The beginning of the end, a quick review of summer 2022

There’s a lot that happened this past school year and summer:

  • The bowling team at MMU made it to Nationals
  • I finished up my second to last semester of school
  • Moved to North Liberty to finish up a lease for a friend
  • Went to Chicago to run the media at the Women’s Championship, wrote articles on
  • Came back to NL and then lived in a friend’s basement in Cedar Rapids while waiting for my apartment to be ready in Iowa City
  • Finally moved into Iowa City apartment
  • Currently preparing for my last semester of college

I definitely missed some things but these are the main highlights. The biggest one, to me at least, was getting to run the media department from May-July for the United States Bowling Congress at the Women’s Championship. That was a great experience, with the overall head media guy asking me if I would be interested in doing it again in 2023 in Las Vegas, which I obviously said yes to.

While in Chicago, I was able to see some MMU friends (when I wasn’t in a bowling alley for 10 hours, Mon-Fri) and see a little bit of the city. My car died while there and I had one of the other guys working the event help me replace the alternator, shoutout to Bobo (yes that’s his name) for that. I also met a lot of new people and had a great time not only with the other workers, but the women that I interviewed, who were either making their 50th or 60th appearance at the Women’s Championship or had put up a score that had taken the lead.

We had a star mascot at the desk in Chicago

I have other things in the works behind the scenes right now, but those will be revealed in time. For now, I am simply trying to enjoy these overlapping chapters of finishing up college, starting a life in Iowa City, and all of the things in-between.

Quarantine part 2

Oh how 2020 will never cease to surprise me. I am back in hotel quarantine just in time for Thanksgiving…this does not inspire joy.

I am yet another close contact with one of my suitemates, who got a test on Monday the 16th. I remember thinking towards the end of the day, “Hmmm, I haven’t seen the guy all day, kinda odd…ah he’s probably working on homework and running his Minecraft server.”

Nope, he had symptoms and was basically isolating in his room while waiting for the results that came the next day, saying he was positive. I was a close contact because I was in his room on Sunday for a while, as he was helping me on a small project for a class we shared. So now I’m back in the hotel till the 29th, such joy.

Hotel room, pretty roomy for just one person

The food the school provides is slightly better than before, with better chips (in my opinion) and slightly improved sandwiches. Drinks are still plentiful, lots of water and low calorie Gatorade. My stay is also shortened since I wasn’t able to get a room till a few days after I became a close contact, thank goodness. Hopefully I’ll have more of my sanity by the end of this stay.

Collection of short stories: injuries

From sixth grade to ninth grade, it seems like I always had some sort of injury at some point during the school year. Since ninth grade I have been relatively injury-free, other than my bicep being a pain in my ass.


We start in sixth grade, and probably my most unlikely injury: split my lip open…while bowling.

“It’s such a safe sport though, how do you manage to do THAT?” is something that I get asked when I tell this story.

I answer with “I’m a klutz.”

It starts with me bowling my Saturday morning league, the last game, in the final frame. I am a little fuzzy on the details, but I remember that I had picked up my ball and was making a comment to my friend about whatever we were talking about while stepping onto the approach…more like putting my lip right onto the edge of it actually.

The approaches at that particular alley were ones you have to step up to, and my clumsy ass didn’t take a high enough step.


a good amount of blood is coming out, oh joy

We quickly leave the alley so I can go get some stitches at the ER. Did I mention that I also had a tournament the next day? And I was willing to bowl with a stitched and puffy lip?

The good(?) thing about that was I won the tournament and my picture was taken, so somewhere out there is me with a banged up lip…good times.


Ok so this isn’t me being dumb or anything (for once), the timing of this is great though.

It’s the first day of seventh grade (the only first day that I’ve remembered), and during lunch, a few of my friends and I go outside to play a modified basketball game called Bump. Basically, make the shot before the person behind you does and you can hit their ball to make them run for it and get them out.

