Never Give Up

Have you ever felt like giving up? What did you do to push through?

I was invited to go bowling with some friends yesterday. The last time that I went to a bowling alley, I didn’t bowl because I didn’t want to break my nails, lol. Anyway, it was HELL getting me out of the house yesterday. I’d say it was due to the dreary weather, me still being in my pajamas not feeling like getting dressed, and yeah, I’m an introvert. When my friend invited me the week before, I was so happy to be included! I thought it sounded like a great idea! Then as soon as the day to go out arrived, I felt like backing out.

I even texted my friend and let her know that it was a possibility that I wouldn’t show up. I said to myself, maybe next time. The reality is that I may not get a next time because tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

Anyway, I mustered up the strength to change out of my pajamas, shower, and take my ass to the bowling alley. My friends decided that we would meet at the bowling alley at 6 PM. I pulled up at 5:56 PM. I waited in my car, and I had to take a few deep breaths. Even though I knew where the bowling alley was, I was anxious on the drive. I think I was anxious because I didn’t want to drive past and miss my turn into the bowling alley.

Anyway, I was NOT about to walk into the bowling alley alone. Introvert problem there again. So, I texted my friend and asked if she had arrived. After 10 minutes, I got no answer, so I called her. She answered and said that she was 10 minutes away. My other friend was on the way as well. She had to stop by Wawa to get some cash since the bowling alley was cash only.

I continued to wait in my car and finally I turned my head to look towards the bowling alley entrance. I saw two friends walk in together so that was my cue to finally get out of the car, lol. I did end up walking in by myself but at least I knew that I was walking in to meet my friends.

After a couple drinks at the bar inside of the bowling alley, we rented our shoes and headed to the lane. We start the first game. There were six of us altogether. I see my friends getting points on the scoreboard and we’re all cheering each other on. When I got up to bowl, my friends cheered for me. I grabbed the ball, walked to the lane, took a deep breath, and rolled. The first roll I got was a gutter ball. The second roll was also a gutter ball. And then all I could get was gutter ball after gutter ball. I was getting pissed!

Let’s back up a second, while we were all sitting at the bar, I asked if any of my friends were good at bowling. They all said no. And then when they asked me, I said no as well. Now the words that I had just spoken twenty minutes earlier were coming true. I suck at this. I kept repeating in my head. I kept getting more and more anxious after each gutter ball. As a result, my confidence was starting to decline. And then I started thinking that everyone else in the bowling alley was watching me lose. Then I realized that that was just a negative thought. Everyone else was zoned in on their own game to be concerned with mine.

I took a bathroom break and thought to myself, what if I can just sneak out now so that I don’t have to bowl anymore? I decided that I wasn’t going to do that. I was going to head back to the lane and do as best as I could. When I returned to the alley, I changed up my technique a bit. My friend suggested that I try the grandma roll. The grandma roll is bending down, putting both hands behind the ball, and pushing off down the alley. I tried it and guess what I got? GUTTER BALL lol.

We’re still in the first game and I had a total of 9 points by the 6th or 7th set. By the time we finished the first game, I had a total of 30 points. The lowest score I ever received in bowling. It was time to start the second game. I told my friends that I wasn’t bowling anymore but I stayed the course. I recall bowling at 19 years old with my then boyfriend. I was such an angry sore loser that I made him finish the game alone. He bowled for himself and me while I sat angrily with my arms folded.

Since I am not the same person that I was when I was 19, that didn’t happen last night. I may have failed miserably at the first game, but I wasn’t a sore loser.

It’s my turn in the second game. I walked up anxiously to the lane. I changed where I was standing. Before I stood in the middle of the lane. This time I stood towards the right of the lane because I am left-handed. I took a deep breath and let her rip. I opened the second game with a strike! I was so happy, and my friends were cheering me on excited that I finally put some real points on the board.

I found my sweet spot and I kept going. I stopped doing what was not working for me, which was standing in the middle of the lane. This would not have happened if I gave up. I put more points on the board, even getting another strike and a spare. I finished in second place with 108 points. I felt confident now in my bowling ability. I finished second again in the third game, getting two more strikes!

The moral of the story is, don’t give up. No matter how ugly it starts out, you can still come out on top or close to it. I couldn’t believe the comeback that I made. All I did was change my bowling strategy and my mindset about it. And this is a valuable lesson in real life to keep going. If I gave up, I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to call myself the comeback kid last night. Persistence and resilience go a long way.

P.S. I did end up breaking some nails, but the strikes were worth it!

about-tara-hayes (1)

Tara Martina Hayes is author of the free 22-page report, “Panic To Picnic: 15 Natural Alternatives for Anxiety Management”. Drop by for your free copy.