While reflecting on yesterday’s bowling tournament, I’m just realizing what a wide range of bowling personalities I have. Split personalities. No, the pun wasn’t on purpose at first. A tad bit on the dorky side, but that’s just one of the persona I carry.
This is the fourth year for my Friday night social bowler who doesn’t really try or worry about the score or the victory, though I do like to win in the poker game on the side, and since I have to get marks to get a card, that turns up the heat on performance.
The just bowl for the sake of bowling and have fun is a foreign concept to me, so it’s taken all four years to get there. Sometimes when I bowl, I’m not really there. I take my turn, but in between turns I’m reading or writing or doing something other than pay attention to bowling.
It wasn’t that long ago that I spent my life bowling. My life changed according to my bowling schedule. As I bowler, I studied the pins I left and the adjustments. Sometimes two different balls for the pair of lanes and sometimes a drastically different place to put the ball; the path to the pocket. Without writing all of this down, I wouldn’t remember.
The thing that I have enjoyed about bowling is that it provides a place of balance between the mental game and the physical game. Thinking is the last thing I want to do when I am bowling. I want to trust my body to know exactly how to do something. If I have a glimpse of a thought while converting a ten pin, I will miss it with no doubt in my mind. I knew before I even let go of the ball.
When I am not bowling, that’s when I really put my head down and study. i look at what other bowlers are doing on lanes that I’ll soon be on to give me an idea as to what kind of bowling ball to try. A lot of studying the sciences of bowling. The math.
I’ve always understood the concept of mass and gravity. I know that the impact of a fifteen pound ball will be much harder than a thirteen pounder. I’ve been t dying to convince myself to let go of a couple of pounds. The fifteen pounds represent a lot of work as I convinced Ray Anderson that I could throw something heavier than twelve pounds. A lot of work.
I’ve always had a tenacious persona that comes out when I have a glimpse of an idea that I could be good at something. My resistance to failure boosted my stature to cover up for my short status. I played the angles when thought was necessary. I took the physical route if need be.
Saturday night while riding a school bus shuttle back to my car, i flashed back to have constant skinned knees and various skin abrasions from diving along the ground. Some grounds are more forgiving. Mud was probably my most favorite field condition. I think my main reason to play goalie was to have permission to get dirty. Being really dirty was almost as good as winning, though being dirty and having lost isn’t a place of happy memories, especially those close matches between rivals.
Because I have such an array of bowling personalities, I never really know which one is going to trump, though I’ve not seen the tenacious and confident bowler in quite a while. Even without that higher average bowler, my team went on a record of cashing in the last five tournaments. Statistics were not in our favor.
I don’t pay attention enough to know why I’m not the only one to struggle at Firs Bowl; it used to be the easiest place to bowl. Three hundreds weren’t uncommon. Hell, if I could have two of them, that does demonstrate the level of easiness.
I’m only slightly slamming myself. I have never been a natural bowler. I was horrible when I first began, though without any experience, I shouldn’t have had a bench mark from which to gauge good or bad.
It wasn’t long before the teeth of the tenacious competitor set to work and bit down hard. Give me a sport where I can working as hard as I want and not have to depend on other people to push me, and I’m bound to succeed.The tenancies part has the grip of a crocodile. I think that’s the one that has a hard time opening it’s jaws once clamped down on something.
Yesterday I had moments of that veracity. After the first game, I really didn’t think it was going to be possible. I just drew a frowny face in the place of a high score would be written down.
After the horrendous first game and my team coming away with zero points, I retreated to my car and hauled out some different equipment. I’d like to think that when I put a ball that’s not working away, it hears me scolding it and favoring a different one.
In the good old days I would compare my pin leaves to the layout of a ball to give me a guess as to what it might do on the lanes. Yesterday as I randomly grabbed a bag of different bowling balls, I never looked at the pin placement. Color. Memories. The way it fit on my thumb was the criteria of choice. I haven’t used such and such a ball in a long time is my favorite use justification.
After the horrendous first game, I employed that philosophy on picking out a red Hammer Wheel. It my have been years. And we did well together for a few games. Now granted that there were only four women in the high game pot, I did win three out of four for the high game. It took me all three games to get my money back from putting into the puddle of a pool.
I no longer study the game, which just makes me work that much harder when the competitive side of me kicked in. I was trying all sorts of things as we collectively struggled against the lanes. In one game I had three of these little splits. I don’t think it was the two and the three, though four and five standing doesn’t seem to be the right angle. I’ve got the pins burned into my memory since this is a leave I hardly ever leave. I picked it up the first time. I guess right as to to what ball speed and at what direction I had to use as the ball slips in-between the pins. Overall, I think I left that pair six times and managed to convert it to a spare twice.
When I shift into my get down and dirty persona, I’m focusing on having a balance and deep knee bend as that’s where all of my power is. Having a strong follow through helps. When I miss my target with the focus of having ball speed, there is no room to miss, though I did have more lucky breaks than the many around me. It was rather comical.
Being able to bowl on hard conditions is all tied around that bowling persona. I’m the only one that knows that I’m trying all sorts of different things. Changing bowling balls is noticeable, but where I’m standing, where my target is, and what ball velocity are the main things I change, but sometimes just a curl of my little finger or the angle of my wrist will change things up.
Unfortunately bowling personas don’t change just one game at a time. Sometimes the persona that can’t hit the broad side of a barn steps in for a frame or two. There was one game that I missed three easy spares in a row; instead of having a turkey with three strikes, I had a buzzard with three opens. And then the lucky breaks started to happen. I must have turned the ball at just the exact required angle to get the appropriate spin and curve.
If you are a non bowler, I’d just skip all of that stuff, the technical stuff that’s laced with bowling lingo. I’d rather have you skip over it rather than my having to go back and edit it out.
I am glad that my higher average bowling persona showed up as often as she could yesterday; it was a nice change.Unfortunately, now I’m paying the piper. Digging in with deeper knee bends and stronger follow throughs tax my body, especially my back. It wasn’t happy with me before the tournament even started, but my War Horse persona stepped in. My teammates were struggling. It happens. Bad bowling is like being in quicksand. The more you twist and fight, the quicker the slip.
I knew that before Sunday ended, I was weighing heavily on taking Monday off. More days of being engulfed in the flames of work and commitments had consumed my time and the fires burned hot and quickly.
The key to balancing the hot fires and the cool down periods is keeping the embers warm enough to ignite if need be, but not too warm to burn. Today’s my day of slowly breathing on the embers. If I am lucky I might get a couple of these days in a row and by the time I work again, the fire will be stoked and ready to burn for a while.