So… I was reading a fellow blogger’s post the other day, and was hit upside the head with the realization that…
BOWLING IS FUN!
At some point throughout my 30+ years of bowling, I had forgotten that bowling is supposed to be fun.
Now please understand, it wasn’t always that way for me…
My first experience with bowling was when I was 9. My parents signed me up for junior league. I averaged about 60 that year. And it was Fun! I didn’t care how many gutters I threw, or how many spares I missed. I was with my friends, and we were having a blast. My team made it to the rolloffs that first year…. and I killed it! I bowled a 120 game that won my team the championship, and boy was I pumped! During the banquet, my coach pointed out to everyone how I had bowled so well, and my head swelled with pride as I strutted on up to get my trophy.
That exciting day was the start of my obsession with bowling. You see, from that day on I wanted to be a GOOD bowler. I got my own ball, and begged Mom for my own shoes (“not until your feet stop growing” she would say). At home, I would grab anything that rolled to practice my four step approach, and on league day, I would hang on every word my coach would say to me. My mom sewed all my award patches on my bowling shirt (three strikes in a row, three splits in a row, 50 pins over average, etc. etc.) and I wore it proudly. Bowling was something I wanted to do all the time. It soon would become fun for reasons other than hanging out with friends. It was fun because it was challenging, and I have always been up for a good challenge.
Fast forward 30 years…. I’m still obsessed with bowling: competing in tournaments (some of them pretty competitive), and bowling twice a week in leagues. I read about it and watch it on TV, and talk tirelessly about it with other bowlers. I buy a new ball every year, and set new goals for myself all the time. I love to bowl with people who are better than I, so that I can learn from them, whereby improving my own average. I eat, drink and sleep bowling. At this point it’s still very fun – but mainly because I am seeing my average continue to rise. And because I have reached my goal of shooting a 700 series (which I have done multiple times – woohoo!), and my goal of bowling a 300 game (the first female in my bowling center to have done so). It’s fun because I am doing well and I live for competition. The more competitive I become, and the more I improve, the more focused I am on winning, or bettering myself, and not on the social part of it.
Fast forward 1 more year….Suddenly bowling is one of the last things on my mind. What? Anyone who knows me well would never believe it. What has happened?? No longer is bowling an obsession… no longer do I think about it 24/7… no longer do I wait impatiently for my next bowling night, tournament or practice session….
……No longer am I a teacher/stay-at-home-mom with endless amounts of time on my hands…. I have taken a job that has the exact opposite hours of a teacher… late nights, early mornings, weekends… I am on my feet 8 hours a day, and have an hour commute to work each day. How can I possibly think about bowling? For the first time since I can remember, bowling has taken a back seat. I still bowl in a league twice a week… but because the focus is no longer there, and my endless days of practicing are long gone, I am watching my average decline. For someone as competitive as I, it’s been a depressing bowling season. Many nights I come home complaining that I should just quit. It’s not fun if I am not bowling well. My husband tries to be supportive, advising me to not take it so seriously, and maybe I would begin to bowl better, or at least not come home so miserable.
His advice has fallen on deaf ears… until just recently, cuz just recently I read the blog “Too Much Fun Had by Women Bowlers”. It was like being hit over the head – Really? Bowling can be fun without hitting 200 every game? I have read that blog a couple of times now, and I’m slowly beginning to convince myself that I shouldn’t quit a game that I have enjoyed for- EVER. I may even have to admit that my husband could be right…
It’s hard – yes. When I miss a spare, or fail to shoot a decent 3 game series, a little part of me wants to pout and give up, but I’m trying…. I’m trying to shrug it off, and go back to my team of very fun girls…. and focus on what my bowling league nights can really be about.
Carefree. Kidfree Workfree.
So thank you Terri. I am going to take the summer off for the first time in years, and come back next year to have fun. I’m excited to have a different focus on bowling… it’ll be a new challenge for me, but one that I am ready to accept.
Bring It On!