Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bowling Mindfully

I bowled poorly last night, and I’m not talking only about my lousy scores. If I were talking only about my scores, I wouldn’t feel as unhappy as I do, because I have an excuse for bowling low scores. My right lower leg hurt. It’s been hurting since I strained or pulled my calf muscle shooting baskets several weeks ago. The pain has more or less left my calf and traveled down the back of my lower leg and ankle. It hurts when I walk. I aggravated the injury and the pain last Tuesday when I went bowling with my wife and sister-in-law. I could barely walk for several hours after that. Even though I felt better yesterday, I wouldn’t have bowled last night if it weren’t for the fact that my wife and I are in a league and have to pay every week whether we bowl or not. I figured I might as well get as much of my money’s worth as I could and keep my wife company while she bowled. But not only did I bowl bad scores because my sore leg made me alter my game to avoid stressing my leg and causing it further injury and more pain, I also didn’t concentrate on executing the best I could. I didn’t consistently try to generate as effective a release as possible with consistent ball speed, to play a clearly defined line, to hit my mark, or to just plain bowl mindfully. The poor scores were excusable. The poor effort was not. Well, maybe it was a little. It’s hard to concentrate on your game when your mind is distracted by physical pain and discomfort. But it wasn’t so distracted by these things that it couldn’t have concentrated far better on executing well than it did.

Next time I bowl, I want to concentrate on executing as well as I can with every shot. Then, I’m likely to be happier, no matter how I score. I’m also likely to score better than I did last night.

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