Day 31: Buwan

Buwan - ([tagalog] noun- month)

I can officially say that I have been here a month. Without a doubt, I can certainly say that is has been a wild ride up to this point. Only 5 more months to go! (I'm not counting the two weeks I have in the US in November or Feb).

This morning was tough. I woke up, and I don't think I was actually awake. I was in that zombie state where I couldn't think, I couldn't really talk, but I was up and walking around trying to get to the state where I could regain my facilities. I realized this when I was attempting to have a dialog with my wife this morning, only to find that I was barely capable of staring at the computer screen with not a darn thing to say. Certainly a bummer.

Eventually, I got my act together, and went down to the bowling alley to meet up with Paeng Nepomuceno. I somewhat expected him to be a little late, but I showed up about 10 minutes early and sure enough he was there. Setting up his computer, video camcorder, and whatnot. It must have been obvious that I was there to meet him, as the first person that I saw quickly ran up to me and ushered me to Paeng. A rather tall Filipino - about 6'2", slim build, big smile. You would never guess it by looking at the guy, but he's 51. He's looks like he's not a day over 30.

This experience was absolutely pleasant. This guy was a real down-to-earth guy who just really loves doing his thing - teaching bowling. He's the only certified USBC coaching trainer (teaching other coaches) outside of the US - so he basically has a corner on the market. He also owns all of the bowling alleys this side of Manila - needless to say he doesn't need to be doing this. He just really loves the game.

We spent a few moments talking about my history - short and long term bowling goals, spent some time talking about his history and how the game has evolved since he started playing. A neat talk for people interested in bowling - mostly pointless for everyone else. I won't elaborate, but I enjoyed the conversation.

Paeng showed me some drills, warm-up techniques, and then started watching me bowl. Immediately he asked me a few questions, and just suggested a few changes. Simple changes. Take a bigger first step, a smaller second step, actually let the ball swing like a pendulum. It took about 15 minutes or so to adjust a bit, but the results were dramatic.

My game changed, I felt relaxed, and I threw 8 strikes in a row without even trying. Yes, 8. I was on a track for a 300, and I botched it. However, freakin' awesome, and we haven't even started with the heavy stuff.

I felt bad paying the guy only PHP 1000 for the hour of his time, and even told him that. He said to me that in the Philippines he charges Philippine prices to attract others to the game. Frankly, PHP 1000 is still quite a bit of money to most people. He also coyly mentioned that he makes a significant amount more when he is in the US training.


What's interesting is that I asked if we should schedule a time for us to get together next. He kinda shrugged it off, and said - Just Text Me. Kinda neat, I wish I could live my schedule by just being texted. That's going with the flow, right there!

Anywho - went to work, and shared my story with the team. They couldn't believe it... that #1 I was with this guy, and that #2, my game improved that dramatically that quickly. I assured them all of this was true. Of course, they wanted pictures.

Now, I'm the kind of guy that if I happen to run into a famous guy, I'm not going to ask for a picture or an autograph. I'm sure that person gets these requests every day. Maybe they really love it... or maybe they just want to be another person. I'm sorta anti-romantic in that sense - people just want to be regular, whatever that is defined as. So, no pictures, no autographs, nothing. Just the enjoyment of his company.

Work is work - I think I'm pushing too hard. I'm certainly nervous for when we test folks next week. Not that they'll do poorly - I think that we'll have some challenges that we'll still need to overcome. I'm just worried about whether I've done enough; Whether I have done more than enough. Whether I have done what I need to do to ensure success as best as I possibly can.  I feel in my gut the answer is yes, but I'm still worried about it. Not sure why...

I think I'm coming down with something. I feel a bit off, and it's not pleasant.