I’m up next, trying to get my friend Hannah out. She hits my ball to the other side of the court so I chase after it, grab it, and run back to the basket. I go for a lay-up to not only get my ball in, but also hit hers out as we were shooting at the same time. I jump, land awkwardly, and watch my ball go through the hoop…bittersweet victory.

I stay on the ground for a minute, waiting for the pain to go away. It doesn’t. Try to stand, OW! oh joy

I cannot put any sort of weight on my right foot, so someone gets me a wheelchair and takes me to the nurse’s office while wait for my parents to pick me up and take me to the doctor’s. Once at the doctor’s, they take an x-ray. Turns out I had a hairline fracture in my growth plates, and need to be in a cast to properly heal. No bowling or anything like that for I believe it was 6 weeks. What a great time.


This one isn’t as fun or anything, sadly.

Freshman year of high school, a normal football practice. We are going through tackling drills, as we normally do on this particular day of the week. I am the one being tackled, my teammate gets a very minor running start to simulate what it would be like during a game. He tackles me and my head hits the hard ground (we practiced outside on grass), I feel a little woozy.

I get up and take my helmet off, the head coach comes up to me and asks me if I’m ok, I say that I’m not and he sends me to get some water and take my pads off, I’m done for the day. Later I take the little test to see if I had symptoms of a concussion, which I obviously did. I had to pass the test in order to go back to practice, and it took me at least a week for me to show no signs of the concussion.

There is no oh joy moment in this story, just a minor concussion and not much else. Good times.

Mental Toughness

I believe I first heard “Mental toughness” my freshman year of high school. I had never done organized football before and I went in blind. Our second day of practice, we had to do bear crawls for leaving the field a mess, down and back 100 yards, three times. I could only do one and a half times before I told the head coach that I couldn’t do it. He kept pushing me but I gave up.

He sent me home, saying that it’s not for everyone, but if I wanted to come back the next day, he would welcome me back. I talked to my parents about it, and what always sticks out to me was my dad saying, “Don’t quit because it’s hard.” He was right, why should I run away from the challenge? I should embrace it.

I went back the next day, and finished out the season (although I missed a few games due to a concussion). Shortly after the last meeting, I went in to thank the head coach for showing me that I can and should be mentally tough.

Bowling is no different, especially on tough conditions. You have to be mentally tough to compete on the patterns that are put out, it is definitely not easy.

I tend to lose my focus when I start doing bad, as well letting my frustrations out in an unhealthy way. I realized that I need to have better mental preparation, otherwise the cycle would continue. I bought 4 books on mental training, with two specifically on bowling.

With my bicep sidelining me for who knows how long, I thought I should get started with reading these books so I can apply what I read when I get back on the lanes. Might do mini-reviews on these books once I finish each one.

Thank you arm, very cool!

I swear 2020 is playing Jumanji with my bowling life right now.

In late January, I strained my bicep to the point where I could not lift a bowling ball. I did not think it was that bad until the final tournament of the year, where I was actually doing well for the team, but after 2 games, I could not stand the pain and I pulled myself.

I knew I had to take some time off, so I did…and COVID really helped with that by shutting down everything, including bowling alleys. I healed up until the alley opened back up in July (I think, maybe it was late June?), and felt fine. I did not overdo anything, I had to progress my way back into things.

By August, I felt back to normal and ready to get back into things. I bowled a small tournament and did not feel any discomfort afterwards, so I figured I was back to normal…in a year where normal is not a thing. Oh how naïve I was.

Fast forward to this past Sunday (10-18-2020), where we are doing our team trials. We have already done two days of 8 games each, plus once a week practices. I feel good, no pain, ready to bowl. After 3 games, I am leading the guy’s side, looking like I will finally finish in the top half, probably top 8.

Game 4, I start to feel it. The first frame, I thought “Oh no, not again please.”

Frame two, “Oh nonononono.”

Frame three, “I gotta pull myself.”

