by Missy Bellinder December 1, 2008 19:00
The Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour spent the Thanksgiving holiday week at Brunswick Zone Hawthorn in Vernon Hills, Ill. for the CLR Carmen Salvino Scorpion Championship. 
Thanksgiving Day proved to be a really long day of competition, as the tournament was delayed for a couple of hours due to mechanical problems. After re-oiling the lanes and re-pairing lane assignments to accommodate five on a pair, we were ready to roll with the first seven-game qualifying block. 
This week proved to be really high scoring as Ken Simard (who bowled on the pair to my left) seemingly had the front nine (strikes) every other game and Wes Malott (who I crossed with) was throwing pins all over the place shooting huge numbers. 
One of the bowlers even commented, “I think Kenny (Simard) is averaging the front ten at least three times a block.” Simard shot two out of the ten 300 games that were shot during this week’s competition, along with nearly reaching perfection on the TV show, shooting 289 against Brad Angelo in the second semifinal match.
Fortunately, I too threw my fair share of strikes, trying to keep up with the pace of the people around me, including Michelle Feldman (who was also bowling on the pair to my left). After the first seven games of qualifying, I was leading the women’s series at +239, averaging 234.14 and Terrance Reeves led the men at + 348, averaging 249.71. 
During the break, all of the bowlers, their guests and the staff had the pleasure of enjoying a Thanksgiving Day meal that was catered in to the bowling center, complete with turkey, salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, yams, and of course pumpkin pie!
Then scores soared even higher during block 2. Not sure if the yummy turkey had anything to do with it, but everyone seemed to be striking, including myself. When we were finished bowling (at almost midnight), my www.bowlingenergy.com Verve teammate, Simard was leading the men with +700, averaging 250 over the 14-game qualifying block. In the Women’s Series, I remained in the lead with +552, averaging 239. 43, having to double in the 10th frame to remain in the lead, as Feldman had the front ten shooting 289 the final game, keeping things close. 
 I was really surprised at the amount of fans that watched qualifying throughout the entire day of Thanksgiving. The grand stands were full of spectators in both the morning and night blocks, which was a pleasant surprise. I guess it was a good escape from cooking, being in charge of washing dishes or just plain getting out of the house after eating a huge meal.
A fan approached me after competition on Thursday night and excitedly said, “Missy do you know that you’d be sixth in the guys tournament right now?” I actually wasn’t paying attention to that fact and was merely trying to keep up with Feldman during the night block.
Although the entire week went really well, the TV show was another story. 
Bowling on TV is the most unique experience and it is truly a privilege, something you dream about since you were a kid. 
It is by far the quickest game you will ever bowl and everything seems like it’s on fast-forward. 
We only get four practice shots before our match. We have four shots to figure out how the lanes have changed from practicing on the pair before the show, to an hour later after three matches have been bowled.  So making decisions becomes a very educated guessing game. 
The TV lights make the lanes dry up pretty fast and trust me, they make you feel like you’re in Las Vegas in the middle of July! I don’t usually get hot while I bowl and am generally always freezing (being from Southern California and used to warm weather). However, after practicing on the TV pair before the show had started, I got a bag of ice to hold while I was waiting for my match to start because my hand had puffed up so much from the heat (mind you it was snowing outside the building). 
However, the lights on the TV show are also one of my favorite elements. I remember bowling on my first TV show and seeing my ball go down the lane for the first time with the effects of the ultra bright lights. It’s crazy because the ball looks like it is actually glowing. The colors are completely different and the rotation even looks magnified, almost like it sparkling down the lane.       
Back to the TV show. Yes, I shot 147 on TV and yes, I am disappointed. However as much as that really stinks, life goes on. There will be more TV shows and more opportunities (such as the Women’s Series Showdown presented by USBC that I have now qualified for).
Everyone has bad games on TV and makes mistakes, whether that be missing a spare or making a bad decision (or both in my case); it’s all part of the learning curve that you go through throughout your entire bowling career. We’ve all been there. 
There are bad days and there are good days. The bad days remind us to learn from our mistakes and make us stronger as individuals and competitors. Then the good days remind us why we love bowling and the competition. 
So no matter what point you are in with your personal bowling career, remember that everyone has ups and downs and getting upset about it won’t solve anything. Think about what you can do to turn it around and stay positive. Those are my words of wisdom for the week. 
For more inside information complete with pictures from this week, visit www.missybellinder.com
Until next week!    
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