The feverishly spinning ball makes its way down the well oiled lane, I try with all my might as desperate flailing arms urge that one lone, stubborn pin to tip over. It rarely happened as a kid, and even less as an adult, but I have always loved bowling. I often went with my Dad as a kid on Wednesday nights watching him bowl on a league with his king pin of buddies as they adjusted the velcro straps on their savvy wrist bands, holding their hands out in front of the cool air blowing magic up from the vent in the ball return before they waltzed down the lane to strike gold I can still hear the explosion of pins rattle my memories.
It had been awhile since I have gone bowling, but I gathered with the rest of the Cincinnati Opera family on Friday afternoon, a time for us to gather together, to celebrate, a reminder for me how powerful it is when you come together as one, in solidarity, when it matters the most. A member of our Opera family was diagnosed with cancer over the summer, began treatment and has been an amazing fighter, a pillar of bravery and it was a chance for us all to let her know that while the road may get dark, her work family will always be there, on her side, unconditionally. Standing in our bright pink t-shirts, with our love and adoration drifting about, mixing with the stale smoke and pungent smell coming from the pile of freshly Lysol laden shoes behind the pale yellow lamented counter top preparing for our adventure. We cheered each other on, high-fived till our hands hurt, laughed hysterically when balls were dropped and wept when the moments seemed right for the salty salvation to save us from our unspoken fears. When we arrived I thought about not bowling, it couldn’t be good for my bone on bone knee, or my torn Achilles but in the end I just couldn’t stop myself and boy turns out it was very good for my soul. We have done lots of staff outings, in many places, for many reasons through the years but this one, was something very special that will forever be framed in my memory.
The next day was brutal, the bowling took a toll on me. My knee was angry and apparently is has a big mouth and told the rest of my body it should be angry too. I had it all planned out, three times I was to go to the pool, it was decided, I had it written down. I even said it out loud, but it did not happen. I made it on Wednesday. Just one time. It was excruciating I lasted 25 minuets before I parted the waters toward the stairs, but as my hand gripped the cool smoothness of the stainless steel railing I stopped myself. I watched the giant clock high on the wall, second hand spinning around and I sunk myself back into the water, pushing through one more lap swimming as hard as I could. Things could be so much worse, and I know it. At the bowling alley I promised myself not to take anything for granted any longer.
Stepping on the scale Monday, I would find myself down
just one very hard fought pound. I refuse to be disappointed, I can’t. Each and every victory, no matter how small matters, even if it’s not quite at the pace I want. Scratching and crawling, digging for my dreams along the way, it’s a much different crusade than the first time around with the dog-lbs project. The battle is not being waged running on a treadmill, or pushing through a three minuet plank with Lindsey and Jess there to help me through, it’s now happening on different terms, with a cantankerous, broken body refusing to cooperate much of the time in moments where it’s easy to use self preservation as an excuse to stay stagnant in my own pool of hushed stillness. As long as I can hold my head up and tell you I am doing my best, it’s what I have to offer. Sometimes I know just what to say on a Monday, and sometimes the words sit quietly beside me until I am ready to let them move from their warm comfortable spot, accepting them into my resistance, then inviting them onto the page. Thank you for being patient.
Of course I have to update you on sweet Lt. Dan! He is doing well after his surgery to regain use of his legs after they were broken in the worst way imaginable, he is resting, rehabbing and hoping very soon he will find a forever home of his very own. All donations will go to help pay his very substantial vet bill, so if you can help out at all, so many people would be very thankful. Recycled Doggies does such an amazing job, saving them one death row doggie at a time! Click the link below to donate. <3