Tim Timmons | Crawfordsville, IN

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June 13, 2021

2/8/2014 3:30:00 PM
Bowling is dangerous

Bowling is a dangerous sport.
In my life I have played organized football, basketball, baseball and tennis. I have climbed a mountain (OK, it was a really big hill . . . well, it was a good-sized hill). I have seen dangerous animals in the wild. I once even read about the dangers of quicksand.
But the worst I was ever injured in a sport was bowling.
Broke my back.
The day started innocently enough. My mom had passed away 11 months before and the date of what would have been my parents' 45th wedding anniversary was approaching. We didn't want my dad sitting at home alone, so the girls and I invited him bowling. He's retired and pretty active in several bowling leagues. None of us bowl, but it sounded like a fun outing.
When that Saturday got there, we piled in his SUV (a point that would be important later). My dad was all business. He had his own fancy bowling bag with two balls and shoes. We amateurs headed to the counter to rent ours.
My dad graciously told us we could have a couple of warm-up throws. Did I mention he and I have always been a little competitive? I suspect he was eager to begin the massacre. The girls weren't ready yet, so I picked up my ball and stared down the lane. Heck, I had been bowling a few times. How hard could this be, I thought? I also noticed a short, square machine in the lane next to us (another important point for later).
Remembering the four-step approach we were taught a few decades before in high school phys ed class, I strode forward and began to release the ball. My foot, I noticed, was sliding a little too far across the foul line.
Remember that square machine? Apparently it's an evil contraption whose job is to lay down a slippery sheet of oil across the wood. To this day I am still convinced this is to trap unsuspecting idiots like myself.
It worked.
From the time my first foot went over the line, my body began to pick up speed. My second foot crossed the line about like an Indy car entering turn one. It was quick. Both feet tried to find some sort of traction somewhere.
They didn't.
Here's where the image of Charlie Brown kicking a football might enter your mind. The next thing I knew I was in mid-air, more or less parallel. And of course what goes up . . .
I remember the wind was knocked out of me. I laid there on the alley and was unable to breathe. About the time my breath came back was about the same time I realized that I was, well, laying on my back in the middle of a bowling alley. Embarrassment was the next thing I remember.
Until I tried to get up, that is.
Turns out that the excruciating pain came from three lower vertebrae in my back that were broken. Remember the SUV? Fortunately, I was able to gingerly get in it and avoid an ambulance ride. A car would've been out of the question. We took what was left of my dignity to the hospital where I enjoyed a nice quiet time.
And all of this is really good news for the Youth Service Bureau event. Why? Look at it this way. There's virtually no chance that anyone could possibly get hurt like that twice. Go on out and have a good time and know that your back is pretty doggone safe. The deadline for early entry is Friday and you can go bowling on April 26 from 8 a.m. to noon at Taylor Lanes. Get more info by calling the good folks at YSB at 362-0694, ext. 10.

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