Girl Trip Gone Bad

17 Jan

What I thought was going to be a great mother/daughter weekend, turned out to be heartbreaking for the both of us.

Wednesday night, after I worked and after she bowled, we ran home, packed our bags, and stuffed everything, including her bowling bags into my little Mustang.

Stuffed under blankets and coats, and armed with everything girls need for a fun road trip, we finally started on our way.  As we drove, we talked and laughed and listened to loud music.  We arrived at our hotel late, set our alarm for early, and drove the rest of the way to Chicago.

Despite the ungodly traffic in Chicago at that time of the day, we arrived at her college visit with time to spare.

The school itself was pretty cool.  Neither of us had seen a college that was set up in only one building.  We liked the idea of smaller classes, and the fact that the dorms were right across the street was a big plus.  For two hours we talked about the programs the school offered, toured the dorms, and discussed scholarships.

Before meeting with the bowling coach, we took a walk around Chicago.  Mario tried to picture herself living there and was quite excited.  Although she grew up in a very small town, she’s always aspired to live in a big city.  And from the way she helped me navigate around, I’m pretty confident she’ll handle herself well.

We grabbed some lunch, and headed to the bowling alley.  That’s when things began to turn south.

We learned about the program and then the coach asked to watch her bowl.  She threw a few balls for him, and he was pretty impressed, except for one thing.  Her thumb hole was too big and she was gripping the ball causing it not to roll the way it should.  5 hours later, we were still there.  With her permission they had redrilled her balls, but that little change was enough to change everything.  She found herself dropping the ball or lofting it way out onto the lane.  In her exasperation, she started to cry which only worsened things. All the college girls took turns talking with her, explaining how they had gone through similar changes, and each time she’d relax and try again.

When we were completely exhausted, she exchanged phone numbers with one of the girls and we made the 3 hour drive back to the hotel.

Both of us were scared.  She was to bowl in the regional tournament for her high school bowling on Saturday – a tournament she had been looking forward to all season.  She had been confident she would go in and kick butt, but now, she was so afraid of the ball lofting into the air, that she was no longer confident.

On our way home Friday, we stopped at a bowling alley to throw a few balls.  She began to feel a little more confident, but that night, after we arrived home, she had practice with her team.  She lofted the ball quite a few times and crumbled into tears.  We were running out of time as the tournament was the following morning.

Long after the others had gone, Mario and I stayed and practiced some more.  I kept her calm, reminded her to keep her hand relaxed, and we drilled and drilled and drilled.  Once again, we arrived home exhausted, and still a little nervous about the tournament.  I cried myself to sleep.

Long story short (or is it too late for that?), she bowled one game in the tournament.  After she lofted the ball the third time, she didn’t want to let her team down.  She asked the coach to pull her out, knowing that she would no longer be able to advance individually by doing that.  She bravely held her head up and cheered her team on for the next 5 games.  She watched as her good friend Alice excelled into the top spot, and smiled right along with her.  I held back tears knowing she wished she could have been in that spot with her.

This was it for her Junior year of bowling.  Not quite the end she had imagined.

We both know this was the right change.  With practice and time, she will be back to her normal self, and will accelerate to the top.  I know it.  She knows it.

But right now, we’re heartbroken.



Posted by on January 17, 2016 in Bowling, Family, Parenting


13 responses to “Girl Trip Gone Bad

  1. Tee

    January 17, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Poor Mario! I feel so awful for her! But what a champ she is to have handled it with such maturity and grace. Not many kids would have taken the high road the way she did. With that attitude, she’ll be back in top form before you know it.

    • shadowrun300

      January 18, 2016 at 2:46 am

      I was so proud of how she held her head high and cheered her team on. I believe she was genuinely happy for the two that are advancing, but once we were in the car, the sadness returned. As she said, she worked all year to be able to strut her stuff – well those are my words – in this tournament, and she felt like she had a broken limb.
      Sigh – it’s still sad for me. I’ll feel better once I can get her back on the alleys and see her confidence grow. She’s got some other big tournaments coming up, and she can strut her stuff there. 🙂

      • Tee

        January 18, 2016 at 2:47 am

        I’ll be rooting for her! I know she’s got big things ahead with those bowling skills!

  2. Abby

    January 17, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Aw, crap, what a disappointing turn of events! I’m glad you were with her through it all to keep it from being even worse. I’m confident she’ll bounce back.

    • shadowrun300

      January 18, 2016 at 2:48 am

      I am SO glad I was able to be with her through all this. It would have been awful if I had to work. I finally went back to work today, and all I could think of was her. She’s doing much better than I, thank goodness. She’ll bounce back for sure. 🙂

  3. Rock Chef

    January 19, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Probably a good thing in the long run, but utterly terrible timing! Hope she is back on form soon!

    • shadowrun300

      January 20, 2016 at 5:02 am

      We both needed a break from bowling alleys for a few days, but hopefully she’ll be ready to get back on the lanes soon. One thing that’s positive is she’s only a junior. She can come back next year and totally kick butt as a senior. It’ll all be alright in the long run.

  4. agg79

    January 20, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Poor Mario! We all hate to see our kids stumble like that, but I think she showed tremendous character and maturity to step aside to let the team move forward. I hate when someone tries to “help” me when I am doing something like golf or bowling, I am not a skilled athlete and most of my game is mental, so when I am in the zone, I do not appreciate advice on what I am doing wrong. Once you let them into your head, it really messes you up. If is good that you are going to take a break from it for a bit to allow her to relax and get back into her zone. I would chalk this up as a learning experience (I know, hard to do right now) and look to next year.

    • shadowrun300

      January 22, 2016 at 4:52 am

      It was a heartbreaking weekend for sure, but I was so proud of her the day of the tournament. I know she was wishing she was bowling.
      It’s difficult to make any kind of change, but to make a change and then only have a few days to get used to it was, in hindsight, a pretty dumb thing for us to do.
      In the long run this change will be good. I can’t wait to write the sequel to this story. But first I have to get her back on the lanes.

  5. llcooljoe

    January 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Oh no poor Mario, and you. But I don’t get it, this all happened because the coach said the thumb holes were too big on her ball? Surely if it was working for her, does that matter? Or is it more than that and I’m missing it. Anyway I’m sure she’ll adapt and kick arse again!

    • shadowrun300

      January 22, 2016 at 4:57 am

      It was working for her to some degree, but I knew something was not quite right with what she was doing. Believe it or not, the thumb hole was the problem. Our mistake was trying to “fix” it before her big tournament.
      Once she masters a better ball release, she will REALLY kick arse. I’ve got all the confidence in the world. I’m just not sure she does, which is the hardest part.

  6. Ms. CrankyPants

    January 22, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Poor Mario! I’m sorry it was such a tough time, but it sounds as if she has a great attitude.

    • shadowrun300

      January 24, 2016 at 2:25 am

      I learned so much about her that weekend. She’s a lot stronger than I give her credit for. I also learned that sometimes there IS crying in bowling. Especially if you’re as passionate as she is about it. She’s gonna be ok. Better than ok, actually. And I’ll be back to bragging about her in no time.


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