Strike! Bowling + Life Parallels: Episode 8
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 8: Confidence Is At An All-Time High, And Other Things
My confidence was at an all-time high this next little while, fresh off cracking the 100 mark in competition, and I was determined to do better next time. Toward that goal I marched, all-you-can-bowl night became my personal training ground, as I regularly bowled over 20 games each session. Rob would watch and smile from time to time, giving me a tip every now and then, finally figuring out the best way to present them without my stubbornly balking. And once he found out I was a banker by day, you can’t imagine all the financial questions he had for me! From credit cards to abandoned property, he thought I knew it all. Of course I don’t, and looking back at it now I realize that despite how the banking industry may be portrayed these days, the community banker is still respected on Main Street, USA. Makes me proud of the career path I’ve chosen. But I digress, right now, it’s bowling, front and center.
These were good days as my scores steadily improved and I developed more consistency. Highs began to approach the 120s, I felt I made progress each time out in some way, and I was starting to have the run of the place at the bowling alley. Like the gym rat in basketball and the rink rat in hockey, I had become the alley rat, the fixture, always there on all-you-can-bowl night, working, working, working. Two brothers owned the place, one took the day shift and I rarely saw him, but the one who took the night shift, Craig, I saw every week and we became pals of a sort. His brother was clearly the worker of the pair, the go-getter, the businessman. Craig, the younger brother, was more relaxed and fun-loving. He would tease me unmercifully about my arm falling off and would practically have to turn the lights off on me many a night so I would stop bowling and he could go home already. He would call me a "machine" for the way I kept going at it and as he got to know me better he would hand me the keys at the end of the night and say, “I’m leaving, lock up when you’re done.” And many a time, if you didn’t know better, you would think he was serious too.
You know, I have to say, I have had a lot of fun with the people I have met along the way. That has been a lesson in itself. Throughout this improbable journey that started innocently enough one winter’s evening, throughout my efforts to conquer this bowling challenge I have found myself in the midst of, I have gotten nothing but support from those who have come to know me and my adventure. Somehow they have been drawn in to it and have taken the ride with me, always encouraging, always rooting me on. And I can’t say I really understand it all, but it has sure been special. And I hope you, my reader, will want to keep riding with me too.