Strike! Bowling + Life Parallels: Episode 10
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 10: Mary Ann Hits the Proverbial Wall.
I was flying high the next morning, parading our trophies around the office--such fun it all was! It's a good thing I enjoyed the victory while I could, because hard times were coming. All of a sudden my scores stopped improving. All of a sudden I was having real struggles with ball selection. All of a sudden the fun disappeared. What was going on? What had happened? How do I fix this? I had no idea. Perhaps the honeymoon had ended. Perhaps bowling had become a job. Did I have too much, albeit limited, success too early on? It was all absolutely maddening.
Each week I would go to all-you-can bowl with a good attitude that was quickly dashed as I did relatively poorly. Friends and family would tell me things, like, you know eventually you will get to the point where you won’t improve anymore, you will have reached your potential. Oh no, I’m not reaching my potential until I get to at least 200. How about the just relax and have fun theory, don’t worry about the scores, they will come around. I stop looking at the scoreboard and just roll the ball for fun. Ha! That turned out to be ridiculous as I knew just how I was bowling without looking at the scoreboard.
And I thought, okay, maybe if I try a different weight ball or switch up more or just keep using the seven-pounder that I could control best. Control, it all came down to that really. I had lost control in a sense and had to find it again, somehow. I know it was only bowling, not life or death, but those were some dark times for me. I had loved bowling, it was new and fun and I had managed some success at it, but those days were gone and it was so frustrating to me.
One week after just a few rolls I felt like packing it in permanently, the magic was gone, I couldn’t get it back and that would be that. It is always easier to walk away than stick around and work through the bad days. Sorry to be a "downer" -- I'm just telling it like it is. Yet, in the back of my mind, I felt, if I tried hard enough to figure out what was happening and why, and if I could be flexible enough to adjust, I might--maybe--get my mojo back.