Currently, there is no perfect game of candlepin bowling on record.
A perfect game would consist of 13 strikes, for a total score of 300.
I’m convinced that the ball being so much smaller (than 10-pin “big ball bowling”), and the pins staying as they fall in between the three throws, greatly increases the degree of difficulty for this simple (and frustrating) game.
Yet, I still love it.
I love it so much that for a time after becoming a wife but before becoming a mom, I bowled in a candlepin league. In fact, the best game I every bowled was the week before I found out that I was six weeks pregnant.
“Looks like your balance has finally worked itself out,” I remember one teammate saying.
Today, that little boy who corrected my balance (now six and not quite able to keep his balance as he chucks the ball) and I made our way to the lanes and I was reminded what candlepin really has to teach me:
- Keep it Simple: Roll the ball, knock down pins. The concept’s not hard, AND that doesn’t make it any easier to execute. It can however make it less intimidating to at least get in the game – and even when it goes down the gutter, the game’s worth getting in.
- Focus: There’s a lot happening on the lanes – especially in the middle of the afternoon. Music pumping. Kids falling. Pins crashing. Chaos. Breathe anyway – it might be the only way to remember what I’m doing here.
- Have Fun: Especially when there’s truly nothing at risk. Smile. No one’s watching. Loosen the grip.
- Like Your Stuff: A perk to having played in a league (and having the same shoe size since I was 14) is that I splurged for my own kicks. They are still the most comfortable pair of shoes that I own and every time I put them on I feel like…I belong…to me.
- Perfect is Boring: I guess there’s some value in striving for it…but I prefer the stories of showing up to do your best – getting guttered – losing patience and passion – and then, showing up again…in great shoes. 🙂