Monday December 2nd, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: something special.

With the current schedule of other employees at the gym, my regular shifts are now Monday nights (3 to 9) and Saturday (9 to 5). Normally the Monday shift will be just gym work, but tonight I had to cover for someone who couldn't come in to run the league that starts at 6.

Which is not a very typical league at all...


The owner of the alley and gym is a big supporter of the local Special Olympics effort, and a large part of that is providing their bowlers with a league night to call their own. They come in every Monday, along with four or five coaches, and bowl three games.

It was pretty fun interacting with them this evening, as well as seeing their passion for the game. And, in particular, how much fun they had bowling. This is a group in which knocking all the pins down in a frame is worthy of celebration. Doing it on the first ball? That's monumental.

There were, of course, exceptions. There always are. But the vast majority of the bowlers were hooting and hollering for each other at the slightest provocation.

And that's not to say they're not very good. Some of them could easily bowl with us on Tuesday nights. One of the ladies tonight, in her third game, posted a higher score than any I've managed so far this year.

But what really struck me was how sincerely pleased they were with the smallest (from my usual point of view) accomplishments. It was a reminder of how enjoyable bowling can be, when you bring the right attitude to the alley.

I'm hoping to be able to remember that tomorrow night when it's my turn.


Greg said...

That sounds like a great league! I think you're right, sometimes the urge to win takes over to the point that it can suck all of the joy out of the activity. I think you're rather lucky to get to see how people can play both competitively and for fun at the same time.
Of course, I think of myself as a squash player though, and there the joy comes from destroying an opponent... mostly ;-)
By the way, your editorial style is still excellent!

Something special
"There was a museum once," said the guide, pausing before the exhibit. "It housed an exhibit called Natural Selection's Trophy Case, that contained some special items. Sadly, when the quake happened--" several people shuffled their feet and heads sank a little at that memory -- "the museum was destroyed, along with the public library. The only man to emerge from the library alive later rescued most of that exhibit, and this is what we're viewing next. This whole gallery contains... something special."
They moved on in silence, the memory of the quake lingering for a moment in their minds. The guide stopped in front of a large glass case containing a man-sized moth.
"This is the myth," he said. "The female titanic moth. Capable of flying further than a jumbo jet on a full tank of fuel, and actually stronger than a bull elephant in musk, this should have been one of the planet's alpha-predators. Sadly its preferred food was the male of the species, following closely by jellyfish. Ultimately, we believe that they starved to death."
People gasped, and a few had turned pale at the size of the specimen.
"However," said the guide cheerily, "scientists are working on reviving it!"

morganna said...

Marc -- love your piece. I couldn't possibly top it (though Greg tried) :) so I just wrote a little acrostic instead. It's the poem I wish I wrote for my son's first birthday. :)
Party for an
Little boy!

Marc said...

Greg - I played a bit of squash in university, highly enjoyed it. Though I did struggle a bit to find players of similar ability. People much worse than I was were as little fun as those who were much better.

Oh my goodness, that is a blast from the past indeed! Thank you for reminding me of the Trophy Case... and you might want to check in on How The Best Was Won when you have a few moments to do so :)

Morganna - thank you, and that is a lovely poem. Never too late to give it to him :)