Strike! Bowling + Life Parallels: Episode 7
When Mary Ann first embarked on the path to becoming a “respectable” bowler, she dove in with enthusiasm and fortitude. Nothing, and no one would stand in her way. What she did not expect was the complexity of planning, thought and strategy that were part of this sport she previously gave little or no thought to, and if she had, surely would have viewed it as mindless but fun. Also, taking her by surprise were the generosity of the people she met, and the life lessons she learned along the way. Join Mary Ann on her meaningful, and at times extremely funny journey.
Episode 7: A Slight Smile Out of Rob the Ex-Pro
So, of course the morning after I lost the loser pin in competition and I was sporting my lofty 102 score like a conquering hero, everyone in the office had to listen to my story. Looking back now, it amazes me that they actually listened and seemed to enjoy hearing of my adventures whenever I had a story to tell. But the reality was that 102 was still pathetic in light of my personal goal which was to win the highest woman’s score at some point before too long. I had to do consistently better before the next competition.
Everyone kept telling me to use a heavier ball. That’s the only way to get strikes, that’s the only way to pick up the spares, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I was sick of hearing it already. So, I try the heavier ball like I mean business. The twelve-pounder I could barely do more than drop it in the lane and hope for the best. Maybe when my arm gets stronger I thought it might work. Tried the ten-pounder, now this one might actually have some potential. I wasn’t yet able to fling it down the lane at top speed like I could the seven-pounder, but the ten-pounder had possibilities. The pins didn’t laugh at that one! From then on, I would alternate the seven and the ten in various combinations, the perfect combination eluding me, but right now all was going nicely. My scores were improving, I was having fun. I had yet to hit the wall, where my scores were not getting better and the fun had turned into a chore. Since that’s still a ways down the trail, let me tell you a funny story that first started about this time.
A coworker and competition teammate told me that she would try to meet me at the bowling alley and bowl with me. So I get to the bowling alley and I tell the regulars (now I am one of them) that my friend will be coming later. Well she can’t make it and they wonder what happened to my friend. This then seems to go on every week and I keep telling them she may be coming, every week on and on we go. They must have thought I was crazy or delusional (actually they would be right on both counts, for numerous other reasons) and it got so comical every week this person not showing up, that I began calling her my invisible friend. This actually got a slight smile out of Rob the ex-pro who doesn’t smile at anything. In his eyes, I had arrived and maybe he could make a bowler out of me yet. Let’s see what happens.