Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Emotion and Athletics

  Today I find myself in a curious position.  Anyone who knows anything about me knows that at times during the course of any competative activity I can become alitle volatile.  Ok lets me rephrase that, I can become a down right asshole and a detriment to myself and my team.  While the old saying " there is no I in team" holds true in most cases, that "I" can disrupt the team by being the I himself.  I have done alot of things I sports that i'm not proud of.  I have thrown helmets, bats, gloves, kicked fences, screamed profanity at the top of my lungs. punched lockers or benches, thrown equipment etc. If you name it I have probably done it.  I have been ejected from games, threated to be ejected from leagues, warned, im sure you get the picture.

Now I dont purposly do this to be a dick. I am a highly competative person who just wants to perform and help his team. I tend to get down on myself when I dont, and as it compounds the situations just meltsdown.  This past weekend was yet another time when I lost my cool.  I was having a horrible day, and after making yet another out when it mattered during a softball tournament I lost my cool, said something I shouldnt have to the umpire and was subsequently tossed from the game.  Immediatly I felt like a giant douche, embarrased, and like the biggest idiot on the planet.  There was no call for me to say anything, its not the umpires fault that I poped out to short.  Coach lenny said it best after the game, and he has been saying it all year, when the umpire has a terrible strike zone you have to adjust to him.  I dont blame the umpire for tossing me, I probably deserved it, and I'm sure not only did I embarrase myself, but my team as well.

I really enjoy playing with this team that I am on.  A bunch of great guys that play great softball, and I guess I feel like I have alot of pressure on me to produce.  In reality, while thinking long an hard about how I am going to conduct myself for the remainder of the season, its important to remember that its just a game.  I'm not playing for money, or a job, I am playing because I enjoy the sport.  Its also important to remember that I can only worry about the moment at hand and not what happend last inning or a few moments before.  Its important to find any positive to the situation and use that going forward instead of thinking about what I did wrong. It is ok to feel disappointed in personal performance, no one likes to fail, but what is more is that you dont dwell on that failure.  I have a hard time relaxing when I am not playing well, I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and its up to me to make a difference.  I know deep down inside that this isnt true but its hard for me to overcome that part of the game sometimes.

Its not just softball either, I am an avid bowler and sometimes I get even more intense when I have troubles on the lanes. Perhaps even worse is that bowling is more of a mental game then softball.  This side of me often hurts both myself and my team because not being able to control my emotions from frame to frame hurts my score and in turn hurts my overall team score, just as holding onto frustraition from at bat to at bat hurts the batting average.  I am not the greatest athlete in either of these sports, but I play hard to hold my own, I am easily coached and I constantly try to get better.  When anyone works so hard to get better but they regress, isnt it fair for them to get off their rocker sometimes?  I work at getting stronger, faster, better at whatever position I play or whatever lane condiditons I am on, and sometimes we just have bad days and I tend to hold onto those bad days.

Last year I threw a 299 in bowling and ended up with the highest set I have ever bowled, now everytime I hit the first strike it immediatly pops into my head that I have a chance at the 300.  Its been a year and I have trouble letting go of the fact that I threw one bad ball and was one pin from a perfect game.  Deep down inside I wont be happy until I get the 300.  Maybe its the quest for perfection and the beliefe that I am better then I actually am, but Should'nt we all believe that we are better then we are so that we have a goal to strive for.  I guess the right way to understand it is this: Its ok to want to be better and to know you can be better, but you have to have the mind to understand that sometimes you wont be better, in fact sometimes you might be downright awful.  What is important from all of that is that you take the lessons as they are given to you, learn from what you did wrong. Not that you should focus on what you did wrong, focus on  the positives and learn from the mistakes. I have put myself into some embarassing situations and to be honest I havent learned a thing as to self control at least until this weekend. I have a son, who in a few years will be entering into athletic's, what kind of roll model am I to him if I go about screaming and complaining and getting ejected from games. How can I expect to teach him self control when I cannot even control myself.  its good to have a fire for competition but the important thing is to not let that fire rage out of control. Respond with your play not your mouth or attitude, or by makeing excuses as to why you failed.

