Well, the day is finally here. Keith and I fly to Vegas tonight. My bags are packed and I am ready to go!
I cannot begin to describe how pumped up I am about this trip. I know it may be a little bit over-the-top to say that this is a life-long dream, but that's kind of what it is to me. I remember being 16 years old, sitting in a booth at Varsity Bowl in Denton, looking through the Bowling News and reading the full-page advertisement for the High Roller. Back then first place was $100,000.00. I remember thinking how cool it would be to be good enough to bowl for that kind of money. It was a pipe dream to be good enough to give it a try. Now, 20 years later (holy crap, that really was 20 years ago), I am giving it a try.
But my thoughts about it are a little different than I thought they would be. I'm not awestruck at the thought of entering, and the nervousness of bowling against some of the best amateur bowlers in the country really isn't getting to me like it probably should. I think what has helped me the most is being realistic about my game. I accept the fact that I while I may insert my head far, far, far into my ass from time to time, I can just as easily fire off a 260+ game with the same amount of effort. Most of this game is between the ears. And that is why I am flying to Vegas tonight. The mystique of the High Roller is no longer quite so mystique-y (I just made up that word) to me anymore. I now see it for what it is. Any hack that has the cash can sign up to bowl in it. They have no restrictions on who can enter (as long as you are an amateur). They need as many entries as possible, so they will accept anyone's money. And I have probably had other opportunities to bowl in the High Roller just so I could have the "experience". But I'm not into spending $2K on a bowling trip just for the "experience". That does not make much sense to me. I really believe I have a shot at doing well this week. All the practice sessions have gone really well. I have worked out some minor issues and have my mind set on bowling with confidence. That is the key (at least in my mind) to bowling well; confidence. You have to have the ability to trust yourself. If you miss a spare, you have to believe in yourself that you will spare the next one. If you miss ten of them, you still have to believe in yourself enough to know that you will spare the next one.
With all that being said, I know that there is a greater-than-zero chance that I may go out there and lay a big fat egg on the lane. I have bowled long enough to know that everyone bowls like crap sometimes. Even the top pros on tour have bad days. The difference is having enough self-confidence (not too be confused with over-confidence) to brush it off and keep moving forward.
Maybe I should become a Buddhist with all this "mind over matter" BS that I have incorporated into my bowling game. You think they make those robes in a size small? I would get one for Keith too, but I'm not sure they allow flip-flops. If this tournament goes well I'll be sure to check on that.
So now I will be sitting at my desk all day, not being able to concentrate on anything because I am ready to get on a plane and get this adventure started. I will start posting a lot more through the week to really drag this thing out. Now that I've already been busted as being a bowling nerd, I'm really gonna milk this for the whole week. Stay tuned, this adventure has just begun!