Bowling Dreams and Evolving Paths

By Elysia Current

5 min read

The year was 2002 and I was heading into my senior year of high school, eager for the future. Thinking I would bowl as much as I can in professional events once I graduated. The unknown of what I was going to do once we heard about the women’s tour no longer existing, was shocking and turning my direction to the next thing – college bowling. Fast forward to 2014 and we are told about the news of the PWBA relaunch. I know my generation of women bowlers could not have been more excited. I was one of them with all the ideas and thoughts racing through my mind. Finally! Our time to experience the PWBA, and everything we saw our role models do, we now get to do.

I was putting in more practice and work into my bowling game than I have ever before. Not just on the lanes but off the lanes too. The first PWBA stop in Sacramento opened entries. I didn’t get in. I was upset, angry, and hurt that I didn’t get on the list. How could you do this to yourself E? Then we were sitting behind the lanes in Reno, NV getting ready to bowl Women’s Championships and they opened the PWBA Sacramento tour stop to add more entries. I quickly enter in all my information as others next to me do the same. I hit submit at the same time as a team member sitting right next to me does. I get in, she is on the waitlist for the stop. (Insert Eyes Bulging Out Emoji.) Talk about intense anxiety. I didn’t know how I was going to fund this all myself, but I was no longer going to let anything get in the way of pursuing my dreams and aspirations of competing on the PWBA tour. I would figure it out.

I fly to California where a friend picks me up at the airport and we drive to Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes for our practice session. I bowled practice session just enjoying being there, taking it all in, getting my equipment figured out. My roommate was stuck at the airport with no idea of when she would get there. So as any bowler does, I decided to bowl the sweeper event after practice since I would have to wait anyways. Did I forget to mention that we were staying at a house, with a family I never met before, people I never met before were coming to the lanes to pick me up to take me back to the house of people I didn’t know. Talk about leaving it all up to faith. Qualifying day went well, make it to the next round. Matchplay starts the next day. The first game out of the 16 and a close friend I am paired against throws 280+ at me. Welp, welcome to the PWBA Elysia, you gotta be better than this. I never looked back. I stayed calm, thought things through, and made the shots. I bowled every single shot and game possible that weekend, but one. I qualified for the stepladder finals. WHAT?! Ok, so now what happens? Learn from your Queens experience and just bowl E, just bowl. We got the surfaces right and made the decision of what I felt most comfortable with throwing and what I thought would give me the best chance at winning. I am not sure it could have went any better. I did not watch the scores both matches. I just bowled, won the first match and the second did the same thing, made the moves with the pattern. The 8th frame of the title match I looked over at Jim Callahan who was our rep that weekend and he whispered “make sure to enjoy this 10th frame.” That was when I realized I had just won my first PWBA Title at the 2015 Storm Sacramento Open. I am forever thankful to have had, now CEO of SPI, Barbara Chrisman hand me the trophy.

It has been awhile since that win. A lot of miles on vehicles and planes traveling around the U.S to different tournaments. Meeting so many awesome people within our sport and the fans – a lot of who I still talk to to this day. A lot of great memories, but also some times I would rather not remember. Those things will never change, because memories are always made and fans are always there. The PWBA has changed some since then too. Tournament formats changed to a quicker pace, tournament locations, prize funds, sponsorships, etc. The way things get better is by evolving, taking risks for the rewards. Just as the PWBA is evolving with our fantastic committee of players helping make the decisions we need to succeed, you yourself need to evolve too. Our sport, like many others, is always evolving. The generations coming up through are strong and those excelling into this professional level know the work ethic that is needed and are committed to it. While over the years I have had injuries holding me back from being able to travel and compete how I want and need to, to even jobs and upper management that did not allow me to put myself in the position when I was healthy to get out there and compete against the best. It resulted in myself losing the passion for the sport and losing myself a little bit too. Like I said in the beginning I was not allowing anything to get in the way, but I was allowing just that. Some times adulting is not fun and decisions are made that you may not like, but as I found out and others have too, bowling may not always pay the bills, so finding a career path that still allows you to compete and live out your dreams is my advice to all the young people wanting to bowl professionally. I hope to and know one day I will be back in that winners circle, but for right now I need to find that passion, and with a healthy life work balance to go along with it. I wish everyone success and will always root for the team to bring home that title.