Friday, July 16, 2010

2010 U.S. Transplant Games - Update #8

It's hard to believe that it's now just two weeks until the start of The Transplant Games. Time has flown. I've got one more week of practice left here at home before departing and I don't feel like I'm ready yet.

This week has not been a particularly good week of practice. For weeks I've been struggling with getting my bowling ball to turn better. I've had it re-drilled and re-surfaced. Some days it turns. Some days it doesn't. I've talked about the "tune-ups" I've had done on it, but at this point, I don't know what else to do. Those of you that know me well know that I've been a NASCAR fan for 30 years. If you're a fan or watch the races, you've heard drivers and crew chiefs use the terms "tight" and "loose" when describing how their car is handling. When they talk about it being "tight," it means that when the driver turns the steering while in a turn, the car doesn't want to turn and wants to go straight. So, you'll next hear them say something about "loosening" the car up. There's a number of ways they can do that. They can adjust the tire pressure. They can put some wedge in or take some out which basically means they are shifting weight from one part of the car to another to make it turn better. My bowling ball has had the same problem - it's been "tight." Instead of hooking and turning into the pocket, it has continued going straight and missed the pocket. So, I had the pro shop "loosen it up" by plugging my original finger holes and drilling new ones. This basically shifted the weight block inside the ball so it would "flip" and turn into the pocket better. Some days it has worked but others it hasn't. That brings me to yesterday .....

Jim and I practiced together for the last time yesterday before we will depart for The Games. We will practice separately on our own next week. Neither of us had a good day but still bowled a combined 849 which would have won us the silver medal in 2008. However, we're not after silver. Silver is the first loser. In my first two games I bowled a 121 and a 112. I was ticked at the end of them. I prefer to play more of a finesse game. I bowl down the right side of the lane, let the ball turn left and hook into the pocket, and try to leave myself with easy spares and then pick them up. However, yesterday that simply did not work in the first two games. So, I told Jim I was gonna try something drastically different but risky in game three. I would try a power game. I would throw the ball straight down the middle of the lane as hard as I could. My goal - knock down all 10 every time and break them in half !!!!! The risky part is that if you hit the head pin straight on, you're gonna get splits that are extremely hard if not impossible to pick up. However, I knew if I was gonna try it, I needed to do it now in practice. So, first frame - STRIKE. Second frame - STRIKE. Third frame - seven on first ball and picked up spare. Fourth frame - STRIKE. I went on to throw 5 strikes in that game finishing with a 160. It worked !! I would prefer not to have to do that in Madison, but if the ball doesn't turn, I will. I now have a plan B. Now, for the moral of the story.

It never ceases to amaze me how God can teach you things about life it the most unlikely of places. And of all places - a bowling alley. His lesson yesterday didn't occur to me until I was going home. We all get into our habits, ruts, and comfort zones daily. We have our way of doing things and don't want to do it any other way. The problem is that then when things don't go our way, we get angry or frustrated. Sometimes we even give up. Instead, as the Lord taught me yesterday, we should look for a Plan B. We should get out of our comfort zone, if we have to, and use the smarts and the wisdom God gave each of us to figure out a way to accomplish the task before us. We've all heard the saying, "where there's a will, there's a way." There is wisdom in those words. Furthermore, we can NEVER give up. I've always tried to be someone who never gives up. Yesterday, after game two, I was tempted to throw the bowling balls in the bag and head home, but I didn't. I couldn't. That's not me. Furthermore, if I had, I would not have found Plan B in case the ball doesn't turn in Madison. It could be the difference between bringing home gold and coming home empty handed and disappointed. The lesson God taught me yesterday was mainly about myself and my bowling. However, if you think about, it has a lot of implications to everyday life.

Two last thoughts that I want you to think about today. They stick with me always. In fact, I have each of them taped to the metal support inside my bowling glove.
  • Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me."
  • One of my heroes, Dale Earnhardt, once said, "It's not always the fastest car that wins the race. It's the one who refuses to lose."
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: