Over the years I can think of many, many things that I have given up to RA.  Exercise, good wine, being able to plan…. But this weekend I reclaimed something.  It was small but it felt like a victory.

 Growing up on Air Force bases, the Bowling Alley is often the hub of social activities.  We kids hung out there as teens, my MIL worked at one- you get the idea.  For many years my husband’s family was a family of bowlers.  Marrying in, it was natural that I join the teams.  Though I enjoy bowling, I was never as hyper competitive as the in-laws so after years of bowling with them, I took a break for a few years then joined some friends for a “fun” league where I did exponentially better than with the pressure of serious competition.
Just about the time I was at my peak- I was diagnosed with RA.  My onset began in my hands and feet.  Feet that felt like I had run a marathon upon waking and hands that were in claws when I woke and ached all day meant that one of the first things that fell by the wayside was my fun league.

I haven’t given a thought to even picking up a ball in a dozen years. That’s not true.  I’ve thought about it- and immediately dismissed it because of my hands.  We even got rid of my Micky Mouse decorated ball and matching shoes when we moved out to So. IN 10 years ago.

Well- last week hubby came home from his bowling night and said to me “So- after haunt season you’re going  to bowl with me on Friday nights.”  I looked at him as if he had lost his mind and said “Oh AM I?  I haven’t picked up a ball in years!”  He then sweetened the pot the next day.  “If you do, I will buy you this Patriot’s bowling ball and gear”  I laughed because he knows my sweet spot and agreed to talk about it.  After considering it, I told him we would have to give it a shot because between the RA and the acrylics I pay good money for (Vanity- thy name is woman!) I didn’t know if I could do it.  We contacted my dad because he enjoys a good game and agreed to go this past weekend.

And so we did.  I wasn’t great.  The old back doesn’t allow me to move the way I did when I was bowling regularly and I was very hesitant- but I broke 100 so I was pleased.  Hubby looked at Dad after my first strike and said “Guess I am buying a ball!”  We only bowled one game because a group of people with ZERO etiquette was put on the lane next to us and essentially crowded us out so we will have to go again and bowl three games as if a normal league play so I can see if I can do it, but I enjoyed it and am considering his request.

So take THAT RA!  You don’t necessarily get to keep the things you took from me! 


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