I said no thanks, like I knew what I was talking about. She handed me a ticket with one set of numbers and said 10 bucks please. I was a little confused, until she explained that these set of numbers were for the next five drawings. I handed over the cash and left, knowing that this would be my last time ever buying a lotto ticket. After all, I had wanted 5 sets for last nights drawing and screwed that up. Now someone hit the $559 million dollar jackpot,  and I still have numbers for the next 4 drawings. It starts at 12 million, who could squeak by on that? What a waste of 10 bucks. But hey it was a calculated risk, and just because it didn't turn out my way, it doesn't mean I should not have taken it. Life lesson learned, thank you.

After my lotto buying fiasco, I went to John-Michael's first official wrestling match last night. He had one scrimmage, last weekend, but this was the big leagues right here as the 8th grade Gahanna Middle School West Lions took on New Albany. With 31 kids on the team and only 16 weight classes, there was no guarantee my son would even have a match. But he had told me the day before that if he could lose 3 pounds, he would be in the 134 lb class and thought he might have a shot. He was willing to risk it. When I walked into the gym, his Coach pulled me aside.

Coach Baum is in his last year of coaching. He has been leading football and wrestling teams to division titles for 30 years. He was JM's football coach, and now is in the same role for wrestling. He doesn't sugar coat anything and, as my son learned in the fall, if you don't work hard you will stand and watch. Coach told me that John-Michael had busted his butt to get down to weight and had hit it on the nose. Baum also said that he had worked harder than anyone in practice to learn technique, and had beaten two other kids out to earn the starting spot. He said that JM is a different kid and athlete than he saw the first day of football practice and that we was proud of my son. I echoed that sentiment, and with a big ole that's my boy grin, went and found my seat.

John-Michael's match was the seventh of the event. With my video camera rolling, he went head to head with his opponent. They ended the first round in a draw. When round two started, the other kid almost pinned him. My son had a look of "oh no, I am gonna lose" on his face. Then, in an instant, that expression changed to "not a chance in this world are you taking me out". He took a calculated risk and tried to stand up with this kid on his back. If he hesitated his opponent would have taken his legs out from under him and it would have been over. In a flash he was up, turned the other boy around and took him to the mat. Within 5 seconds, he pinned his opponent and the match was over. I was jumping up and down, but my boy, he just shook the other kid's hand and walked away nonchalant like nothing had happened. However his teammates  mobbed him. They had been losing up to that point, and JM tied the match up.

Gahanna won the match 48-42, and John-Michael scored 6 points in his victory. I am so proud of that kid. he took a huge risk playing football, and an even bigger one when he decided to wrestle, a sport he knew nothing about. So far, he is making the most out of it. I told him as I drove him home that he was undefeated and untied in his career so far. He kind of laughed and said "I don't want to think about that. I need to get a lot better before next week." In that moment, I knew my son gets it. Life lesson learned.

Both my son and I took calculated risks this week. I am glad his turned out a lot better than mine.

Day # 605. My son is undefeated and untied. It is good to be me............

Have a great day everyone!


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