Other bowlers who have serious credentials recognize me as a good bowler, but since I’ve bowled nearly exclusively on hard conditions designed to produce lower scores, it is difficult to communicate to the recreational bowler who may have a friend who averages 220 on a normal condition, which by today’s standards means easy.
For about 15 years, I’ve spent my time bowling on the difficult oil patterns without much time spent on the easy ones. As a result, my average, and honor score (300 game and 800 series) count seems low. Trying to explain this to someone who doesn’t bowl competitively is difficult.
While that explanation above doesn’t seem that difficult to grasp, the core concept of, “Well then, how good are you?” is a hard one to answer. In my example, if I haven’t bowled on the “easy” conditions in more than a decade, how can I accurately describe my skill relatively to those who do?
To answer that, I bowled a summer league on an easy condition this year. Last night I shot my third perfect game in the 5 weeks of league I’ve bowled. The reason I chose to bowl this “easy” league is for exactly this reason, after spending so much time bowling on hard conditions, I was starting to feel like I was never as good as I thought I was. 5 weeks of summer bowling, and three perfect games later, my confidence is restored.
I’m sharing this analogy because many times people take difficult routes in life. Routes that not only fill them up with skill, but also keep their egos in check. While it’s good to stay humble, too much can start to crush you. To make you forget how skilled, how valuable, and how phenomenal of a talent you truly have.
I bet somewhere inside of you, there is the equivalent of three perfect games in your field of choice. You just haven’t been back to the “easy” side of it in a long time. Don’t let that get you down. The real trouble isn’t other people not recognizing how good you are, the trouble is when you forget how good you are. When that happens, take the effort to remind yourself somehow. Find your equivalent of my summer league.
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