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How many times have you been at a bowling alley, ready to throw your next shot, perhaps a strike or two away from a perfect game (or just hoping not to throw ANOTHER gutter ball,) and suddenly it hits you?

“This ball stinks!”

I mean seriously.  When was the last time it bathed?  I have a bowling towel to wipe the excess oil from the lane, but that hardly counts as a good cleaning.

Somewhere, at some time, someone had too much time on their hands.  Or too much to drink.  And they thought to themselves, “why don’t we make scented bowling balls?”

I.  Kid.  You.  Not.

My kids bought me a Storm bowling ball for Christmas.  The box said fragrance: Caramel Pecan.  WTF?

NewBowlingBall

 

It really does have a scent.  It was making me hungry–like a huge piece of caramel candy.  I think I gained 15 pounds!  But who needs (or wants) a fragrant bowling ball?  And just what was wrong with the way my balls smelled before?

I promptly Googled this shit to see if it was real.

Aromatic Bowling.

Competitors dismiss Bill Chrisman’s scented bowling balls as a “novelty,” but he believes there’s more to his success than that, reports Jonathan Eig in The Wall Street Journal. Bill’s balls — marketed by Storm Products, Inc., stormbowling.com, of Brigham City, Utah — smell of peppermint, spearmint, orange, blueberry, amaretto, banana, cinnamon-apple, and pina colada, for instance. Bill’s been making the aromatic balls for about four years now, to a point where his brand is to the market leader in high-end bowling balls, ahead of Brunswick. (You might think Brunswick and the other ball-makers would be rushing scented balls to market. Storm does not officially claim that its aromas affect performance, but the company’s technical director, Steve Koempken, “says the aromatic liquid chemicals added to the vats of urethane had the unintended effect of increasing the tackiness or friction of the surface area, which resulted in a tiny bit of extra hook.” Not only that, but some customers report that the fragrances have the dual effect of relaxing them while distracting their opponents.

I am stunned.  Speechless (but I can still type.)  How does the chemical selectively relax one person but annoy another?  Technology is simply fantastic.

Do the chemicals act like pheromones?  Will my ball be attracting other balls?  What do the pins think about this?  So many questions; so little interest in answering them.

I wonder if they will start adding fragrances to running shoes.  Now that would be a great idea!

SniffingBall

I smell a 300 game in my future!

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My new shoes came yesterday!  Can’t wait for the first HOME GAME!

I’m glad I ordered them when I did–I think they are sold out already!

PSUshoes

They can’t possibly lose if I wear these!

Of course, that’s what I thought when I bought the PSU thong! 😉

At least these are comfortable!

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Eye doctors in picture may appear shorter than they actually are!

Eye doctors in picture may appear shorter than they actually are!

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Brooks is trying to kill me.

I came across this running “challenge” . . . the Brooks Run Happy Summer Challenge.  The shoe company is giving away two pairs of running shoes per day for a month.  Winners are randomly selected from those participting in the challenge.  No purchase necessary.  Odds of winning are practically zero, but better than one’s chance of hitting the powerball jackpot.

At the end of the challenge a grand prize winner will be drawn . . .

At the end of the challenge, we’ll draw one grand prize winner for an expense paid trip for two to the Las Vegas Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon on November 17, 2013.

Free running shoes?  Is this Florida State University?  Sign me up!

In the first few days, I was in the Top Ten of the Leaderboard, 5th out of 29,000+ contestants!  There are now over 30,000.

BrooksChallenge2

But what I didn’t realize is that this ranking system is based solely on how many days you have run and “rated” your run.  You have to log in your miles, time and click on a rating icon ranging from a smiley face to things like a frowny face, an oxygen mask and a coffin.  I’m just kidding about that last part.  It’s actually a tombstone.

Normally, I run 5-6 days per week.  Most running and fitness experts recommend that you take days off to allow your muscles to rest and rebuild.

But that means a day you can’t win the shoes you aren’t likely going to win anyway, and you have to watch as your name plummets down the list because you now have one fewer workout than the rest of the field.  The first (and so far the last) day I didn’t run, I saw my ranking fall from 5th to 30th.  I’ve slipped from 6th to 10th just while writing this because I only have 13 happy runs instead of 14!

