Let’s roll

As readers of this blog probably already know, I am a big fan of wellness tools.  Cooking, knitting, walking, and talking are just a few examples of wellness tools one may use everyday.  Some of my favorite wellness tools are what I like to call “calm focus” activities.  Things like golfing, writing, bowling, and just good old-fashioned meditation take almost no energy and can really sharpen a hazy headspace.  Wait!  Did I just use “bowling” and “meditation” in the same sentence?

Image of bowling alley

Comparing bowling to meditation

Of course I did.  That’s because I see the two exercises are really as parallel as the lanes.  Meditation teaches me to accept the great and varied multitude of possible life experiences.  In the same way, bowling cultivates my appreciation for balance.  It’s not about “throwing” some clumsy hulk through the back of the alley wall.  Rather, I know when bowling that the weight of the ball is all I need, and that gravity will actually do the work.

Life lessons on the lane

The challenge – just as in meditation, is control.  I sympathize how this can seem counterintuitive at best.  But practice soon helps me realize the power I actually have.  The ability to aim, rethink, and change with day-to-day circumstances keeps me functioning out in the world.  These are the skills that give me confidence in life.  These are the supports I get from the peaceful concentration of bowling.  I learn every game about how small adjustments can have great impacts in life, just as on the lanes.  I learn every game about how to keep rolling.

So why try bowling?

When I bowl, I know that calm focus gives me the best control over the ball.  I can watch precision grow as effort fades.  This is particularly handy as a wellness tool because it allows me to take back what the world really steals from me – a sense of control.  I tend to bowl whenever life seems forceful and demanding.  I am drawn to practice zen-on-the-lanes whenever balance is lost.  It reconnects me to myself and in so doing, allows me to reconnect with others.  Check out this quick video to see just how easy it can be, and let’s “hook” up for wellness!

Matt Mague

I've been with the Network as an intern since January 2017. I'm currently a senior at MSU Denver, in the Human Services program, and I'm training to work as a mental health counselor. I'm most passionate about eliminating stigma and empowering autonomy. In my free time, I enjoy bowling and golf.

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