I haven’t gone bowling in years, but three weeks ago I was back at it, funny shoes and all. I think I’ve played mini-golf more times than I’ve gone bowling, and that isn’t saying much.
I only played two games. The first game, I was getting used to bowling again. I kept experimenting with different balls. I went for the pink gum light gum balls and tried bowling with that. I kept noticing my buddies next to me getting strikes and having a great old time. I hung my head in shame and then just kept trying. I kept trying different balls and adjusting my technique. I got a heavier ball and got a strike towards the end of the game. I think I got an 85–not an impressive score.
However, towards the end of the game, I made a few interesting choices in addition to getting the heavier ball. I modeled the form that the more successful players were using–something like my foot ending up on the other side of my body. I also made the decision to breathe and, as hokey as this is going to sound, I made the decision to love the moment. I made the decision to be happy holding the ball, seeing where the pins were, releasing the ball, and staying connected even after I released the ball.
The results were shockingly fun. Almost every frame I played a spare or a strike. At one point, I got three strikes in a row. I surprised myself by being able to pick off single pins. Each time it was my turn, I made the decision again: have fun with this moment, connect, love. I ended up the game with 200.
I didn’t know that this was a big deal, except for the big video display. Then guys came up and said, “Wow, how did you do that?” A couple guys explained that they have been bowling regularly and have never gotten to 200.
I could end this little post with some big lesson. In fact, as I wrote this, Steve Chandler’s 100 Ways to Create Wealth came up on my samurai shuffle. His wealth tip #29 is: “Learn to Keep Breathing.”
However, for now, I’m not going to further dissect that moment. My only hope is that I can have more of those moments, and that others can have more of those moments in bowling, serving others, the earth and all other sorts of silly games.