I am not promising anything, but after this weekend it may have finally clicked. Im 28 years old and I still act like a 12 year old kid on the field and on the lanes. Its time I take the steps necessary to learn to control my emotion for the game.  Keeping the emotion is important but conditioning it is essential.  If I can accomplish this it will only make me that much better for my team and my child. Its going to be a long road with alot of gut checks along the way, but in the end I think it will make life much more enjoyable from a competative stand point and an emotional stand point.  We all like to win, but we have to learn how to lose. I lost the phrase somewhere along the way and its time I take the necessary steps to regain that knowledge. In reality, the most important part of all of this, attitude, anger, emotion, etc. is that we remember deep down inside that its just a game. A game that is played for enjoyment, so relax, have fun and enjoy yourself.  People will notice and respect you more for it. It wont happen overnight, but it wont happen at all if I dont take the steps now to achieve it.  Today, I pledge to take that first step, along with all the stumbles included.

Friday, May 25, 2012

make the right choice (rant)

    recently in the news we hear more and more about how parents who hate there lives decide that they want to die and that their children are coming with them.  It makes me sick when I hear of a mother who killed her 3 children with a gun, one of which is an infant, then puts a bullet in her head.  A father who kills his whole family then drives and hour and puts a bullet in his head.  Are these people so disturbed that they feel there kids are the reason they are so miserable?  Are people so naive to sit there and say , " well she was a depressant and had issues."  What kind of human being puts a gun to an infants head, your child's head, and pulls the trigger.  Children are supposed to challenge you, and help you grow, they are also supposed to be the best thing in your life.

Sure kids are not for everyone, and lets be honest, there are some people out there that just shouldn't breed.  Some people out there are just to stupid to wear protection or use protection.  I get tired of hearing how much birth control cost or that they cant wear condoms because they are either allergic to latex or they don't like the way they feel.  Its called responsibility, you are responsible for your actions, all you have to do is take five seconds to make the right decision, to make a educated decision that will perhaps save your life and spare an innocent child a life of misery because you were to stupid to put a jimmy hat on and had to drop out of high school and cant get a job anywhere not only because you don't have an education but because your a lazy fuck.

Having kids is ruff, on the body, mind, and wallet, but there are so many good times that they overshadow the bad.  I used to be one of those guys who sat there and said " I never want to have kids"," I cant afford kids", or I would tell me friends that there "kids were my birth control".  then I got married and we decided to have a child.  of course it was a scary thought but it was a decision I made not a mistake.  I have an AWESOME two year old kid who can make my day better by just smiling no matter what is going on or how bad my day has been.  As with all kids he can be an asshole , and at times a MAJOR asshole, but he is a kid, and I man up and fucking deal with it, when my wife sees I'm frustrated she takes over, and i do the same for her.  But to get so pissed off and use the excuse that they are depressed and decided that they are going to wrap a bag around their little 1 year old's head makes me want to puke.

It gets me more and more pissed every time I see one of these stories in the paper or on the Internet.  This latest one that is 33 years old, and now the guy decided since he has cancer he is going to confess, and what did he say he did, he lured him into his house with SODA, and strangled him.  WTF prompted some asshole to say, " hey there is a 11 year old boy, let me give him a soda and kill him, yeah that would be fun, then ill just take his body and throw it in a dumpster and go on with my life.  Yeah that sounds like a great plan, let me get a coke."  Really....REALLY, this is what went through your head, how could anyone possibly decide to pick a random kid and kill them.  what the fuck did the kid do to you.  I don't know why this upsets me so much.  maybe its because now I have a 2 year old and I feel like i need to watch him every second because if someone took him or hurt him there would be nothing left, I would go insane, I mean INSANE. 

You see the stories where parents learn to deal with it because of a strong church following and they know GOD with protect there kid and it was gods will what happened,  Fuck that.  Look I believe in the idea of a deity, and I believe that everyone has to believe in something, even atheism is a belief, but your not gonna sit there and tell me that your kid is missing or dead and that it was gods will and he is the reason that you are so strong of heart.  That's a load of shit, there is this misconception out there that god will make everything better, I'm not saying that having that belief in your life cant help you but look at some of the stories. JOB comes to mind, god took his entire family because he wanted to prove the devil wrong...pretty fucked up if you ask me.  I can tell you right now, my life and beliefs will change should "god " decide to take my child.  I'm in no way challenging the almighty, I'm just making the point that, if god loves us all, whatever god it is you choose to worship, there is no way he would want to watch you suffer like never before by taking your children from you.

