I am not the typical American male. I don't like watching football on Sunday afternoons. I can't tell you who plays for a certain team. Sports have just never been my thing. This is probably due to all the running around and potential to get dirty. But, I do enjoy going bowling from time to time. This is probably due to the fact that you can have nachos and a large soda while playing the game. But, what is it like playing this game when you can't see the pins?
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a world class bowler by any stretch of the imagination. But, before I lost my sight, I would bowl around a 175 on average. I figured that was pretty good, especially since I had no idea what I was doing. Granted, the people I played with didn't either. Well, except for those few times we go with the church youth group and one parent would bring their own bowling ball and glove. You could tell that person took this seriously. But, for the most part, we were there to have a good time, eat something with nacho cheese and embarrass ourselves.
After losing my sight, bowling presented its own challenges. There are usually a couple of steps down to where the chairs are and then another step up to the lane itself. The ground, steps and chairs are usually all a very similar colors creating an interesting way of getting around. Then there is the matter of a heavy ball that you have to carry around. Don't want to get hit with that thing! The worst part isn't carrying it around. It is trying to figure out which direction to hurl it. This can create problems.
One of the first times I went bowling after losing my sight was with a group of friends. Again, we were just there to have a good time. I could see well enough to know where to stand and throw the ball. However, what I didn't count on was the thing that comes down and picks up the pins that are left to sweep away the pins that got knocked down. If you don't wait long enough, you will, like me, throw the ball and smack that bar with it. It is, to say the least, embarrassing. But, what do you do? Laugh and move on…
My family and I still enjoy a game of bowling from time to time. In fact, my son had a birthday party at a bowling alley at one point. I wouldn't say we are “regulars” by any means, but it can be a fun Saturday night for us. We can take our time getting the balls, lining up shots and just having a good time. Plus, did I mention the nachos?
Bowling is actually a pretty good sport for the VIP community as it isn't too fast paced, there isn't a log field or court to maneuver and, best of all, no one is trying to throw or hit a ball at you. Plus, if you are not too embarrassed, you can play with bumpers to help you keep it on the lane. That is, of course, they make you feel like a child who doesn't know what they are doing. But, that might not be a sight loss issue.
If you haven't tried bowling since losing your sight, give it a shot. It can be a lot of fun and very low key. And, above all else, you get to eat nachos while playing the game. I can't stress that enough. I never saw Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning with a big pile of nachos while running down the court or field. And, that is a win in my book!
Do you enjoy bowling? God a good story to share? Let me know in the comments below!