womenOn July 21, I bowled my first qualifying round of a women’s professional bowling tournament.

It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I met new people and I learned new things about my game. I brought a lot of knowledge and determination to improve home. In just one week I feel that I grew. This is a list of some of the things that I feel changed, things that I came to Rockford with and left behind for a brighter future.

1. My first day at a professional tournament. Those nerves. My goal is to make those less damaging.

2. Fear. Starting today…I will never be afraid to bowl a tournament again in my life. From this day forward, I promise to be ready for anything.

3. Being shy around new people. That needs to be over too. It’s time to meet new people. As many new people as I possibly can. Everyone has a story and everyone has something to teach me. I’m ready to meet you all.

4. Saying, “I’m not good enough to bowl this tournament.” The more I bowl, the more experience I’ll gain.

5. Not knowing about the history of women’s bowling. I want to learn about the past because I want women’s bowling to exist in the future.

6. Any negativity. To continue to improve…I must maintain positive. No matter what.

7. The people who don’t believe in me no longer have a place. The ones I’m coming home with are the ones who supported me and showed me love that week. There are a lot of them.

8. A weak mental game. I’m ready to improve. Physically and mentally.

9. A girl to afraid to take the next step. Here we go. Time to bowl.

10. My jean jacket. I can’t find it anywhere. I better win a tournament so I can buy a new one!

I just want to take a moment to thank the people who made that week possible. To all of the sponsors of the tournaments who believe in Women’s Bowling. To Cassondra Desmonds Mize. Without this girl, this opportunity would not have happened. Can’t thank her enough and can’t wait to continue to bowl with her. My family who made sacrifices to make sure I got to Rockford. julie and blairTo Julie Oczepek for taking me under her wing all week long. I appreciate her SOOOOO much. To all of the women who I met. They all tried to make me less nervous and make me feel comfortable. They are some really amazing ladies in our sport. To Josh Conner who layed out the shot for me to practice on before I left. To Paul Brown for his mental encouragement that began the first day I found out I was going and continued all the way to the time I got home. Thanks for believing in me even when I wasn’t sure. I appreciate you. To Rod Singer who helped me clean my equipment before I left. To my coach Ron Hatfield for helping me grow my game. To Julie Wells and Roy Buckley who helped me get shirts done before I left. To Jay Hendershot for believing in me and telling me that I WAS READY to bowl this tournament. To my friends and family in Columbus who gave me pep talks the week before, watched the live stream, and just made me feel loved while I was bowling. And last but definitely not least my Zeke Bayt. Thank you for loving me and helping me reach for my goals. I appreciate you more than you know. THANK YOU ALL.

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