Let me get back to the whack jobs that feel they need to take there kids with them.  I read a story a few weeks ago about a mother that shot one of her kids, the 3 kids ran to the neighbors house and the neighbor asked what was wrong, while asking, the mother came outside and called her kids back to the house.  Once the kids returned she shot them all then killed herself.  What kind of brainwashing bullshit did this mother pull on her children.  AND god help the dude that married this women, cause now not only is the love of his life dead, but she took his kids too.  People are screwed up, I'm Little out there myself, but I know the difference between right and wrong, and I know its wrong to kill an innocent child.  People are always going to kill people, because people have to show there dominance over each other. no one can just let there be peace.  I don't even go into my own hometown city anymore because of the possibility of getting shot cause I "eyeballed" someone the wrong way.  Let me clarify, I'm not afraid to die, I'm fully aware that even at 28 everyday can be my last. I fully expect to live a long long life, but I know it only takes a second and your gone, so when I say I'm not afraid to die, what i mean is I accept that one day its going to happen and that's it, so whats the point of dreading something that your not sure is going to happen tomorrow or 80 years from now.  Dreading death will bring him quicker and then you will be meeting whatever god you pray to.

I know I'm just bitching at the state of our nation when I see what people do to each other, if you got a problem with someone, deal with it, that's your business, but don't punish a innocent child because you feel you got it so bad. there are kids living on the streets with parents that do everything they can for them.  there are honest good people that live on the streets cause they fell on hard times, you don't have it bad enough to tell me that your kid deserves to die, so do us all a favor before you pull the trigger, point the barrel at your head not your child's then do the whole world a favor and drop the hammer.  your kids will get over it, and then at least they will have a chance at life....and riding the world of your whack job ass would be doing us all a favor.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fork in the road

One of the great unknowns in life is what lies ahead.  No one can say for sure where they are going to be in a year from now, or even that a week from now.  When we achieve something in our life's that we work hard for, one of those goals we set for ourselves, it comes time to decide what road to follow next.  Which direction your life will go next, and what new goal you must find yourself trying to achieve.

Speaking from a personal stand point, it's very difficult to find motivation at the moment.  I wanted my masters license for so long, I did so much to get ready and prepare for it, years of work, school, and practice helped me achieve a goal that was pretty challenging to achieve.  Problem is I'm not sure where to go from here.  There is a void in me recently that I'm not sure how to fill.  I know I need to set a new goal in life but every thing that comes to mind doesn't interest me. I'm not bored by any stretch of the imagination, my wife and son see to it that I have plenty to do, but there is this deep seated feeling like I have nothing to work for, nothing more to achieve.  Being a master electrician is the top of my field, there isn't any other title I could get, I have "mastered" my craft.  I don't really divulge whats bothering me much or at all but I'm afraid that if I don't I'm gonna turn into something I don't want to. 

Worst part is, I have no motivation at work, I am slowing losing motivation in things I like doing at home, and I am getting this overall feeling of just not wanting to be awake anymore, I just feel like escaping into dream land where things are usually always better.  Its not fair to my family that I feel that way so I do the best I can to keep everyone happy.  I feel like as soon as I reached the top of the mountain, I got my foot stuck in a rut and I'm not able to enjoy the view.

I need a spark, a change or something to push these feelings aside so that I can be passionate about something again.  Its strange because just feeling like there is nothing else seems to be effecting my normal activities.  Things I really enjoy doing are not fun to me anymore, I cant enjoy them, I just get frustrated and want to walk away and quit....Ive never in my life been like that and I don't understand why it's all the sudden started. I'm sick of dealing with bullshit and people are getting on my nerves rather quickly these days....I'm not having fun anymore.  There is no more light at the end of the tunnel, just darkness.

I know this sounds like I'm horribly depressed but I don't think that's the case, my day lights up when I'm around my family, I love playing with my son, and spending time with my wife, its just everything else, its just so...blah now.  I don't need a vacation, I don't need a psychiatrist, I need purpose, passion, and more importantly the next step.

I guess you could say that I'm at the pivotal fork in the road, like the end of the movie castaway when he finally gets off the island and he is there standing at a crossroads not sure which way to go, not knowing where either road will take him......I need to choose which road i will take..which life path I will choose to follow.  Maybe it will just take me some time to get where i need to be, to realize what that next step will be, I'm just afraid that if it doesn't come to me soon enough that I'm going to lose interest in everything that i love and become a hermit.  Maybe I should just blindly choose a path and see where it takes me, just pick a random direction and go test the waters...whats the worst that could happen right, you only live once.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Back to Basics

Playoff hockey in ......February?  That's right my friends, the playoff season starts early for some teams this year, making every game in the last quarter of the season just as important as a win or go home game in the playoffs.  For the Washington Capitals, this season has been anything but the coasting ride they have been on the last three seasons.

The past three seasons have seen the capitals walk into the playoffs, winning the southeast division with relative ease, this year however has been anything but easy.  we know the story, so there is no sense repeating it. Last night the caps embarked on a 4 game road trip, and three of those games are against division foes, and two are against potential playoff teams.  Lets face it, the caps have been terrible on the road this year winning only 9 games, their special teams is brutal and they just cant seem to get anything going when not playing in the phone booth.

This is probably the most important road trip of the season, if they can manage to get 6-8 points on this trip, it will surely help their cause down the stretch.  Last night was a good start, great defense and alot of grit and finally getting some shots on net, the caps came out of Florida with a 2-1 victory over the panthers, who as of right now own the southeast division in points by 2.  On the strength of some good goal tending again by Tomas Vokoun, the caps get a much needed win to start the road trip, next up, tonight against the Tampa bay lightening, those ever present thorn in the side of the caps.  Dale hunter seems to have brought back that back to basic mentality to the caps, gritty defense and getting pucks deep, with any luck the players who need to be great will finally step up this season and be the leaders they are meant to be.

The capitals need to show the league they are not done yet, and get back up and start moving forward, if they get hot now and start finding their identity, this years playoff run could be a good one. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winds of change

If it hasn't become overwhelmingly apparent over the last few months, our country has taken an new and more extreme look into the world of bullying. When it comes down to, we are all guilty of some type of bullying.  Intentional or not, we are, I myself am guilty of it but have also been the victim. 

When faced with the thought, I came to the conclusion that those who bullied me only pushed me to extract my revenge on someone that I decided to bully.  Sure I'm not proud of it, but it happened and sometimes still does.  What gets me are the ones with the inferiority complex that feel they have to pick on someone to prove that they are better then them.  Its not enough that they try and show there dominance but the fact that once they realize how easy it is, they keep coming. I got picked on my fair share of the time, and I picked on other people in turn, its a fact of life that happened. I think the seriousness of the problem doesn't lie so much with the bulling itself, its the reaction of the bullying from the bullied. 

As I said before, most bullies will keep it coming once they see it gets to you, keeping the pressure on you at there own pleasure.  They don't see the emotional effect that it has created on the one less fortunate.  All to often recently you hear about teens committing suicide because of constant bullying. Kids drop out of school so they don't have to deal with the daily pressure of being laughed at or mocked, or so far as being beaten and spit on.  I don't know how I will prepare myself as a parent for when my son steps into that ring.  Since I've been on both sides, I see now the right from the wrong, but I'm not sure how to convey that to him.  Connor will have to learn his own lessons, this maybe being the biggest of them all.

I think where I have a problem is, why must people constantly prove themselves to be better then each other, why do we have to have this gladiator complex in which we must destroy all those weaker then us?  I know I'm probably preaching to the choir but what other choice is there.  lets face it, until people learn respect for one another its never going to change and until parents teach there kids both by lessons and by example this will never change, and teens out there will still be killing themselves needlessly.  As parents we should take an interest into our children, know whats going on in there lives, see how there body language is changing, and always ask questions.  If you have an open relationship with your children where they are not afraid to talk to you, then you can help them deal with there problems so it doesn't come to the inevitable.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't punish your children/teens, but when you are having issues we shouldn't lash out and attack them as if they need to be threatened to learn anything. sure they need to be disciplined but I feel that an open relationship where they feel they can come to you with there problems would go a long way in relieving the stress that's put on there lives.  We all know what its like being that age, maybe the hardest time of our lives, constant pressure from parents, friends, teachers, etc. but whats most important is that we as parents try to recognize the struggle within them and help guide them through it.

About 10-15 years ago I was in that spot, i was bullied, i was made fun of, and I had no one to talk to.  So instead of try to deal with it, I lashed out on other people in ways I would rather not describe, but I did and I'm not proud of it.  It took me a long time to realize the error of my ways and looking back I can only hope the things I did will one day be forgiven.  Perhaps even harder for me is forgiving the ones who bullied me. To this day I must say I still hold grudges, and I don't ever know if ill let them go.  I'm sure the people I hurt feel the same way, and I don't blame them.

