family · fitness

Bowling with the family!

This week was my spring break, which I spent in South Carolina with family– my mother, aunts, uncle, cousins, and of course my sister and her kids. Last week I posted about my goals for the week, which included low-key nature walking in state and town parks. I did that, and will blog about those adventures this week.

But what I didn’t expect was that I would go bowling. But I did that, too, with my sister and two of her kids. It was fun. Actually, it was very big fun. How could it not be fun? After all, bowling includes:

  • funny shoes
  • multicolored balls to throw at things (sorry, correction– roll at things)
  • Graphic animated signs showing how you did in your most recent frame
  • a snack bar
  • 80s soundtrack playing in the background
  • other like-minded souls acting as if they don’t mind your loud enjoyment of the game

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t bowled since college. Even then, it was just the occasional group outing where I didn’t worry about my complete lack of knowledge or technique. I recommend adopting this same attitude, as it promotes enjoyment.

However, if you’re feeling ambitious, you could watch this video on 3 bowling tips for beginner bowlers that my niece Gracie found after we got back from our bowling expedition.

To save you time and effort, the three tips are:

  • buy an expensive custom bowling ball, as the bowling alley-provided ones are bad and don’t really work;
  • hire a bowling coach and bowl all the time;
  • practice kneeling at the line of the lane and doing a spinny thing with your hand and the ball– unclear for how long.

None of us found that advice helpful.

My niece Gracie, who plays volleyball a lot, had the best form of all of us.

Gracie in the classic post-ball-release form, about to get a strike.
Gracie in the classic post-ball-release form, about to get a strike.

My form, copied from my memories of Laverne and Shirley TV show episodes, looked more like this:

Still, I managed to get the hang of it after a while. Luckily, none of us needed to remember how to score– it was done automatically, along with graphic indicators:

My sister won the first game, and I won the second. I think we both forgot about deference to the kids in the heat of competition. Gray was trying out his own technique of holding the ball (rather than gripping it using the finger holes) and spinning it down the lane. Had we played three or more games, I think he would have beaten us all. Gracie, who had the best form, decided to be experimental and lost interest in actually knocking down the pins. My sister and I mainly concentrated on not falling down.

I highly recommend a family or friend bowling outing. For $41.97 for four people, it was a good deal. I do admit to walking creakily for a while post-bowling but it was short-lived. And maybe bowling shirts will make a comeback. These always looked great on Laverne and Shirley.

Laverne and Shirley, in lavender bowling shirts, Laverne’s with her omnipresent script L.

So, readers, do any of you bowl? Did you have a bowling heyday? Have you tried it lately? Are you tops in your league? Let us know.

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