My suitemate, who I was bowling with for the day, also agreed that I should stop. I told my coach, and my day was over. I spent the rest of the time icing it and going around seeing how others were doing.

I was, and still am, angry. I was finally doing well, throwing good shots, turning those shots into good games, and my arm said “Haha you’re doing too good, have fun now :)”

It’s Monday as I write this, and the trainer said that it seems like I overworked it and did some treatment on it, saying to not practice on Tuesday, go back on Wednesday for more treatment, as well as seeing how it feels so I can hopefully bowl the last day of trials. I really need to bowl that last day, otherwise I am screwed.

Stay tuned.

Bowling in a pandemic

Doing my sport in the middle of this pandemic has proven to not be as difficult as previously thought, but still different than what I am used to. Obviously we have to wear a mask at all times (when in Cedar Rapids) except when actually up to bowl or eating. Personally I leave it up all the time, as that may be what we do when we start up collegiate competition, since there will probably be 8 people for each team on a lane at a time.

Compared to before corona, I honestly don’t notice the mask when I bowl, I guess I’ve gotten used to it. I bought a pretty breathable mask (no not one with little holes in it), and it was the best 5 dollars I spent. Tournaments are also modified to have less people in the alley, usually no spectators and a cap at how many bowlers total are allowed.

There was one tournament that I bowled a few weeks ago, something called a Little House Tournament, a bowling alley with only 8-10 lanes in a pretty small town, where no one else was taking precautions and it was packed in the tiny alley. I honestly felt uncomfortable but still wore my mask the whole time because, like I said, I’ll probably need to wear one for future competitions.

I am more concerned with if we actually have a season, as it got pushed back to January, but even by then, it could be too much of a risk to bowl, due to having a lot of people at these tournaments. I am personally ok with not having a season this year, because while I love bowling, it’s not worth risk of catching COVID.

Life in school-mandated quarantine

I had made it through 99 percent of the summer without being near anyone who had tested positive for the new coronavirus…then one of my roommates moved in. We were tested at the same time (on a Wednesday) in order to play our sport and I received my negative results the next day, while his results didn’t come in. This should have been the warning sign that something was up, but my results came in at about 10P.M. so I thought that maybe I got lucky with early results. Thursday still brought no results for him, and this was really suspicious to me, but again, I didn’t worry too much. Friday morning, I was woken up by him after he was told he was positive and had a meeting with our director of student services, telling me that since I was a close contact, I had to be quarantined.

On Saturday we were transported to the hotel the school provided for us, and my 14 days of boredom began. The daily schedule usually went like this: wake up and wait for someone to come by and take my temperature, while also dropping my food off for the day. The food that was provided was average, with a sandwich or two, some cereal, lots of granola bars and water/Gatorade. Nothing too special, although I did use DoorDash more than I’d like to admit. After that, my days were very boring, especially the week before classes, so I spent the day either watching various YouTube channels or playing video games on my PlayStation 4 that I brought with me.

At least during the first week of classes I had some assignments to do, but it was still very boring and I started to go a little stir crazy in that room, although on day 12, I did find a drum machine online and that got some creative juices going. I was able to talk to people over the phone and social media so I wasn’t COMPLETELY isolated, otherwise I might have actually gone insane. I also made a lot of memes and even a few TikToks, but by the end of day 14, I was so happy to finally get out of the room and have my little dorm room bed.    

A hiatus, done. A weird new world, existing.

So…that review for Endgame…not gonna happen. It was a great movie with tons of fan service, not much else to say that already hasn’t been said.

A lot can change in nearly a year, as we now live in a global health pandemic with COVID-19 now putting abrupt breaks in the U.S. Personally, I have not left my room on campus except to get groceries and take walks around campus for some fresh air. It truly is a strange world we are in right now, one that I hope goes back to normal in a few weeks (but I doubt that).

I had my spring break basically planned out, by staying on campus and working in the bookstore and just chilling out after my shift was over. I didn’t want to take the flight back home to California (where my parents now live after moving there over the summer), and it is a good thing I didn’t, seeing how the whole state is now on lock down, which would have made it difficult to come back to Iowa and grab my things. I proceeded to work one whole day in the bookstore, and then as my shift was coming to an end, I got the email that classes would go fully online and I wouldn’t be needed during this time.

So what have I done during these interesting times? I have done what I believe many others are doing: watching a lot of movies, a lot of videos on YouTube, playing some video games, and scrolling TicTok after I said I would never download it. The movies I’ve mainly been watching are older, like Back to the Future and the squeals, as well as Space Jam, but I also started re-watching the Harry Potter films since it has been years since I last watched them. I’m currently on Half-Blood Prince and will probably finish the series in the next day or two, depending on how my online class work goes.

Can I just say that I actually wanna go to class? And not do this online stuff? I will welcome actual classes once they come back.

Preparing for Endgame

I am a huge Marvel fan, my favorite superhero of all time is a Marvel character, Spider-Man, and one of the biggest movies of the year is about to come out, Avengers: Endgame. This is the culmination of the past 10 years and 22 movies, starting way back in 2008 with Iron Man. I did not get fully involved with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) 2012 when The Avengers came out and even more so with Spider-Man’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War in 2016.

Out of the 22 movies that have been released, I have seen 20 of them, and with Endgame coming out soon, I plan on re-watching some of the major ones that have implications for Endgame, such as Civil War and Infinity War. After watching Endgame, I will do a not so professional review and post it on here, spoiler free of course.

I saw Captain Marvel shortly after release and initially thought it was a great film with tons of action and good chemistry between actors Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson (who play Nick Fury and Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel respectively), as well as tons of 90’s references with the music and setting. I consider it a good film now, as the story is the normal MCU origin story that we have seen already many times. The formula plays everything safe, with nothing substantial or anything that pops out, however it still works, if stale at this point. Hopefully, Marvel continues to evolve the character over the next few years.

I am so excited to see how the writers and directors close out the “Infinity Saga” and will probably shed some tears for the characters and actors who made this universe so successful.

A Few Bowling Memories

Over the course of my life and career as a bowler, I have done many tournaments, winning some and losing most. My first ever win was in 2012, coming the day after splitting my lip open during league and getting stitches, and the tournament director at the time never let me live that day down because of my fat lip.

In 2016 I went to the national tournament (Junior Gold) in Indianapolis, excited to compete against some of the best bowlers in the nation…I finished 637th out 1357, better than half the field and ready to tackle what I needed to work on. By the next year I felt confident about myself being able to make the 1st cut, however I came about 30 pins short and was determined to make it in 2018.

I would consider 2017-2018 my breakthrough year, as I was becoming more consistent overall about my game and either winning tournaments or coming close against some top bowlers in Oregon. The association that I bowled with the most was called the Oregon Junior Classic Tournament Association. I won 8 titles from February 2017 to March 2018, netting me a couple grand in scholarship money. During that time, I also had what I considered one of my favorite moments: down by 98 pins going into the final match, I had to have a nearly perfect game to even have a chance to win, while also hoping my opponent would falter. Of the 12 shots I threw in the game, I had 11 strikes, ending at 279 to my opponent’s 209. With the 30 bonus pins for winning the match, I walked away winning a title by 2 pins.

Traveling to Dallas, Texas for Junior Gold 2018 was a fun experience, bowling in the same squad that other bowlers from the PacNW as well finally making the cut to the top 213. After bowling another 5 games to determine the next cut to 64, I ended up 147th to be in the top 10 percent of bowlers under 21 at that tournament. I also met a bowler that could look like me in the near future.

Me and my doppelgänger

Heading into collegiate bowling, I knew that I had enough talent to warrant a spot on the select team (people who get chosen to travel), but I also knew that it would be a learning year for me with new equipment and learning how to play the lanes on tougher conditions. However, I know that when it’s time for 2019 Junior Gold and these next few years in college, I’ll be ready to prove that I belong.