Strike! Bowling + Life Parallels: Episode 11
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 11: Further to Fall.
The bad spell was unending. Forget about scoring 140 again, I would have settled for a consistent 110. I never thought I would be back in the days of 70s and 80s and worse.
Have I mentioned that after having been bowling for a little while, I decided to finally get my own bowling shoes instead of renting the broken down things they had in my size? Well I did. I had the foresight to make sure I got something that I could also wear outside of bowling in case this bowling thing ended in disaster. That way I wouldn’t have to look at just-for-bowling shoes the rest of my life. Despite what so many were telling me, I absolutely refused to get my own bowling ball, partly because I couldn’t settle on what weight I should be using, but mostly because if I unceremoniously stopped bowling I surely didn’t want to have that thing around as a reminder. Every time I looked at it, I would think of what could have been and would want to either scream or cry, neither of which would be very helpful during a recovery period.
So on I slogged, feeling more and more like a has-been every session. I was getting tired so fast now, the mental weariness had started to wear me down physically. I was a mess. I can’t say I had no confidence, it was worse than that; more like a deer in the headlights "what is going on," if you can understand it. The fun was certainly gone and I kept telling myself, just have fun, go back to how it was before, but you can’t go home again and I couldn’t seem to have fun again. One night when I got home from another subpar session, it happened to be garbage night and as I dragged the pail to the curb, I had my bowling shoes in my hands and you know what I wanted to do with them. I thought long and hard about just opening the pail and putting them on top; it would have been so easy to do. I wanted out, once and for all, no more bowling.
From the very beginning of this adventure, I have felt like an impostor. I started out doing something I knew nothing about and through a lot of hard work and sheer determination, I managed to become somewhat respectable within my small peer group of company bowlers. Everyone believed in me. But when I thought about it, I felt that I really didn't know what I was doing. Yet, something kept nagging... maybe I did know something, and maybe I could still turn things around and get back to what I had before. Impostor or no, I still wasn’t ready to quit just yet. From the bowling standpoint, I believe I officially hit bottom.