A couple of weeks ago, I participated in Bowling for Kids' Sake, a charity event benefiting Big Brothers and Big Sisters. It was a blast bowling with my team in a fun competitive setting. As I played, I was struck how certain aspects of bowling can be an analogy of life.
For instance, in the game, you are constantly adjusting to the changes of the lanes. Other people throw their bowling balls differently, making the oil on the lanes move around. Consequently, even when you throw your ball, you are also contributing to the changing lane conditions. Even when you become annoyed that your ball isn’t performing exactly the way it was a frame ago, you don’t stop playing. You move your spot, you bowl with your plastic ball instead of your reactive resin-- in other words, you adjust.
Another characteristic in bowling is each frame can be a game changer. You find the perfect spot to throw your ball and knock down all the pins. Then just as suddenly, you can throw a gutter ball. However, you can pick up a spare in the next frame and raise your score. In other words, no matter what happened before, there is always hope in the future.
The last item I noticed is bowling is the one game the players bring their own personal equipment, namely shoes, towels and especially bowling balls. The ball is drilled to your hand and the way you throw, whether it be a hook, palm or conventional. No one else can bowl with your ball. Also, you chose your ball, so it is distinctive on the rack. It’s as if it has its own personality, an extension of yourself. In other words, even as you go through life, you never lose yourself.