Getting old SUCKS!!!
I spent my teenager years in bowling alleys. Bowling, bowling, and bowling some more. One of my best memories from that time was going to the lanes at Mather AFB and renting a lane for an hour. I could bowl ten games in an hour back then, with the last game just as good as the first. I was never great, but I got to the point where I consistently averaged 175-180, frequently topping 200 in individual games. In my early 20s, I stopped bowling regularly and my visits to the ol’ bowling alley have been sporadic since. The interesting thing is that I still can get pretty close to the same scores I did all those years ago.
A while back, Guest Blogger and I started bowling every once in a while. Maybe about once a month. 10:00 a.m. on Sundays, followed by burgers or pizza. Always good times with Guest Blogger.
Then I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and that activity ground to a halt. Until this morning. It was time to hit the lanes again. Guest Blogger and I. Five games later I realized I’m getting old.
Two games in I was struggling. First game was somewhere in the 160s, second game was low 140s. My ability to convert spares was saving me, but I absolutely could not find the pocket for strikes. What I realized, my acceptance of age, was this. We more advanced bowlers typically have hooks, the ball spins off our hands, rolls out there, catches and then hooks into the pins, scattering them. Hopefully. There are plenty of different ways to do this, but ever since my teens, my preferred line was an inside line. Standing more towards the center of the approach, I not only needed wrist strength to create the necessary spin for the ball to go out and then hook back in, I also needed strength to direct the ball out. Think of it this way — strength to spin and strength to direct. I simply could not do it consistently this morning, rarely hitting the line I needed to bring the ball back into the pocket.
What I’ve seen though is the older guys rarely, if ever, try the inside line. Instead, they are stationed more to the right of the approach and they flip the ball out and let it hook in on its own — rather than trying to direct the ball out wide to then come back in. They use an outside line that requires less wrist strength.
After the second game today, I moved outside. We played three more games. The first was in the 170s and the second and third were both in the low 200s. I have conceded to age. I no longer have a young man’s strength in my wrist. It’s time to join the old guys and just flip the ball out on the outside line and let it do its thing.
Old age sucks but we all have to make accommodations to it eventually.