No Pressure, No Diamond; No Risk, No Reward

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

I have a drink koozie* that says:

No grit, no pearl. No pressure, no diamond.

In other words, no risk, no reward.

I will readily confess to not being much of a risk taker (if left to my own devices). While moving to Wales DID take me out of my comfort zone – well, let’s face it, it’s an English speaking country so aside from learning to drive on the other side of the road, it was probably no more challenging than my move to Texas, where I drive on the traditional side of the road, only much, much more defensively.

Fact is, though, that we learn through our mistakes, and I’m trying to stretch myself a little more each day. My son is also one who is probably less inclined to take risks; I sometimes wonder if this is tied to being the firstborn and parents are more protective of our firstborns because we are so afraid of screwing them up. By the second one, I think we realize it’s inevitable and we loosen our hold just a smidge.

But I digress.

where he teaches me a lesson about risk and reward

The one place where I see my son take more risk is in his position as goalkeeper. It’s a tough position – there’s a lot of risk, and if you fail, you generally get all the blame heaped on you. And honestly, if you make the save, well, it’s your job, so it’s not always appreciated.

In a match earlier this week, his team was struggling as it was missing several players due to illness, injury, and a few more being called up to play Varsity. They were all a bit off their game, and at one point, the defense was out of position when the other keeper kicked the ball towards the middle of the field. I about fell off the bleachers when I saw Sam run to the 45 yard line (their matches are played on a football field that has soccer lines painted on it) to clear the ball.

It’s an insanely risky choice – if the forward from the other team reached the ball first, Sam was well out of position, having left the goal open, and it would be hard to protect it. However, he’s fast, and he reached it first and cleared the ball.

Here’s the thing: after he cleared the ball, the defender collided with Sam’s ankle, and he went down. The verdict: a sprain that kept him out of the final match.

I asked him after the match what made him make that choice. “If I stayed where I was, I knew it would be a one-on-one and that’s harder to defend. I had a better shot of getting there first, so I just got there first. The coach won’t be mad if it works.”

“But – you ended up injured.”

He schooled me, patiently explaining that it’s a risk he takes every time he goes up against another player to protect a ball, something I should know by the number of injuries racked up over the course of the past few years. To him, the reward of saving the ball far outweighs the risk, just like how every cut, turf burn, and bruise resulting from tough keeper trainings on turf or badly maintained fields is outweighed by the opportunity to improve his skills.

In other words: no pressure, no diamond. No grit, no pearl.

I could learn a lesson or two from my son.

*I do not usually take life mottos from koozies. In fact, the only reason I use one at all is because this one came from author Sarah Sadler as part of the promotional material for her book, “Southernmost”, a warm Southern contemporary romance. For a koozie, it’s pretty and I love the motto.

AND it keeps my drink cold while sitting on the patio, so there’s that.


Today’s post was inspired by this week’s prompt from Five Minute Friday , which is intended to be a free write.

(More specifically, no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.) 

For five minutes flat. 


*Since I’m not a terrible rule follower and even worse with typos, this was TOTALLY edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation after that five minutes was up. 

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