Odds

The word ‘odds’ means just one thing to me and it has been floating around in my head for days now.

I am the youngest of three in our family and our father was big into organising running races for us when we were out and about in the countryside in our childhood days.

He never lined us up together but always arranged it so that we were given ‘odds’ based on age to equalise our chances of winning.

I always felt like I was way ahead of the others at the start but the closer we got to the finish line, marked with sticks or stones, the others were clipping at my heels and more often than not my brother would give a little wave as he sprinted passed me just when I thought I was in with a shot of winning.

I adored those impromtu races and they certainly kept us all on our toes. Interestingly, we are all still mad into walking and trekking and even a bit of running.

I never asked Dad but I have a feeling that the ‘odds’ ploy came from his father who was big into athletics and who had a big brood of very outdoorsy kids.

Happy days and a far cry from smartphones and tablets!

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

9 thoughts on “Odds”

  1. Your father had the wisdom to show each one of you how important you were by giving your the self confidence in assuring you all had an equal chance of finishing first…I thought of horse racing where one in tuned with it figures out the odds of a certain entry finishing and what position it will end in…I can almost see the “Wave of Victory” from your dear brother and perhaps a small smirk on his face as he runs by you (who thought I have it in the bag)…It gave you the initiative to try try again down the road never give up…One of life’s important lesson…An enjoyable story for all of us to dig in and never give in …

  2. Oh I can still see the victory smile. It would be the same today! We’re extremely close which is great and I guess I will always be little sis to him and he big bro to me.

  3. Sounds a bit like the Powderhall Sprints in Scotland where the runners are handicapped according to ability and there’s great betting activity amongst the spectators.

    1. Oh, so that’s why these races of ours were held in the back of beyond with large gatherings of farmers cheering from the side of the road. Often wondered why Dad was always talking to a big fella in two coats who spent his time licking a pencil and slapping other guys’ hands!

      1. Haha. Well you haven’t got the road bowling down your way I don’t think Jean. Over in Cork that was (and is) a good Sunday afternoon outing with plenty of notes changing hands.

        1. Oh but we do have road bowling here in the east of the county. Out by Fenor and near Dunmore East, they’ll be getting into full swing in the next hour or so. We have a lot going on in this county of ours that you need to explore more than you did when you were here. 😊

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