I really love bowling and one of the things that I’ve been struggling with recently is the fact that I’m not as good as I was 4 years ago.
To give you some background, I used to play for Northern Ireland. I played in the World Cup and other Championship events. I have a high game of 299. I have a high series of 773. I was the London Ladies Captain and won their trials 4 years in a row. It’s not something that has ever come easily to me, but I worked really, really hard. Not just on my physical game, but also on my mental game. I used to get upset if things weren’t going my way, or if I had a bad game, but I learned to take each shot as it comes and just to forget what’s already happened as you can’t change it. When I got injured in late 2011, my league average was in the 205 region and I’d placed in a few Team England ranking events. When I finally was able to start playing again, I got pregnant and that was the end of my short lived comeback.
I started having a few games here and there in late December 2014 and subbed through Spring and Summer 2015 here and there, but was frustrated at not getting regular games. In September, we started a league running at Rochester – The Medway Premier Doubles League and now I’m finally playing again on a regular basis. My current league average is only 180, which I find frustrating, despite the fact the centre is not the easiest. When I’m feeling rational, I can tell myself I need to be patient, train, stop beating myself up, because it is coming back. When I’m feeling irrational, I beat myself up for not getting it back instantly.
So Friday night at Tolworth was really satisfying. I was subbing on my friend’s team and we had a pretty tough opponent. The lanes were also flooded and nowhere near as high scoring as Tolworth typically can be.
I was really delighted then to have a 257, my first 250+ game since having Rose and coming back to bowling. It’s a funny sport and although it can easily kick you down, it’s remarkable how throwing 7 awesome shots in a row for 7 strikes can pick you back up.
For my 6 games this week, I’ve averaged 202.
Fingers crossed I’ve turned a corner!
How do you all cope after injury, or a break from something that you really love? Do you find it frustrating?