"To error is human, to forgive is Divine" this is a saying I heard recently, and it speaks to me a bit. Forgiveness, now this is a challenging proposition, and one I have never really been good at, which I guess proves the saying "to forgive is Divine".  I'm not exactly godly now am I, and so I realize that neither is anyone else.  Ill never forgive anyone should anything happen to my child because of, or as a result of, being bullied, least of all myself. If I fail at the part of my life that I HAVE to be 100% at, to show him whats right and whats wrong and to never let himself be bullied or watch anyone else be bullied. then I'm a failure as a parent and it will be because of me that I will have suffered or had to watch my child suffer. In the end its not about us as adults, because help for us is all but lost, its about the kids and teaching them to make tomorrow a better place.  We can lead by example and use our life's lessons to help them learn theirs.

There is an anti-bully campaign that's out there right now that has a slogan and that slogan is "BE A STAR, Show Tolerance And Respect" this should be a lesson to all of us, and maybe in a few years we will hear less and less about suicides of teens being bullied and more about friendship spawning in the strangest of places, people helping people, and the general improvement of life for all of us.  I for one, can only hope to feel the winds of change.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Moments that define us

For those of us who don't really KNOW who they are, it usually takes a defining moment to learn something about yourself that you never knew before.  For example, I never thought I would want to have kids, until my son was born.  In that moment I knew deep down inside that I wanted the little guy in my life.  Or two years ago when I was laid off, times got really tough but I learned that I was more then just a single skilled person, and that even in the toughest times I could overcome the adversity of the present situation.

I'm sure a lot of people will disagree and say they know exactly who they are, but I'm one with the belief that you really don't learn something about yourself until you have to apply that part of you.  Its like the guy that runs into a burning building to save a complete stranger.  I'm sure he never thought until that moment that he would ever put himself at risk for someone he didn't know.  It could be as simple as a person helping the less fortunate.  But in each small or great moment of our lives, we break the mold of the person that is hiding inside.  Its those defining moments, the moment when you either achieve or you fail, its the moments that deep down inside we all live for.

A picture is usually worth a thousand words, a few years ago the Pittsburgh penguins and the Detroit red wings played in the Stanley cup finals, and with precious few seconds left on the clock, and the red wings up by one, the puck slide through the crease but missed the goal.  If it goes in, it ties the game and the pens still have a chance.  The picture I remember is Sidney Crosby looking on from the bench, watching as the Red Wings celebrate there championship.  That right there was a defining moment, because the next season, Sidney and the penguins won it all beating the very same red wings in 7 games.

Of course there is the other side where some just never see that moment and never learn from it.  You cant teach someone these things, its a life lesson basically and they have to be able to see it before they can learn from it.  The problem with these moments is they can be devastating as well as invigorating.  When athletes play there hearts out and leave everything on the field, ice, lanes, whatever, just to come up short is a crushing feeling, its something you should never forget.  You should never forget the feeling that you came so close to something but you came up short, and you never know when or if you will get another shot. 

See the problem with some athletes is that the memory will always be in the back of there mind, and they develop a fear of failure, once you establish that fear of failure, your destined to fall short over and over again.  As individuals you should never fear failure, no one is going to succeed at everything in life, that's what makes it fun, its supposed to be fun doing something that few can say they have done, that's why we compete, that's why write, that's why we learn, that's what we should wake up everyday doing.  Having enough confidence in ourselves to know that we can achieve the unachievable. Anyone who says it cant be done has already succumbed to the fear of failure. I'm not saying we should embrace failure, I hate losing just like anyone else, but if you are afraid to lose, then you will be destined to lose.

Athletes are a different breed, competition is there life, no matter what event your competing in, its what drives us.  In my life I have won only one championship.  all my other teams falling short, some getting alot closer then others, some just being a disaster, but I keep competing and the reason I compete is because I know if I quit now, ill never know how good I could have been or would have been.  Sitting on the sidelines isn't the place for me. sure one day I'll reach the later years in my life where the sideline will look like a much more comfortable spot, and then when that time comes and if I feel I've done all I wanted to do, then maybe.

