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The Right Approach...Views on the world of bowling.

Volume 3, Issue 13, The 117th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      Wow...time flies when you're having fun. Who would have thought that a few-week maternity leave would slip into just over four months? Zoe Gabrielle was born a healthy and happy 8 lb. 7 oz. baby on March 22, 2001, just seven minutes before the day ended. Four months later, she's 14 lbs. 3 oz. and a virtual drool factory.

      At six weeks she made her way to her first tournament, watching her parents bowl the state Bowlers to Veterans Link championships. Then at ten weeks she made her first trip to the National Bowling Stadium, to witness four teams of friends compete in the ABC Championships. I'll admit, she slept throughout the bowling events, but she was definitely there.

      And despite rumors to the contrary, Zoe doesn't have her own bowling set yet, but our family is definitely looking at the various baby/kiddie sets that are available on the market right now. And I'm sure by the time she can sit up, she'll be rolling the orb down the hallway.

      But bowling-wise for me, this is where the fun stops. While well-meaning folks tell me I shouldn't worry, it's been difficult. My scores have suffered. The same woman who shot her high series of 732 during City Tournament when she was five months pregnant now struggles to break 500. I'm too proud to bowl the way I'm bowling right now, regardless of the reason. I stopped bowling six weeks before Zoe was born because of leg pain, but two weeks and a day after she was born, I was on the lanes eager to bowl. But my timing is off something awful. Since then, the weeks fly by, and I'm lucky if I get in three league games a week. The solution is the same one that I've been preaching for years. Practice. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to understand how difficult it is for some people to find the time, despite my dedication to the game.

      But I am still very involved in other ways. In another humorous turn of events, I've been elected president of the local YABA association, adding that to my list of affiliations. And I'm still coordinating a junior program at a local center. We're so full this summer, that we're looking to increase our scratch singles into doubles leagues, and our doubles leagues will become trios in the fall. We've had to turn people away from summer and point them toward the fall leagues.

      In fact, it was the junior program that led to the presidency. When I took over the junior program in January, I set about getting kids their YABA awards. And making sure the kids who qualified for Coke were aware of it and went to the regional. And I turned in that mountain of paperwork just days before Zoe was born. I only managed to send one team of kids to City Tournament, but apparently folks in the YABA office started a pool to see when the mail would end, thinking at some point, a woman in the last weeks of pregnancy would have to stop sending in the paperwork for awards. But the people in the office didn't know me that well. So when the current president chose not to run, and we were holding elections hours before my flight to Reno for ABC, someone figured if anyone could find the time to be president it would be me. After asking everyone else in the meeting to run, I accepted the nomination.

      So as you can see, I haven't exactly been away from the bowling world. I've been gathering ideas and forming opinions on the sport I love--and right now, love to hate.

      In upcoming weeks, you'll see columns on sandbagging, the Single Membership Organization, and a PBA regional celebrity pro am. I can't say that I'll make my weekly deadline every week on time. But hopefully what you'll be reading will be worth the wait. I'm not slacking off, I'm helping to raise another bowler to give to the sport.

Gotta Split,


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