Yesterday I went bowling for the first time. I’ve never been good at sports, or really anything physical, so I thought I would be terrible, maybe even miss every shot.
I put on my shoes, grabbed an eight pound bowling ball (I know, I have noodle arms), and braced myself for failure. I stepped forward, I swung, and let go.
I knocked down nine out of ten pins.
Okay, so maybe I’m not that bad, I thought.
The rest of the night went pretty well. The dark lighting of the bowling alley, the upbeat music, and the pleasant background chatter of other bowlers really gave me positive vibes. I danced, chatted, and took many, many pictures.
A few times as I was bowling and watched my ball creep down the lane, if I thought it was going to be a failure, I turned around, not wanting to see the end results. And every time I turned around, I saw my friends and ran to them, watching their expressions to see how my throw did. Sometimes they cheered, because my ball actually did pretty well despite my doubts, and sometimes they didn’t, and I knew my doubts were confirmed.
At one point during the night, one of my friends pointed out something: that bowling could be a metaphor for life. As cheesy as it sounded, I really do love and appreciate metaphors, even the overused ones. So yes, tonight I found out that bowling was a lot like life.
We bowl. And though the ball is heavy, greasy, and dirty, we still have to try. We take a shot and let go of the ball, hoping that it will reach our goals and knock down some pins. Occasionally, we’ll get a strike, and other times, we’ll miss completely and get no pins at all. Sometimes the ball would curve and nothing turned out like we thought it would. And if I tossed the ball and thought I would fail, it was comforting for me to turn around and find my friends, always there for me. Even though we were in a competition, we still cheered each other on.
Each of my friends got a strike that night. And though I didn’t, I will keep trying. Keep holding that heavy ball of hard work, keep trying to hit my goals, keep hoping, keep taking risks, taking shots, taking chances. Because someday, we will all get strikes.