I can hear my dad’s voice in my head saying the line he told me over and over as a kid. “Hope is not a strategy.”
No, it’s not a strategy. It’s a feeling. It’s what I felt when I read this:
Hope is what I saw when all of the women I compete against today re-posted this press release. I started hearing hope last summer at the BPAA Women’s All Stars tournament. Women bowlers hopeful for the future of women’s bowling and pushing for change. Pushing for more presence. Pushing for more consistent tournaments.
I heard and saw even more hope on social media when Jeff Richgels posted his latest blog.
Hope. We’re all hopeful. We’re all determined.
Bowling in college you compete against hundreds of women in a single weekend. As graduation neared there wasn’t a lot of talk of plans to continue bowling.
I’ve been out of college for over a year and I heard the negativity surrounding the presence of women’s bowling. I’m even guilty of complaining about it. I’ve seen friends, teammates, competitors burn out and quit. Beneath all the negativity there has always been hope. Dreams of a future when there was a place for women to compete consistently against other women again.
Chad Murphy says it perfectly in Jeff Richegels blog.
“As long as we’re crowning champions, that’s important for those who will aspire to do that long term,” Murphy said. “I can’t tell you how many times in the past four years I’ve been in the room where I’ve heard, ‘Business is great on the youth side, but where do kids go to bowl after Junior Gold or after college?’ It was the right time and the right place.”
I’ve said it before but when I graduated I thought I was done with the sport. I was upset for days when I decided to accept my job offer and had to tell IAB that I couldn’t work as an intern anymore. I made it through the phone call and cried as soon as I got off. It was one of my hardest moments.
I didn’t know how I’d be able to work and bowl. It felt like I was giving up a piece of me. Just ask my dad. I’ll never forget what he said one day when I apologized for being upset.
“You’re choosing one thing you’re passionate about over another. You have to make money. It’s part of life. Find a balance.”
My dad was right. I needed to find balance. It took some time but it didn’t take long for bowling to come back. I’ve been trying to continue to learn and improve. Meeting people. Working with coaches. Coaching others. Learning new ways to practice. Trying new things. Practicing through frustration. Dreaming of competing against the best.
Could this dream become a reality?
“Women shouldn’t have to choose between pursuing their dream as a professional bowler and the stability of traditional home life. We want the new tour to be an option for as many women as possible.” -BPAA President Tom Martino
It’s true. Even if I didn’t have bills to pay…I like my job. I’ve stepped away from certain positions and restructured certain aspects of life to make time to practice. I like what I do and I want to compete. I want to win.
“It’s basically an extended weekend that will provide some opportunity for these ladies to participate,” Murphy said. “You can come in on a Thursday night and if needed be back in time for work on a Monday morning. We’re trying to make it very friendly for anyone who wants to chase this dream but didn’t want to quit their job.”
So here we go. I’m coming up with my strategy so that I can compete next summer. We all have to come together and support it. Believe in bowling.