In short, the shoe company is throwing sage running advice to the wind and rewarding runners for pushing themselves too hard.

You don’t need no stinking day off!

Take a day off?  NO SHOES FOR YOU!

I usually don’t run on Tuesdays.  After I watched my name plummet last week, I considered adding in a “small run” of like a hundredth of a mile.  I could always run it with the next run but not include it, but I’d have my workout total to keep me on the rank list.  But then my conscience got the better of me and I accepted my ranking such as it is.  After all, if we runners don’t have our honor, what would we be?  Cyclists or ball players on performance enhancing drugs?

So this Tuesday, I dutifully got up and donned my NON-BROOKS running shoes and ran.  I was only going to do one mile–slowly.  It would almost be like taking a day off, and yet I’d still have my negligible chance to win some shoes.  I ended up doing 3 slow miles, but my conscience is clear, even if my muscles ache.

Why do we runners do this to ourselves?

Its gotta be the shoes!

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It started out innocently enough.  An odd pain in my heel.

It could have been the clown shoes.  That’s around the time it started.

It could have been the rock I found wedged in the heel of my Mizuno running shoes.  I have no idea how long that was there.

Rock my sole in the bosom of Mizuno

Rock my sole in the bosom of Mizuno

But the pain continued and swept through my heel like Germany invading Poland, and my plantar fascia put up about as much resistance as a legion of the French Army armed to the teeth with white handkerchiefs.

I feared a stress fracture.  My podiatrist called it plantar fasciitis.

I call it plantar fascism.

I am a runner.  It wasn’t a fracture.  So I continued to run.  I’m an American . . . I couldn’t let the fascists win.

The pain continued to escalate.

I tried stretches.  A night brace while sleeping (which actually enabled me to walk to the bathroom in the morning without pain.)  And ice.  Ibuprofen by the bottle.  I even allowed the podiatrist to inject my foot with steroids.  You’d think the needle alone would frighten away the pain.  Or me screaming like a girl.

As I limped home one day, I had an epiphany.

Runners are well aware of the theology here.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12, versus 12-26:

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body . . . And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.

I had to stop running for a while.

GASP.

There.  I said it.  I am sore ashamed.  And my heel was sore.

But one part was making it miserable for all the other parts, and some of my other parts were very unhappy about it.

My heel needed healing.

But I am happy to report (as are my other body parts) that after a brief rest (4-11-13 through 4-30-13) I am back on the road, with only a hint of discomfort after a 6-8 mile run.  I still stretch and ice it down afterward.  I am still wearing the brace at night–just in case.

Because you never know when the fascists (or fasciitis) will return!

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Have you ever played golf?

No?  If I hum a few bars, do you think you could play it?

If you have, though, I am sure there have been times that you stand over that little ball on the green and ask yourself, ‘why didn’t I go bowling today?’

GolfPutts

You are faced with a daunting task.  Your ball is here.  The hole is over there.  If you’re like me, it’s waaaay over there.  And you have to figure out some way (other than picking the ball up and dropping it in the cup, which although that makes perfect sense, is not allowed by the rules of the game) to get the ball from here to there in the fewest tries.  In short, you can’t get there from here.

Who came up with this?

Sure, it’s not that big of a problem for Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus or Sammy Snead, but you and I, my friend, are not professional golfers.

If we somehow manage to map the landscape of the green and predict the probable trajectory of the ball, we are sure to hit it too hard or leave it short.  If by some stroke of luck we find the proper putting swing to impart the correct speed on the ball, it will not roll in the direction of the hole.

This, in a nutshell, is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

The uncertainty principle also called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, or Indeterminacy Principle, articulated (1927) by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, that the position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time, even in theory.

In other words, it is impossible for me to know the location of the ball and it’s speed during a given putt–I may not know either, for that matter.  But it would appear that it is just dumb luck if I manage both trajectory and velocity at the same time.  Ergo, it is not my fault I can’t putt.  It’s physics.  I’m sure if I research this long enough, I’ll be able to prove why I can’t drive, chip or hit an iron straight.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to eventually come up with a Unifying Theory of the Universe to explain why I can’t cook, do laundry or vacuum the house.

And as for the professional golfers . . . they are either the luckiest bunch of macrophysicists on the planet, or the Laws of Physics don’t apply to them.

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CrosbyBeBack

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