Until the time where I "hang it up", there are still plenty of moments left to teach me the lessons I need to learn.  The most recent, sometimes you need to learn to lose with dignity before you can succeed with integrity, and to never let that fear overcome you. don't let the fear of knowing you may never get there again take a seat in the back of your mind. next week is a new week, tomorrow is a new day and just another stop on your journey to glory.  and its that moment, that moment and how you respond that will truly define who you are.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pressure...and the aftermath

There is something to be said for the athlete, amature or professional, that deals with the pressure of there given sport with grace.  We as normal human beings often don't understand what the mental and physical drain it can be to be put in a high pressure situation, especially in a team sport atmosphere.  This past week everyone obviously saw the Baltimore ravens kicker billy cundif crash under the pressure of a game tieing kick at the end of regulation in the AFC championship.  Ill admit, all week I was pretty hard on the guy, saying things like, your a professional athlete and you should be used to the pressure and you should know how to deal with it.

Well last night I got my own lesson in pressure.  For those of you who don't know I'm a pretty avid bowler, weekly league and sometimes subbing on Saturday nights, and I have had my fair share of pressure moments when it comes to trying to help my team come out on top and win each game.  I have been pretty good in those situations and usually I fair pretty well. Last night though was a different story, It wasn't so much the pressure of helping my team win, it was pressure to achieve a personal goal.  after one game I had a 240, decent game and I felt pretty good, got lucky in some spots but ill take it, and my team won behind me.  Then came the second game, and I started well, striking on the first ball and I was off to the races. 10 strikes later I stood on the line, 1 strike shy of a perfect game.

It is very hard to describe the feeling of standing up to the line, looking down the alley and knowing that if you get a strike, you have a perfect game, something that has been a personal goal of mine since I started bowling about 7 years ago.  My hands were shaking, my legs felt like they were going to give out, and the world just seemed like a blur.  I couldn't catch my breath and was trying to take deep breaths to relax.  Its the most pressure I have ever been under in my life as an athlete in any sport that I've played.  So I get set, a little quicker then usual, and I'm off, a little quicker then usual, and I let the ball go, a little farther out then usual, ball hooks, hits the pocket, and I leave the 8 pin standing.  299, I turn to lots of people in the alley congratulating me and telling me what a great game I had, but deep down inside I wish I could have the shot back, to come up one pin short was really hard to take.  Suffice to say I throw 4 strikes to start the 3rd game and end with a 234.  I finished my night with a 773 set, highest I have ever bowled. 

While I'm very proud of myself for getting to where I did, there is that part of me that keeps saying, next time, your going to bury the last ball and walk away with a 300, a perfect game.  So I pack up my stuff and head home, of course as I try to sleep the last ball keeps running through my head.  Well now I have had some time to reflect. There are some really good bowlers out there, but there are not a lot of bowlers that can say they have ever bowled a 299 or a 773 set.  So I'm very proud of the fact that yeah, I caved under the pressure a bit, but I came so close to my goal and now I know I can get that goal.  who knows when I will have that chance again, but I plan to make the most of it when I do.

As far as pressure for the individual goes, I can see somewhat now what it is like for a pitcher to be three outs from a perfect game, or a golfer a putt away from a championship, or a kicker a field goal away from a win or loss, or a hockey goalie a save away from the win.  The next time I watch one of the guys in my league try for a 300 I will fully understand the amount of pressure he is feeling.  A guy said to me last night, "the last one is always the hardest", that goes to for kicks, outs, goals, or putts.  As athletes, we are prone to high pressure situations, no one wants to fail, but we do, and we learn from that failure.  So cundiff is officially off my shit list, The pressure I felt is nothing compared to the pressure he was feeling, I'm sure, and I have a new respect for that pressure, it wasn't fun. 

In the end I have learned there are no limitations to what we can do as individuals, goals are there for us to achieve them, and when we surpass them, we make bigger goals. for me, its a 300, which in due time ill have another shot, after last night, I have added a new goal, an 800 series.  27 pins shy is hard to take, but an accomplishment none the less. I also know that even as an individual accomplishment, it would have been hard without the support of my team, and that in order to achieve individual goals in a team sport, you will always need alittle help from others.  Just the mental support was a great help from them last night, and for that i am really grateful.

In the end, before we demand the head of an athlete that folds under the pressure and doesn't come through, just try and imagine the pressure that is on them at the moment, how hard the heart is racing, weak the legs and arms are, how the world seems to be spinning, you can try to compose yourself all you want but there just isn't enough in each individual to compose all there emotion. sure some are good at it, but even the best cave every once in awhile.  Put yourself in there shoes for a minute and try to understand what they are feeling, I know from now on I will.  for me, I cant wait to feel that pressure again, cause then I will know, Ive gotten my second chance at redemption.