I know I just posted, but I just finished turning in a bid, and the phone hasn't rung with the usual "problems of the day", so I'm back to empty more crap out of my head. This is way better than playing Spider Solitaire.
Did I mention that I hated watching my team struggle last night? Man, there's nothing better than watching your opponent have to over-think and second-guess themselves while they chase a crappy shot around, but it sucks big-time to watch your own team have to deal with it. Sorry, guys, I wish I could be more helpful.
Now for brighter thoughts...this time next week Keith and I will be in the middle of our practice session at the High Roller on Vegas. I am getting seriously pumed up about this tournament!!! I have wanted to bowl in the High Roller since college, but never had the money/time/talent to consider going. This year I was able to make good side money bowling, which I tucked away into my "bowling fund", and my boss is being very generous with my vacation time. And the High Roller has a new format which has a special qualifying bracket for 215 & under averages. My average last year was 215, so I just squeaked into this bracket. I feel like the past few years I have been steadily improving, and my mental game/confidence level is at an all-time high, so I am committing the money and giving it my best shot. I am riding this wave as far as it will take me. The planets and stars and all that other astrologial crap have been lining up for me, and I do not want to look back and regret not taking advantage of it.
Part of me thinks that I should be getting nervous, but I don't feel it at all. I know there are going to be a lot of guys there that are "professional" amateurs who bowl in these high-stakes tournaments all the time. There is definitely a clear separation between my talent level and their talent level. But for whatever reason I have it in my head that I have a good shot at doing well. As I get older, I am learning how mental preparation helps overcome a lack of ability.
OK, timeout. I just went to the breakroom to get a drink and sat back down and read through what I have written so far. BORING!!!! The bottom line is this, nowadays when I shoe up against someone else, I don't feel any intimidation at all. Not that I have bowled straight up against top-tier talent, and I am definitely not top-tier, but I was thinking back to the scratch tournament I ran last month. There were some bowlers who entered that can score really high. The first game out, some guy that no one knew shot 289. I shot 226. And it didn't bother me at all. I knew I was going to catch him. And I did. And I ended up beating him. I don't want it to come across as being an ass or being cocky. I'm not trying to brag about anything, although it seems the more I try to explain it, the more it sounds like bragging. I just have an inner sense of confidence that is really cool. It's new to me, and it has made a huge difference in my approach. Even if I miss a spare, or throw a few bad shots, or have a bad game, it just gets erased and put to the side. The next shot/game/round will be better, and it's difficult to explain how it feels with sounding like a jackass. Maybe when Keith and I come back from Vegas with 1st and 2nd place checks we can both act like assheads. Nothing would be cooler than Keith and me bowling each other in the finals for $50,000. I could walk away from that match feeling good no matter who won.