Hello out there! Is anyone still listening? Wow, it’s been a while. I guess it’s time to wipe the dust off the key board and start getting more content to you!
For starters, I’d like to say that taking a break is important. I personally used my away time to casually reflect on the past. Through that reflection I’ve learned a few things about myself. It’s strange to think that learning about one’s self is overwhelmingly powerful. As an individual we should be cognitive of our strengths and our weaknesses, but the grey area in between is what gets lost in the repetition of the day to day adventure.
I think it’s safe to say that as we get older we are forgetting more than we are learning. With that said, I needed the time to reflect. I needed to remember why I fell in love with poker. I needed to remind myself why it’s still important to me. Why sharing my ups, my downs and everything in between still matters.
Remember when you were little? Back when you were excited to listen to your grandpa’s stories. He always found a way to make you feel like you were right there with him. The thing I remember the most is how he ended his stories. He always found a way to tie everything together and teach you something. It’s that moment when he tells you the moral of the story. I’ll always remember his stories because of that.
One of my favorite stories was about my grandmother. Before I get into the story, here is a little about her. She was a hard-nosed woman. What she said always went. You never told her no, because you already understood the consequences. This may explain a lot of her success with business. I don’t believe she was afraid of anything- except maybe failure. One of the things she used to hammer into me was ‘Do it as many times as it takes you to do it right, then do it again so you don’t forget’.
Now my grandfather was a lover of motorcycles. To be more specific he loved Harley Davidson’s. For as long as I can remember there was always a Harley in the family. This is a huge contributing factor in my infatuation for them. When I was a kid, my grandmother always stayed off of the motorcycles. I always wondered why… So as the story goes:
One day out on a Nevada salt flat. The family had gathered for a barbecue, and some off road riding. For years my grandfather had been trying to get my grandmother on a bike of her own, but she consistently shut the idea down. So he’d decided that the time was finally right. When the timing was perfect, he’d unveiled his perfect scheme. There was no way she could say no. He’d already bought the bike, and he’d even had it painted in her favorite color. No one in the family knew of his plan, so this would be a major family event. As he pulled the tarp that was covering his prized present, there was nothing but silence… no one cheered, no one clapped, no one even whispered. “Pat, this is for you!” he bellowed. She stared at the bike. Never looking to him, or anyone else, until finally she walked over to the bike with the stare locked in on it. “This is really what you want?” She asked. “It would mean the world to me if you’d ride this bike next to me.”
After some time she finally touched the bike. She ran her fingers across the newly painted tank, continuing to the brown leather seat with the dangling leather tassels. She lifted he leg over, and sat on the bike. Put both hands on the grips, and absorbed the feeling of sitting on the bike. Over the course of this time, no one has said a word other that the two of them. She finally looked over to him and said, “Show me how to start it.” So he walked over and showed her the kick start. He then stepped up onto it, and kicked it in. It fired up first try. The rumble of the V-Twin purred across the open salt flats. He then reached across the bars and pulled the throttle back to open it up a bit and the engine roared to life. A glaze came across my grandmother’s eyes. She replaced his hand and revved the engine. Lifting the kick stand she leveled the bike. She then pulled in the clutch, putting one foot up on the peg below the gear shift petal, and put the bike into gear. Everyone moved away as they knew she was going to ride off. She suddenly released the clutch and she and the bike shot forward down the flats. Faster and faster she went, with everyone staring in awe. Then someone broke the silence and said “She’s yelling something!” The roar of the bike was so loud that no one could make out exactly what she was saying, until finally on one of her passes by the camp, she shrieked “HOW DO I STOP THIS GOD FORSAKEN THING!?” That’s when they all realized she didn’t actually know how to drive the bike! So my grandfather hopped on his bike, to run her down. He chased her for what seemed like an hour, until finally her bike ran out of gas. Once stopped, and with him finally caught up to her, everyone at the camp just watched as she screamed at him and gave him ‘the business’. To this day he still will no tell us what she said to him exactly, but she never got on that bike again…
After many years had passed, I asked my grandmother about that day. The curiosity had been killing me. I asked her what happened, and if the story was true. After a bit of prodding she finally confirmed it all. We shared a laugh, which was a rare occasion, and I finally asked her why she never got back onto the bike. Her response “It only takes going all in one time to realize your mistake.”
Now the moral of this story: Going All-In can be the worst mistake you ever make.
That story makes me laugh every time he tells it. It never gets old. My reflections over that last few months brought me back to that story several times. I’ve made the “All-In” mistake many times in my life, but I’ve also been rewarded by many of those moments. Whether that’s through business, through friendships, or through poker, it’s always taught me something. Be passionate with everything you do. Give yourself a reason to remember the “All-In” moments in life. Before you go all in, understand that there are only two outcomes. One, you Survive. Surviving is intoxicating. It’s like a drug and you’re always looking for it. You’re always in need of it. Two, you fall. Falling lets you get back up and learn from the mistake. Falling lets you build up the armor protecting you when you are at the next “All-In” moment.
As you come to the conclusion of this post you’ll notice that I have vaguely connected it to poker. We’ll my next blog post will continue on this subject with All-in Poker play… So stay tuned for next week!
Thank you for reading my rants, and thank you for your patience when I’m lost in reflection! Remember that life and poker are one in the same. They are a game. Play well and remember to have fun!