Volume 2, Issue 5, The 57th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
I'm tired. June ended up being a travel month for me, and I am beginning to get an inkling of what it must be like for professional bowlers to be on the road week in and week out. I started the month out in Las Vegas, watching the PBA at the Showboat Invitational. A few days later, I was off for some bowling of my own at the Hoinke in Cincinnati and WIBC in Indianapolis. Heck I didn't even unpack between trips. I basically reloaded.
No sooner had I gotten back (I won't even go into the flight cancellation and getting home a day late--thank goodness for friends), when I had the good fortune to watch a Western Women's Professional Bowling event, and root for a few friends who were competing. My son wanted to bowl the Pro Am, so we stayed well into the evening. Then my friends made matchplay, so a visit on Saturday turned into a return trip for Sunday.
Then we spent Father's Day at the ACDelco Pro Am, where my son bowled extremely well, but it was an hour away from home, and this sojourn involved some of Los Angeles' infamous traffic. And I spent the rest of this week going back and forth to the tournament at Cal Bowl watching both the bowling and some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on at the All-Star Classic.
I can safely say I've never spent so much time in different bowling centers, in different cities, as I have this month. Where I didn't have a clue where the nearest ATM was, or heaven forbid, how to get to the nearest Starbucks. Life on the road bowling might be exciting, but I am also beginning to realize it must be draining. Despite all the travel this week, I still slept in my own bed, so I didn't have a strange room to contend with on top of everything else, and I was able to make some of my own meals. And thankfully didn't bowl upwards of 50 or 60 games this week either--I just came home and bowled league on my regular bowling nights.
So next time someone starts comparing professional bowlers with amateurs, I'm going to laugh. I won't judge personal decisions on whether to become a professional or stay amateur, but honestly, how could I compare a weekend warrior with a combat veteran? Pro bowlers leave all their personal business behind them when they shoe up. They must miss their families, their homes, and the day-to-day things I take for granted--the little things that make up our lives. And somehow they still manage to come out and average astronomical numbers for the week. The entire lifestyle is different than what the average league bowler faces, and it's even a far cry from what regional or amateur players face.
By the telecast Saturday, I was tired, and when the telecast was over, I was ready to go home. Spending that much time away from home wasn't easy. This week I will be spending a lot of time catching up with domestic things. After being on the road a few months, I can only imagine how happy the players are to be going home for a few months, the U.S. Open being the only major event to disturb this summer.
I have even more respect for the folks who bowl for weeks on end in the grueling life of a pro bowler. Sure it's a great dream to become a pro bowler, but there's another side. The side where they leave home for a couple months, with no time to go home between stops. And there's all that driving from point A to point B. Other sports might have games for a week or so away, then a week or so home. Not bowling.
Yet they do this because it's their sport. Our sport. I do it because I'm crazy, I guess. But to me, supporting my sport is worth it. But I'm glad to keep my day job, and leave the bowling to the pros.