Risk versus Reward

When you watch curling on TV you get a pretty good sense of what the game is like.  If you watch it and have never actually curled yourself, you have to keep in perspective that there is a major difference in what you’re seeing and what you’ll experience in club curling. 

I’m continually struggling to find the right speed coming out of the hack.  I tend to push off too hard on my delivery and slide out too fast.  Once delivery has begun it’s nearly impossible to correct and keep your aim true.  There are tips and tricks.  Best is to keep your delivery consistent and to practice it repeatedly.  No surprise there.  One of the routines I perform before each throw - especially after I’m throwing after brushing hard and have an elevated heart rate - is to hum a bar or two of a song that calms my senses and paces me for the shot I want to throw next. 

You’d think the pros would never have that problem.  The telestrator draws the line the rock’s going to take, puts a fat red or yellow dot where the rock’s going to end up, and the curler just throws it right on target. 

I used to go crazy when someone had been making circus shots all game long and winds up throwing a rock through the end to give up a steal.  “Dude, you’ve been making everything you’ve thrown all night!  Try it!”

I guess there’s a big difference when you’re a club curler and the biggest risk you’re taking is drinking a beer early as opposed to winning the Brier or the Scotties.  Part of being a professional is knowing when the risks far outweigh the rewards.  If there’s such a low percentage of making the shot correctly and the outcome of missing the shot is devastating, sometimes it’s much better to give up one and try for a better setup in the next end instead of giving up five and ending the game.

Cue Kenny Rogers singing The Gambler.

I’ve run across a new commentator who has one of those telestrators that works on your life instead of your TV.  “Interactive poetry, pop-culture philosophizing, and loving self-mockery.”  Lately every time I’ve been reading a post my mind has been throwing a parry - riposte into my thoughts.  I enjoy having my perceived notions challenged, it’s been a while since I’ve been pushing outside my boundaries instead of just mucking through the day to day.

Valerie posted this on risk and trust a couple days back and it’s really been eating at my soul.  I’ve been trying to be more involved in my community, in my city, in my province, in my country.  I’ve been trying to balance keeping myself active and not over-extending myself and burning out.  But TRUST?  I haven’t been so good on the trust front lately.  Actually, I’ve been outright distrustful of nearly everyone.

There is danger in throwing yourself out there.  Risk in taking chances.  But without taking the chances we have no hope of growing beyond the boundaries we have set for ourselves.

Cue the Rheostatics “Song of Danger.”

No matter how you slice it the next four months are going to be tough for me.  But I can try a few low percentage shots, but even if I miss none of the outcomes will be too horrible.  Just try to stay clear of the really bad choices and give myself a chance to bail out of this end and try to set something up again on the next one.

I can manage anything when it’s wrapped up in a curling metaphor.

Happy World Turtle Day.