Don’t Let Bowling Fears Stop You

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

Seeing this quote from Shoebox yesterday made me laugh.

It reads:

If you could see the insides of bowling ball holes, nobody would ever bowl again.

Bowling isn’t really a cardio sport, but I have had sore muscles after a bowling party many times. I call it Bowling Butt and sore muscles means I must have been working SOMETHING, so don’t let bowling fears stop you from getting a fun workout.

Fear 1: Germs

If thoughts of germs in the bowling ball holes or wearing shoes that have been worn by hundreds of other people bother you, here are some ideas to get past them.

  • Clean them yourself: Bring some Lysol or your favorite antibiotic cleaner and clean the bowling balls yourself. You can also spray the insides of the shoes with Lysol.

  • Wear disposable socks: Wear an old pair of socks to the bowling alley and bring a new pair with you. After you bowl, throw away the old pair of socks and put on the fresh pair.

  • Invest in your own: Bringing your own bowling ball and shoes to the alley not only saves you a bit of money on shoe rental, but it’s better for you. The ball has been drilled specifically for your hand and the shoes fit you better than any rentals could.

Fear 2: I’ll Look Dumb

I was completely surprised by some of the responses when I said that I was enjoying bowling.

Aren’t you afraid of looking stupid?

Aren’t you bothered when your score is so low and posted on those TVs for everyone to see?

I’d play, but I get so many gutter balls, it’s embarrassing!

Since Mike and I went bowling just to have some fun and maybe get a little exercise, it never occurred to me to be embarrassed by it. I don’t get great scores. I throw gutter balls and air balls all the time. I have even fallen on my butt a couple of times with those slippery bowling shoes. I have never felt embarrassed.

Why? Because I look at the end product. The most perfect bowlers look just as silly as I do when they bowl. Take this video for example. Brian Voss does an AMAZING job of picking up a 7-10 split, which is the hardest thing to do while bowling.

In all honesty, he looks a little dorky out there bowling, even though he did something amazing. If the best bowler looks a little dorky, then I don’t need to worry about being embarrassed. I’ll just go out there and have some fun.

Fear #3: I Don’t Know How To Keep Score

This was a big fear for me. When I was a kid, my dad kept score, but I never learned how to do it. By the time Mike and I went bowling, the entire bowling industry had changed. Now, there is automatic scoring at almost every bowling alley. The most archaic of bowling alleys in Salt Lake City uses this system from the early 80’s.

The automatic scoring systems take care of all that stuff for you so you can just get a fun workout and have an idea of who is winning. The more you play, the more you’ll learn about bowling and how to score your games, so you don’t need to worry about this at all.

If you REALLY want to know, however, you can find out everything about how to score bowling here: Wikipedia Bowling Scoring

Fear #4: The People Are Distracting

This has been my own biggest deterrent to going bowling over the last few months. Whether it’s the screaming kids, the dating teenagers or the drunk league players, there are times when it’s downright UNPLEASANT to go bowling.

The key to getting past this fear is knowing the bowling alleys in your area and knowing their schedules. I’ll gladly bowl next to drunk league players because they know the rules of the game and do their sloppy best to be polite. But the birthday party of screeching five year olds? I’d rather avoid them. The teenagers more interested in making out during Cosmic Bowling are basically harmless, but the family of idiots who allow their kids to overrun not only their own lane, but mine as well are infuriating.

I avoid the bowling alley that is connected to the arcade and pizza parlor because that one tends to attract the screeching parties and idiot families. I bowl late on the weekends because the loud music and dark atmosphere of Cosmic Bowling tends to drown out the teenagers in the next lane. I bowl right before the leagues start because I’m more likely to encounter someone who knows the rules and is warming up for their games.

I know my limitations, so I avoid the bowling alleys and times that are irritating to me. All you need to do is do the same. Maybe the sound of children’s voices is like music to your ears. If so, you’ll bowl at a very different bowling alley and at different times than I would.

No Excuses

No matter what fears you can pluck out of the ether to avoid going bowling, in the end, they’re all just excuses. Don’t let excuses get in the way of a fun workout for you and your family. Don’t let bowling fears stop you from getting your own case of the Bowling Butt!


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