In 2002, Dan was on a sponsored bowling league and placed 2nd in the city. I had stayed home with the baby while he took the older boys with him. I never seemed to get a chance to do something together with him, let alone learn how to bowl. I could have stood in the crowd and cheered him on, but lugging a baby to a bowling alley after a full day was just too exhausting.
We divorced in 2003 after ten years of marriage. What a coincidence!
Life lesson #1: Hire a babysitter and do things together with your spouse. Don’t make excuses. Just do it. Start by bowling together each week!
Now, fast forward to 2005: Good news! Dan and I remarried. We are one of “those” couples. [winks]
After we moved to our sleepy little mountain community in 2009, Dan convinced me to join him for the weekly bowling league.
I promise you, I could not bowl. I needed bumpers just to get any pins down. I was terrified to join. How embarrassing would that be?
Well, I joined anyway! I knew it would mean the world to my husband if I were with him each week to do this. It would also mean the world to me.
Life lesson #2: If you get a second chance, take it. You may get a gutter ball on the first throw, but you can always pick up the spare on the second throw.
Dan bought me my own ball and my own shoes. I never thought I’d be happy about wearing bowling shoes, but I was!
Now that I had joined a league as the new kid on the block, I figured my new team mates would hate me by the time I finished the 10th frame. Boy, was I wrong.
Much to my surprise, my team mates really didn’t care that I could not bowl. I mean I sucked at it and they didn’t seem to care! They cheered me on every time. Even the opposing team was happy if I did well. They wanted me to be successful and learn how to bowl.
One day when my wrist started bothering me, the captain of the opposite team took the brace off her own wrist and insisted I use it. Now that is team spirit!
Life lesson #3: Don’t assume. Even a stranger can surprise you with kindness. People who bowl are especially kind.
Dan got me my own wrist brace after that day. I continued to bowl every week until my average broke over 100 points per game! Woooohooooo!
Then my elbow starting acting up. Crap. I needed an elbow brace too? Looking like the bionic woman, I trudged along with my two braces and watched my scores go down week by week.
Two weeks ago I had a really, really bad game. I think I had a score of 63 going into the 10th frame. It was brutal. I felt like a failure in all ways possible. Let’s face it, I had acquired two braces for my arm and I still couldn’t seem to bowl a decent game any more.
I lost my mojo.
The following week I forgot both my braces for the first time in a year. I was doomed!
Would you believe that I bowled my best game ever that day, three times in a row? We are talking more than 50 pins over my average, every. single. time.
There are TWO lessons to be learned from this.
Life lesson #4: Don’t quit. Ever. Never let one bad day (or even a run of them) dictate the rest of your season. Shake it off.
Life lesson #5: Don’t convince yourself that you can’t do anything on your own. You may find your abilities are better without any help than if you had just always relied on outside assistance the entire time.
With the success of the previous week, today I decided to bowl (once again) without my arm/wrist braces. We were up against the top team in our league. It was a huge gamble.
Well I’ll be damned! I bowled even better than the week before. Score!
I sure was glad the opposing team was cheering for me all this time. We won all four games and stomped them. Regardless, both teams had the best time today!
Life lesson #6: Always return the kindness of others, and play nicely. This way, everyone wins.
I am so very blessed to be a bowler. If you haven’t tried it yet, or if you haven’t done it for a long time … I think you should do it too. 🙂