Let’s go bowling
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Over the years, my parents have influenced me in ways they probably didn’t expect.
I’m not that afraid of tarantulas or snakes. I reserve an uncanny respect for really scary roller coasters. And I have a penchant for listening to Roy Orbison, the Bee Gees and Crystal Gayle, depending on my mood.
Man, the ’70s were weird.
But there’s one passion I’ve picked up from the ‘rents they might not have planned. It’s a little game called bowling. And it’s awesome.
I think I just heard a pin drop.
First I should note the highest score I’ve ever bowled is a 148. So when I say I’m passionate about bowling that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m good at bowling. Funny, I’ve had the same problem with love. Thanks to an extremely patient boyfriend, my game seems to be improving.
My handicap really helps.
I pretty much grew up around bowling, so my parents can’t be too surprised. My dad bowled on a Tuesday night league. He participated in scores of bowling tournaments over the years. He even won a pretty good chunk of change in Cincinnati one year. He celebrated by taking us to Disney World for Christmas.
Who says my dad has to win the Super Bowl to be an MVP?
My parents even bowled together on a co-ed league. Unfortunately that didn’t work out so well. My mama always told me never let a husband try to teach his wife how to bowl.
Someone always ends up in tears. And it’s not always the woman.
My mom retired her forest green ball early on, so I use it when I bowl. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about launching that old-school Brunswick with the name Dian engraved on it down the lane. In some ways it draws us closer. We do have the exact same fingers. And toes.
The ’70s were weird (hint: I was born then).
I also carry my mom’s vintage AMF bowling bag when I throw the heat at Burning Mountain Bowl as an alternate on Mountain Beverage’s co-ed Thursday night league team. We’re called Hello From the Gutter. Apparently that’s a song.
The opportunity to bowl is sporadic, so I try to make the most of those nights. And when I say I make the most out of each bowling experience, that means I make it my goal to break 100. Last week’s score of 140 was just icing on the bowling-pin shaped cake.
If I can beat my teammate Kendra’s personal best of 155, I’ll be on a roll.
Not only am I huge fan of bowling, but my passion has now extended to the virtual world of Wii. I even bowled a 234 over the weekend playing Wii Sports. Obviously there’s a big difference between the video game and the real thing. But that made me ponder, “Can Wii Sports bowling help you be a better bowler?”
So I did what every inquiring mind does. I Googled it.
Some said that there’s no connection because of the obvious missing 10- to 14-pound ball in the equation. There were a few indications that bowling Wii-style helps with arm strength, accuracy and control. I guess there’s only one way to figure it out.
Bring on the Wii-Burning Mountain Bowl cross-training regimen. I can already feel the burn in my right arm ” and I’m being totally serious. Wii really is a workout. I’m even thinking about bringing back my old “Strike Dance” from my co-ed bowling league days in Indiana. Kendra, get ready.
That little number is a bit hard on the knees after five or six strikes.
For visualization purposes, this celebratory dance involves punching in the air, dropping to the knees, and what can best be described as two pelvic thrusts for a dramatic finish. I’ve found that the Strike Dance is best initiated after a couple of bowling alley beers. Maybe even some spicy wings or nachos. I learned it from an ex-boyfriend ” and perfect-game bowler with the ring to prove it ” who actually launched his bowling ball in the air after an emotional break-up at the alley.
They don’t call me The Ball Breaker for nothin’.
And I thought the ’70s were weird.
April E. Clark is thinking Sunday’s Super Bowl has more than one meaning. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Intro:Jasmin Ramirez Ramos is a Roaring Fork School District board member and a co-founder of Voces Unidas, a Latino Advocacy group representing Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties.