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Bowling News USA - August 15, 2014 Diandra Asbaty: Passion is Powerful


When you find passion in something, you open yourself up to it. You allow this passion to teach you what you might have not already known. It leaves you vulnerable and sets you up to possibly fail. That’s why many never find their true passion. They are afraid of it. The highs. The lows. All the places that fall in the middle.

I’m not afraid of my passion. Despite feeling the highs and the lows, a true passion of mine is bowling for my country as a member of Team USA. Even though it’s left me vulnerable and completely open, I don’t run away from it, as easy as that would be. I run to it, and I try to conquer it.

Many people may think that since I’ve been on the team for 14 straight years, I’ve become complacent. Or it becomes just a normal part of my lifestyle that quickly loses all the luster, much like a new pair of shoes. If anyone does believe that, they should have been right there with me and Matt Lawson, who interviewed me after making Team USA for the 14th time. I surprised even myself with the emotion I felt while answering his questions. Check it out for yourself - click on picture to see video...

I’ve never thought of myself as a very emotional person (until I had Madden). I’m not sure what happens to a woman’s body when she has children, but it almost seems as though I feel so much more now. So as I stood there in front of Matt’s camera, answering his questions, I became choked up. I literally had to stop and breathe so I didn’t break down on camera, although I know that’s what he secretly hoped for. In fact, as I type these words, my eyes are teary and I’m looking around gate A9 at Midway Airport to see if anyone sees me. They don’t.

Why do I feel so much for this team? Besides all the wonderful history I have traveling to great places with such talented athletes, I think my 14-year stint on this team tells my story. I was a freshman in college when I made the team for the first time. It was 1998, and it was also the year I met my husband, John. I remember going to my first international tournament in 1999 in Abu Dhabi and coming home thinking, “wow, I have a lot to learn.”

I remember the very first medal I had ever seen won for Team USA. Kelly Kulick won the singles event in Abu Dhabi. I was inspired. I was honored to be coached under head coaches, Palmer Fallgren, Fred Borden, Jeri Edwards and now Rod Ross. It was my third year on the team when I remember jumping up and down (literally) after we won the World Tenpin Team Cup in Puerto Rico. My sister Kassy was on that team, and that remains one of the most special moments of my Team USA career.

My first World Cup was in 1999. I won the National Amateur Championships the second year I made the team. This is just one year after I was selected for the first time ever by Coach Palmer Fallgren. Also one year after he was questioned by many why he would choose someone that isn’t established yet.

Coach Borden coached me at that World Cup in Lisbon, Portugal. What a wonderful coach he was. In 2006, I bowled my second World Cup (under Edwards) in Caracas, Venezuela. We won. This past year, Coach Rod Ross coached me to a second-place finish in the #1 place I have ever wanted to travel to, South Africa.

I can go on and on about all the highlights and lowlights of my Team USA career, but I won’t. This is about Team USA Trials 2012. The emotion I had after bowling my way onto the team that I hold closest to me stemmed from something else. My son, Madden. I was inspired by Lynda Barnes and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard years ago. They proved to me that it is possible to be a great mom and to still be one of the best bowlers in the world. It’s then that I knew I didn’t have to give up my dreams. Instead of giving up my dreams, I brought Madden with me to help me continue living my dream. It’s not easy. Finding the balance of being the best mother I can and also staying on top of my game. Not. Easy. I still have had a lot of dilemmas to figure out, but the big spark that keeps me going and dreaming is him. He wouldn’t want me to stop reaching my dreams. Although he can’t talk yet, I do know that.

Many think that Madden is a distraction at tournaments, especially with so much on the line. He’s not. He’s my inspiration. I’m not doing this for myself anymore. I’m doing it for him and for my family. When I look at him at the end of the day, no matter if I’m in last place, or first, I know one thing for sure. He’s proud of his momma. Win or lose(more watery eyes). It really meant a lot to me at the Team Trials banquet when a friend of mine, Ty, told me he was really proud of me, and I was an inspiration to all the girls bowling. That I was showing them you can have an athletic career as well as a family. That comment really made me take a deep breath. It was exactly the inspiration I got from Carolyn and Lynda years ago.

Besides having Madden to manage in Las Vegas at the Team USA Trials, I also had to manage a stomach bug I so nicely received on the second-to-last day of competition. I woke up Thursday morning and thought it was something I ate. I realized after four hours it was much more serious than that. I struggled to get out of bed, to eat ANYTHING and figure out a way to have the energy to get through the seven-game block. When I woke up in the morning, I seriously didn’t know how I would. But, I did.

Thanks to the help of super babysitter, Jessica Baker, who went to get me medicine and Gatorade, I was able to make it through the block. Unfortunately, I had to battle the bug on Friday as well. Supposedly, it was going around Vegas and VERY unfortunately, I brought the bug home and gave it to Madden, my husband, John, Jessica, Jessica’s mom, the editor of this blog, and most recently, my dad. Stupid bug. Vicious. (I’m sorry everybody!)

Passion is powerful. It can open you up, close you up, or allow you to reach beyond what you ever thought was possible. I’m so grateful for my passions in life. They make me, me. Bowling, Team USA, my family and especially, Madden. Although there are dilemmas that come with having passion, whatever you do- do not run the other way. The only true way to find your potential is to run towards that passion, with all your walls down and a completely open heart.

What’s YOUR passion?

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August, 2014